PhD Candidate within process systems engineering

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 05 Jun 2023

19 May 2023
Job Information

NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Department of Chemical Engineering
Research Field

Engineering » Chemical engineering
Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

5 Jun 2023 - 23:59 (Europe/Oslo)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description
This is NTNU

NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities with headquarters in Trondheim.

At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 43,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree. The latest starting date for the position will be 01.09.2023.

Petroleum transport through pipelines is a prevalent method in the oil and gas industry for moving crude oil and refined petroleum products from production sites to refineries, storage facilities, and distribution centers. Pipelines offer a cost-effective and efficient alternative to other transportation modes, such as trucks, trains, and ships, for transporting large volumes of petroleum products over long distances. Additionally, pipelines are considered safer and more environmentally friendly, as they reduce the risk of spills and emissions associated with other transportation methods.

However, the transportation of petroleum products through pipelines involves a complex multiphase system. Various techniques, such as Core Annular Flow (CAF), are employed. CAF is often used to transport high-viscosity oil and involves injecting a transfer fluid, typically water, around the pipeline's perimeter while injecting the oil into the pipeline's center. This simultaneous injection of immiscible fluids at different speeds results in multiphase flow patterns that vary in geometry based on fluid properties. Moreover, the flow properties' variation is closely related to oil composition and transport conditions.

In this scenario, oil transport faces challenges in identifying, controlling, and optimizing multiphase flow regimes. To address these problems, this project proposes the development of:

  • A rigorous and hybrid oil flow model that considers temperature, pressure, and composition to characterize the multiphase flow. The model employs artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to predict the oil's state properties, significantly improving flow behavior predictions in oil reservoirs and transport pipelines.
  • A flow regime mapping approach with uncertainty assessment to describe the relationship between different flow regimes and the governing factors of pressure, temperature, and composition. This mapping enables the model to understand better transitions between different flow regimes and their corresponding effects on flow behavior, further improving the accuracy of flow predictions.
  • A robust stabilizing optimization strategy that effectively addresses the challenges associated with the optimal operation of oil flow systems. The proposed optimization strategy incorporates uncertainties to predict oil flow behavior accurately and employs intelligent control algorithms to optimize operational parameters. This integrated approach results in a more reliable and efficient system for managing oil flow.
  • A robust stabilizing model predictive control strategy for managing flow regimes in CAF oil systems, considering the previously evaluated uncertainties. This strategy ensures optimal flow regime management, enhanced production efficiency, and minimized operational risks.

Your immediate leader is Associate Professor Idelfonso Nogueira.

Duties of the position
  • Develop a rigorous and hybrid oil flow model that considers temperature, pressure, and composition to characterize the multiphase flow.
  • Develop a flow regime mapping approach with uncertainty assessment to describe the relationship between different flow regimes and the governing factors of pressure, temperature, and composition.;
  • Develop a robust stabilizing optimization strategy that effectively addresses the challenges associated with the optimal operation of oil flow systems;
  • Develop a robust stabilizing model predictive control strategy for managing flow regimes in CAF oil systems, considering the previously evaluated uncertainties;
  • Take part in mentoring undergraduate and master's students;
  • Take part in the mandatory Ph.D. research education program, conduct independent research, publish the result in recognized scientific journals, and present them at international conferences.

Required selection criteria
  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Chemical Engineering, uncertainty assessment, artificial intelligence, optimization theory, modeling of dynamic systems, or similar
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • You need a strong background in the topic of the research project and publications in the field
  • You need strong experience in using methodologies and tools requested by the project (Preferred Methodologies: Mathematical modeling for system design and applied artificial intelligence; Preferred Tools: simulation software, programming)
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate  and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant 

Preferred selection criteria
  • Strong analytical skills and interest in quantitative approaches
  • Competence in using programming languages Python, Matlab, Julia, and gPROMS
  • Experience in mentoring undergraduate students
  • Experience in uncertainty analysis of optimization procedure
  • Knowledge of the following AI approaches: Generative, Classification, and Reinforcement
  • Experience in both multi-objective and single-objective optimization
  • It is beneficial if the applicant has some previous experience in research

Personal characteristics
  • Ability to work independently as well as in teams
  • Good communication skills
  • Strong writing capabilities

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer
  • Exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • An open and inclusive work environment  with dedicated colleagues
  • Favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • Employee benefits

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in in Chemical Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.


The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants , and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include:

  • Motivationletter (Max 1 A4-page)
  • CV and certificates
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • Publications or other relevant research work

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here . If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.  (tas bort hvis ikke aktuelt)


The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation . You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Idelfonso Nogueira, e-mail:

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Advisor Nina Sandberg, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 05.06.2023

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Chemical Engineering 

We take chemistry from laboratory scale to industrial production. This demands a wide range of knowledge, from molecular processes and nanotechnology to building and operation of large processing plants. We educate graduates for some of Norway's most important industries. The Department of Chemical Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.  

Research Field
Engineering » Chemical engineering
Education Level
Master Degree or equivalent

Additional Information
Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Department of Chemical Engineering
Postal Code
Høgskoleringen 1

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Hogskoleringen 1
Postal Code


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