PhD Fellow in Space Systems Engineering

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 22 Jun 2022

The position

A PhD position is available at the Department of electrical engineering , Faculty of engineering science and technology  with the research group Electromechanical systems , within the field of space technology. The research group conducts applied research in fields such as remote sensing, communications technology, autonomous platforms, power electronics, energy systems and advanced control.

The position is for a period of four years. The nominal length of the PhD programme is three years. The fourth year is distributed as 25 % each year and will consist of teaching and other duties. The objective of the position is to complete research training to the level of a doctoral degree. Admission to the PhD programme is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The PhD position is for a fixed term, with the objective of completion of research training to the level of a doctoral degree during the period of employment. Admission to the PhD programme in engineering science at IVT is a prerequisite for employment, and the programme period starts on commencement of the position.

The workplace is at UiT in Narvik. You must be able to start in the position within a reasonable time after receiving the offer.

The position’s field of research

As part of a strategic investment, UiT has funded a student satellite project, comprising the development of a 2U student satellite. The satellite will be launched from Andøya Spaceport and will be built by students and employees at UiT. The project aims to make the study programs more interesting, forge closer relations between the students and industry, and do research on control systems and space debris. More information (in Norwegian) on the project can be found here .

Space debris is a rising threat to satellites and humans in orbit. Even small pieces of debris can cause major damage or failure of satellites, which has lead several organisations to focus on monitoring and modelling of the situation. This includes organisations such as ESA Space Debris , NASA  and U.S. intelligence .

Space debris varies in size and shape, and includes everything from old satellites and rockets to smaller objects of around 100 micrometres. It is estimated to be over 130 million objects larger than 1 millimetre in space classified as debris. Some of this can be detected from the ground, and according to ESA space debris by the numbers , we are currently tracking around 30.000 of these objects. It is however not possible to detect space debris smaller than 3 millimeters using ground based measurements. The main goal of the student satellite is to develop a platform to detect such objects with a radar in space, and thereby increase our understanding of the problem for further research on mitigation.

This PhD position is part of the student satellite project, and is aimed at realising the project. It will include development of the satellite and it’s subsystems, supervision of students and research on space systems engineering. This includes the control systems for the satellite and the radar payload. There will also be cross disciplinary collaboration with the other project members.

The research for this position focuses on:

  • Space systems engineering
  • Drag-based control systems.
  • Testing of the space debris radar.
  • Data analysis of the collected data from the satellite.


For further information about the position, please contact associate professor Pål Gunnar Ellingsen: 

or professor Raymond Kristiansen:


This position requires a master’s degree or equivalent in space systems engineering, satellite technology, space physics, applied physics, control engineering, engineering cybernetics or other relevant disciplinesPrevious publications on a relevant topic is meritorious.

In addition, knowledge and training in the following fields are desirable:

  • System design
  • Data processing
  • Programming (for instance C++)
  • Mathematics

Knowledge of these needs to be documented, and GPA (grade point average) and translation rules for the European Standardized Character System must follow the application.

Moreover, knowledge in physics, project leadership, digital signal processing, communication technology, pedagogic, scientific writing, Linux and Norwegian language would be advantageous.

Applicants must document fluency of in English and be able to work in an international environment. Nordic applicants can document their English capabilities by attaching their high school diploma.  Working knowledge of Norwegian or a Scandinavian language is also beneficial.

The applicants must present a description outlining the academic basis of the PhD project. The project description shall not exceed one page, excluding references. It must include a description of the theme, research question(s) and a reasoning of the choices. It should also indicate the methodologies to be used. The final project description will be developed in cooperation with the supervisor.

In the assessment, the emphasis is on the applicant's potential to complete a research education based on the master's thesis or equivalent, and any other scientific work. The project description will also be considered. In addition, other experience of significance for the completion of the doctoral programme may be given consideration.

We will also emphasize motivation and personal suitability for the position.

As many as possible should have the opportunity to undertake organized research training. If you already hold a PhD or have equivalent competence, we will not appoint you to this position.

