PhD Position in Nonlinear Model Predictive Control

Updated: 11 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 30 Apr 2021

About the position

The PhD position is connected to the research project “High Precision Extrusion Temperature Control through Digital Technology”, in short ExtruTeC, with partners Hydro Extruded Solutions, Cybernetica, SINTEF and NTNU.  

The objective of the project is to develop new technology for improved temperature control for extrusion of high precision aluminum profiles. The aluminum extrusion press is a high-temperature, high-pressure, fast-paced process where accurate temperature control will enable production of stronger and thinner extruded profiles. The project’s goals provide a direct benefit to customers by reducing material weight in end-use applications (e.g. car industry) and improving product quality capability. 

The plan is to develop and implement new model-based optimizing control schemes at two levels: A supervisory system for batch cycle optimization, and a rapid, high precision model predictive temperature control system. Spatially distributed process models of the extrusion press and pre-heaters are currently being developed. They are made for the purpose of control and dynamic optimization.

The role of the PhD candidate will be to study efficient methods for numerical, dynamic real-time optimization of the extrusion process. The results will be used in products for supervisory batch cycle optimization. The candidate will work within a highly competent, multi-disciplinary team, including cooperation and possible visits to a production facility in Denmark.

The task is academically challenging, and, at the same time, industrially highly relevant. 

Duties of the position 

  • Research into efficient optimisation methods for distributed dynamical systems
  • Interaction with the project team on implementation of the optimisation algorithms into an industrial environment for nonlinear model predictive control
  • Upon agreement with the candidate and the department, the position can be extended to four years if the candidate undertake teaching duties

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in engineering cybernetics, automatic control, process systems engineering, applied mathematics or equivalent. Background in control theory and numerical methods for control and optimization is a requirement. The candidate should have a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale . If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant. 

Applicants should have solid programming experience (Matlab, Python, or similar).
Good written and oral English language skills are required. Applicants from non-European countries where English is not the official language must present an official language test report. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are: TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test) IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted) CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Personal characteristics

  • We seek a candidate that is motivated and able to engage in theoretical research, interdisciplinary collaboration, have good communication and networking skills, is proactive and forthcoming, and able to work independently if needed.
  • The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. She/he should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take a keen interest in learning and working in teams.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 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. The period can be extended to 4 years if the applicant, in agreement with the department, undertake teaching duties. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics . 

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months, 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 that you can be present 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.

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
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Name and contact address of three referees

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 suitability.

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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Professor Lars Imsland, 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 2021/16028 when applying. 

Application deadline: 30.04.2021.

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 Engineering Cybernetics (ITK)

Engineering cybernetics is the study of automatic control and monitoring of dynamic systems. We develop the technologies of tomorrow through close cooperation with industry and academia, both in Norway and internationally. The Department contributes to the digitalization, automation and robotization of society. The Department of Engineering Cybernetics  is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

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

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