PhD Position in Use of Robots as Instrument-Carrier for Underwater Hyperspectral Imagery

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 08 Feb 2023

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

A PhD position is available at the Department of biology, preferably starting 15 February 2023. The appointment has a duration of 4 years (25% teaching duties in agreement with the department related to marine biodiversity and use of enabling technology in marine science). To undertake the teaching duties, it is a requirement that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language.

The position is financed by the NTNU recruitment positions to pursue a development of a centre in “intelligent autonomous operations and sensing in marine ecosystem research”. The project will focus on the use of USV (unmanned surface vehicle) and ROV (remotely operated vehicle) as instrument carrier for UHI and other environmental sensors providing information to identify, map and monitor bio-geo-chemical objects of interest (OOI). The data in this project, focusing underwater seafloor mapping and monitoring in complex underwater habitats, will be part of a larger interdisciplinary group working (Observational Pyramid) doing research on environmental variables (eg. light, temperature) and its effect on living organisms such as photosynthesis, light regime measurements (photobiology light as a cue of life) and remote sensing of ocean colour at sea surface, water column and seafloor. 

Duties of the position

The primary theme of this PhD project is to use USV and mini-ROV´s as an instrument (sensor) carrier to provide data on diverse seafloor habitats in time and space. This work is important for marine ecology, bio-diversity, identifying hot spots, mapping of habitats, health state of organisms and for primary- and secondary production estimates.

We seek a person that will have the responsibility of participating and using USV and ROV as instrument carriers for UHI, RGB cameras (photogrammetry) and other optical sensors (eg. spectral light beam attenuation meters). The measurements and data interpretation will be performed in concert with professors, PhD candidates and post docs from NTNU´s “Observational Pyramid” team comprising mini-satellites (NTNU satellite HYPSO-1), aerial drones, USV, AUV, ROV, snake robots were all carries hyperspectral imagers to provide remote sensing data (optical fingerprints) of bio-geo-chemical objects of interest (OOIs). The infrastructure from  Applied Underwater Robotics Laboratory (AUR-Lab, Fjordlab – part of Ocean Space Centre) activity will be available for the candidate.  Work place will be at TBS, dept of biology, NTNU.

The position is a further development from the ongong AMOS PhD programs (2013-23) detailed in :

Required selection criteria

  • The candidate will need to have knowledge and documentation in basic ocean optics and used to pilot USV and ROV´s. Further, a candidate with hands on experience underwater hyperspectral imagery, RGB photogrammetry, 3D modelling. Knowledge of fluorescence kinetics for the measurements of photosynthesis will also be included if possible.
  • MSc in marine biology or oceanography, with in hands-on experience in use of USV and mini-ROVs as instrument carriers using geo-tagged information, hyperspectral imaging and photogrammetry, simple programming skills to provide information for marine bio-diversity and health state of organisms.
  • Experienced in both field- and laboratory work, ability to use new sensors: Hard- and software, implementation on platforms with following interpretation of data.
  • The successful candidate should be creative, with a strong ability to work problem oriented. The candidate should also enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams.
  • The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that a Master degree or equivalent with at least 5 years of studies and an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) for the two last years of the MSc is required and C or higher of the BSc. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

The appointment is to be made in accordance with  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

  • Good communication
  • Good networking skills
  •  Proactive and forthcoming
  • Able to work independently if needed.
  • Curiosity for the unknown.

Personal characteristics

  • Motivated and able to engage in interdisciplinary collaboration

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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 4 years (25% teaching duties in agreement with the department related to marine biodiversity and use of enabling technology in marine science).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Biology  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

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: 

  • Project proposition (0.5-2 pages) indicating how the applicant envisages her/his contribution within the project
  • CV (including list of publications and relevant former positions)
  • Certified copies Bachelor & Master degrees, transcripts
  • Short statement from a former supervisor/tutor/teacher
  • Contact information for two references (including email addresses and telephone number)
  • English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.)

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.

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 Geir Johnsen at the Department of biology, NTNU, Tel. +47 91897027, 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: 08.02.23

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 Biology 

We work with global challenges in natural diversity, climate, the environment, health and nutrition. Our expertise in biological processes at all levels – from molecules to ecosystems – contributes to a sustainable society. The Department educate graduates for a wide range of careers in public administration, business and academia. The Department of Biology  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences .

Deadline 8th February 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen. NTNU Trondheim

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