Admission to the PhD programme 

For employment in the PhD position, you must be qualified for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering Science and Technology  and participate in organized doctoral studies within the employment period.

Admission normally requires:  

  • A bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS and a master's degree of 120 ECTS, or an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS. 
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 30 ECTS for a master's degree of 120 ECTS. 
  • A master's thesis with a scope corresponding to at least 20 ECTS for an integrated master's degree of 300 ECTS. 

In order to gain admission to the programme, applicants with a background from a Norwegian institution should have a minimum grade of C on their master thesis and a weighted grade average of 3.0 for the last two years of their master programme. A more detailed description of admission requirements can be found here . 

Applicants with a foreign education will be subjected to an evaluation of whether the educational background is equal to Norwegian higher education, following national guidelines from NOKUT . Depending on which country the education is from, one or two additional years of university education may be required to fulfil admission requirements, e.g. a 4-year bachelor's degree and a 2-year master's degree. 

If you are employed in the position, you will be provisionally admitted to the PhD programme. Application for final admission must be submitted no later than  two months after taking up the position. 

Inclusion and diversity

UiT The Arctic University of Norway is working actively to promote equality, gender balance and diversity among employees and students, and to create an inclusive and safe working environment. We believe that inclusion and diversity are a strength and we want employees with different competencies, professional experience, life experience and perspectives.

If you have a disability, a gap in your CV or immigrant background, we encourage you to tick the box for this in your application. If there are qualified applicants, we invite at least one in each group for an interview. If you get the job, we will adapt the working conditions if you need it. Apart from selecting the right candidates, we will only use the information for anonymous statistics.

We offer
  • Involvement in an interesting research project 
  • Good career opportunities 
  • A good academic environment with dedicated colleagues  
  • Flexible working hours and a state collective pay agreement  
  • Pension scheme through the state pension fund  
  • More practical information for working and living in Norway can be found here:


Your application must include: 

  • Cover letter explaining your motivation and research interests
  • CV
  • Diploma for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Transcript of grades/academic record for bachelor's and master's degree
  • Explanation of the grading system for foreign education (Diploma Supplement if available)
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • 2-3 references with contact information
  • Master’s thesis
  • Scientific works (published or unpublished) she/he want to be taken into account in the assessment
  • Project description one page, excluding references

Qualification with a master’s degree is required before commencement in the position. If you are near completion of your master’s degree, you may still apply and submit a draft version of the thesis and a statement from your supervisor or institution indicating when the degree will be obtained. You must still submit your transcripts for the master’s degree with your application.

All documentation to be considered must be in a Scandinavian language or English. Diplomas and transcripts must also be submitted in the original language, if not in English or Scandinavian. We only accept applications and documentation sent via Jobbnorge within the application deadline. 

General information 

The appointment is made in accordance with State regulations and guidelines at UiT. At our website, you will find more information for applicants . 

The engagement is to be made in accordance with 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.

A shorter period of appointment may be decided when the PhD Fellow has already completed parts of their research training programme or when the appointment is based on a previous qualifying position PhD Fellow, research assistant, or the like in such a way that the total time used for research training amounts to three years. 

Remuneration for the position of PhD Fellow is in accordance with the State salary scale code 1017.  A compulsory contribution of 2 % to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund will be deducted.

We process personal data given in an application or CV in accordance with the Personal Data Act (Offentleglova). According to the Personal Data Act information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure. You will receive advance notification in the event of such publication, if you have requested non-disclosure. 

UiT - Developing the High North

UiT is a multi-campus research university in Norway and the northernmost university of the world. Our central location in the High North, our broad and diverse research and study portfolio, and our interdisciplinary qualities make us uniquely suited to meet the challenges of the future. At UiT you can explore global issues from a close-up perspective.

Credibility, academic freedom, closeness, creativity and commitment shall be hallmarks of the relationship between our employees, between our employees and our students and between UiT and our partners.

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