PhD Candidate in Electric Insulation and Flow Dynamics in Power Transformer Windings

Updated: 3 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 11 Apr 2023

About the job

The Department of Electric Energy (IEL)  at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time 100% position as a PhD Candidate within the field of electric insulation systems and numerical and experimental characterization of the flow dynamics in power transformer windings. The work of this project will be associated with the project NewLifT (New Liquids for Transformers), which is a collaborative project involving NTNU, SINTEF and several national and international industry partners. The prospective candidate will be part of a project team that works in close collaboration with the NTNU, SINTEF and other project partners.

The main supervisor will be Professor Kaveh Niayesh (NTNU) and the co-supervisor will be Dr. Camilla Espedal (SINTEF Energy Research). 

The position reports to the Head of Department.

The main workplace will be in Trondheim. 

Duties of the position

A secure energy supply requires a robust and resilient power and transmission system. Significant investment in electric power systems is needed in the coming decade to meet growing energy demands. Reinvestments should be done in a way that minimizes environmental impact and preserves reliability. Liquid-filled high-voltage power transformers play a crucial role in electric production, transmission, and distribution systems. The liquid serves as electrical insulation and cooling for the transformer windings.

Mineral oils, derived from non-renewable crude oil with low biodegradability, have long been the dominant insulating liquids. However, new alternatives with environmental, HSE, and technical benefits have emerged. The NewLifT project, which this PhD position is associated with, focuses on the thermal properties of these new insulating liquids. The PhD will work with a multidisciplinary research team to examine the impact of liquid viscosity on cooling capabilities, particularly at low temperatures. The research may involve both experimental and numerical/analytic work, and the candidate's background and interests will determine the balance. The PhD will focus on modelling and measuring liquid flow in a laboratory flow rig.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a master's degree within Electric Power Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or another relevant field.
  • 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. 
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program ( )
  • Good written and oral English language skills. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

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

Note that the selection criteria listed below are not need to have and will also vary on the amount of experimental/theoretical work that is to be performed. 

  • Background in, and interest in, computational physics, e.g. CFD and/or FEM.
  • An interest in spending part (or all) of your time in the lab. Experiments with running and building lab set ups could be beneficial.

Personal characteristics

  • Inquisitive and self-motivated
  • Creativity and innovation in research
  • Scientific mindset
  • Ability to work across traditional disciplines and easily get in touch with other researchers

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 per annum, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in [subject area] (Link to website, if applicable) 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 physically at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

About the application

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

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: 

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation and relevance with respect to the requirements of this advertisement.
  • A draft research proposal (1-2 pages) for the PhD study, where you present your own ideas for the PhD-work and how it can be applied, based on the project description given in this advertisement. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • CV and transcripts/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 and add contact details to your supervisor.
  • Testimonials and certificates. Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement ( or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • Name and contact information of three references.
  • Relevant publications or research work.
  • Incomplete applications will not be assessed. 

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.  

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 Professor Kaveh Niayesh (e-mail: ) and/or Dr. Camilla Espedal (e-mail: ) . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Bodil Vuttudal Wold, 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: 11.04.2023.

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 Electric Energy

The Department of Electric Energy is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 11th April 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Campus Trondheim

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