PhD Candidate for Project ENTIRE on Entrainment of Oil in Breaking Waves

Updated: about 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Sep 2021

About the position

We are looking for a motivated PhD candidate to join the exciting new project ENTIRE  on entrainment of oil in breaking waves. When oil is spilled at sea, the interaction between oil and breaking waves is a key factor in determining the transport and fate of the oil. Understanding these processes allow us to better predict where the oil will end up, and thus directing response operations to clean up the oil spill more efficiently. Similar mechanisms are also relevant for understanding how bubbles form under breaking waves, which in turn is important for modelling air-sea gas exchange in climate simulations.

This project will combine experimental, theoretical and computational work, in order to understand and predict what happens when oil interacts with breaking waves. The PhD candidate is expected to contribute both to experimental and numerical work.

The candidate will be employed at the Department of Physics at NTNU, and will spend time both at NTNU and at SINTEF Ocean in Trondheim.

The candidate's main supervisor will be Tor Nordam, with co-supervisors from both NTNU and SINTEF.

Duties of the position

The experimental work will largely be carried out at SINTEF Ocean, in Trondheim. The experiments will involve:

  • Characterising turbulent flow under breaking waves.
  • Developing and using optical techniques to measure droplets and bubbles underneath breaking waves.
  • Option to attend field work during the "oil on water'' exercise conducted regularly in Norway.

The numerical modelling work is intended to act as a "digital twin" for the experiments, meaning that we wish to model how air bubbles and oil droplets are broken up and distributed across different depths when the wave breaks, and how they rise back to the surface. The modelling will look at break-up and coagulation of droplets, as well as transport of droplets by turbulent motion in the water.

The work will involve a mixture of pratical optical measurements using state-of-the-art equipment, hosted at SINTEF Ocean, and processing and analysis of the data obtained in experiments, to combine with the numerical modelling.  It is expected that the PhD candidate will spend some months on exchange to Adrian Callaghan's lab at Imperial College in London.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in physics, fluid mechanics, or a related subject.
  • 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 ( )
  • Experience with experimental work, ideally within fluid mechanics and/or optics
  • The candidate should also have experience with scientific programming for numerics and/or data analysis.
  • Good written and oral english.

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  

Personal characteristics

The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. He/she should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in a team.

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. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The position is for 4 years, with 25% of the time spent teaching in the Department of Physics.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in physics ( ) 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.

The position is subject to external funding .

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. 
  • Name and address of three referees 

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 Tor Nordam, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Magnus Gautvik, 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 95/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.09.2021

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 Physics

Our research and teaching are both experimental and theoretical, covering a wide range of disciplines. Our activities contribute to development of new medical technology and to finding solutions for the next generation’s communication technology, energy utilization and development of materials. The Department of Physics  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences .

Deadline 30th September 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service

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