PhD Position in Structural Engineering

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 07 Jan 2022

Research Collaboration in Sustainability

In 2015, the 2030 agenda with the 17 sustainability goals was adopted by all UN member states. The sustainability goals see the environment, economy and social development in context. The time horizon for necessary changes is short, and it is challenging to combine different considerations without conflicts of objectives and unintended consequences of measures. 

NTNU is now announcing 44 individual PhD positions  that will contribute to a greater understanding of system effects, societal changes and conflicts of interest related to the sustainability challenges. These positions are divided into 9 interdisciplinary projects with mainly 4-7 PhD positions in each project. 

In this position, the candidate is expected to cooperate with the other PhD students in the project Circular City , an interdisciplinary collaboration to better understand the role of existing buildings as a resource base for a future circular economy. Specifically, the project aims to develop the necessary quantified models, qualitative approaches, domain knowledge and methods to develop a Circular City Information Infrastructure (CCII) that details the quantities, qualities and potential of materials and building elements at a large scale. Through a cooperation of research teams from architecture, planning, structural engineering, geography, geology, manufacturing, and industrial ecology, Circular City will provide plausible pathways towards a circular low-carbon building stock. Circular City is at this stage announcing the call for 4 PhD positions.

About the position

At the Department of Structural Engineering , Circular City is seeking a PhD candidate to complete a doctoral education and obtain a doctoral degree in the PhD Programme in Engineering . The goal of this PhD is to participate in a trans- and interdisciplinary group that will inform circular economy strategies for the built environment. The PhD student will, in cooperation with other project partners, develop novel approaches to circular resource management of the building stock with a higher granularity, including bottom-up data gathering, remote sensing, building information modelling (BIM), structural engineering modelling, and systematic knowledge about architecture and construction technology. The project will be developed using Trondheim and Trøndelag county as case studies, while the approach developed will be generic. 

Additionally, the PhD candidate will explore possibilities for the reutilisation of retrieved structural elements and structural material as load-bearing parts in new construction. This will require new developments in material testing and quality control but also the investigation of new pathways in conceptual design with used elements and materials. The PhD student will also facilitate efficient data gathering by developing tools for back-calculating the expected constellation and dimension of structural elements in existing buildings based on scarce information. This is a particularly innovative task that aims for the maximization of information utilization based on structural engineering understanding.

Master's students in the final phase of the programme are encouraged to apply.

The position will report to the head of department.

Duties of the position

  • Provide valid scientific contributions from the Candidates field of research to the common Circular City framework
  • Develop the necessary methodical, ethical and scientific approaches to ensure a high level of research integrity
  • Participate in PhD courses or other training as necessary to reach a the required level of proficiency in Building Information Modeling (BIM), Geospatial Information Systems (GIS), Material Flow Analysis (MFA), Programming (Python), Ethics, and relevant scientific methods
  • Participation in inter- and transdisciplinary collaboration
  • Dissemination of your own research within the group, at NTNU, to partners and to a larger scientific community
  • Contribute to the academic environment in Circular City and the involved departments

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in civil engineering or equivalent
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree programme, 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 must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • You must have documented competence in structural engineering
  • You must have skills and documented experience in programming, preferably Python

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants  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

  • Willigness to add an additional year of teaching duty
  • Willigness to work in an inter- and transdisciplinary project
  • Experience and/or interest in probabilistic modelling and statistics
  • Good written and oral English and Scandinavian language skills

Personal characteristics

  • The ability to work in an inter- and transdisciplinary setting
  • The ability to work independently with scientific and technological confidence and creativity
  • Be able to see the benefits of contributing to a team and work to improve their public and professional interactions
  • The ability to share your own knowledge from both successes and failures, to promote dialogue and evaluate feedback from diverse sources

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 491 200 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. A 4 years period with 25% teaching duties may be considered for candidates with the proper background and interest in teaching and supervision of students.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in 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 applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • 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. 
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position. 
  • A letter of mtivation that includes your suggested approach to the topic of Circular City 
  • Name, e-mail and phone number of three referees 
  • Documentation of publications, research or other relevant 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.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief 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

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

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.

In accordance with The Public Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Project Coordinator Pasi Aalto, telephone +47 98025519, e-mail  or PhD Supervisor Jochen Köhler, telephone +47 46641572, e-mail . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Elin Pedersen Nystuen, e-mail .

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 81771678 when applying.

Application deadline: 07.01.2022

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 Structural Engineering

We teach mechanical engineering, engineering and ICT, and civil and environmental engineering. The Department conducts internationally leading research and participates in several large national research projects. The Department of Structural Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering .

Deadline 7th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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