PhD Position, Ocean Grid Research Control Design for Ensuring Interoperability

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Jan 2022

About the position

A PhD position is vacant at the Department of Engineering Cybernetics of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) within the project "Ocean Grid Research". 

The Ocean Grid Research Project is part of a larger initiative on Ocean Grid technology supported by the Norwegian Government’s Green Platform programme which aims to develop cost-competitive energy technologies for the international market through research-based innovation. The prominent driver for this research is the ambition to re-align the Norwegian offshore industry from Oil & Gas-based activities towards offshore wind energy and hydrogen technology.

The PhD candidate will work in an interdisciplinary research team including 3 other PhD students at NTNU and researchers at SINTEF Energy Research within the Ocean Grid Research project. The PhD activities will also be a part of the larger "Ocean Grid" initiative which includes leading energy companies and developers, suppliers, and manufacturers. More details about the Ocean Grid project are available at this link .

The position will report to Adjunct Associate Professor Jon Are Suul as the main scientific supervisor of the PhD study. 

Duties of the position

The research activities of the PhD position will be aimed at developing methods and tools for guaranteeing interoperability between power electronic converters in future ocean grid system topologies. A first approach can be to identify methods for ensuring interoperability by functions embedded in the control system at the design stage. This can include development of control system design methods for ensuring robustness against changes of parameters and operating conditions. Principles for robust control or passivity-based control can be used as a starting point for control system design. Another relevant task can be to develop methods for verifying stability and interoperability based on available information at pre-commissioning stages of new elements to be introduced in offshore power systems under gradual expansion. 

In addition to the individual research activities, the PhD candidate must fulfil the following duties:

  • During the employment period the research activity of the candidate will have to be coordinated with other ongoing activities within    the project, and the candidate might have to contribute to multidisciplinary work together with other PhD candidates and researchers. Therefore, good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary project team are expected.
  • The candidate is expected to present results for other research partners and user partners in the Ocean Grid project consortium and to publish results from the project in scientific journals and conferences.

Required selection criteria

The objective of the PhD education is to qualify for scientific research of high international standards. The PhD education at NTNU has a nominal duration of three years of full-time study and includes required coursework or similar academic training comprising a minimum of 30 ECTS credits. The most crucial component of PhD education is an independent scientific research project carried out under academic supervision, which should result in a PhD thesis. The PhD degree is conferred based on these two elements and the doctoral examination, which consists of a trial lecture and a public defence of the scientific thesis.

The applicants for the position are expected to: 

  • Hold a MSc or equivalent degree (i.e., equivalent to 120 ECTS credits) in control engineering, electric power engineering, applied mathematics or another topic that is directly relevant to the position
  • Have a strong technical interest in electrical power systems, power electronic conversion systems and/or renewable power generation, and some exposure to at least one or more of the following research topics:
    •  Control of grid connected power electronic converters 
    •  Modelling and control of HVDC transmission systems based on Modular Multilevel Converters
    •  Modern control theory applied to power electronic converters
    •  Modelling techniques for stability analysis of power electronic systems
    •  Optimization problems and optimization-based control
    •  Numerical methods for time-domain simulation
  • Have experience with time-domain simulation of electrical systems
  • Have a strong academic background from previous studies and an average grade from the MSc degree program, or equivalent education, equal to B or better according to NTNU's grading scale. Applicants that do not have letter grades from previous studies, must have an equally good academic basis. Candidates with a weaker grade background may be assessed if they can document particularly suitability for a PhD education.
  • Satisfy the requirement for entering the PhD programme at NTNU. Please see  for additional  information .
  • Possess very good English language skills for both written and oral communication. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside the 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). 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.

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

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills, and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for the shortlisted applicants.

It is expected that the selected candidate will be able to join the project as soon as possible.

Personal characteristics

The candidate is expected to: 

  • Be scientifically curious and open to new research challenges
  • Demonstrate independence and persistence in addressing technical problems 
  • Be structured, systematic and solution-oriented
  • Be flexible and reliable, with ability to work effectively in an international interdisciplinary team of professors, researchers, PhD students and industrial experts. 
  • Have good dissemination skills

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified for the PhD position, emphasis will be placed on education, experience, and personal suitability.

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 for three years.

Appointment to the PhD position requires formal admittance to the PhD programme in Engineering Cybernetics ( ). Therefore, you must formally qualify for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering within three months of your employment.

As a PhD candidate, you will have to successfully complete the PhD academic training programme, which includes mandatory course work and other obligatory activities. Further information about PhD studies at NTNUs Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering is available at . 

The position is fully funded by the Research Council of Norway.

It is a prerequisite that you can be present at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis.

The employment for the position 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 its attachments are identified to conflict with these regulations will not be considered for the position. Since the research project funding the PhD position is related to critical infrastructure, it is a prerequisite that the candidate can work on associated research topics under the current regulations.

After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

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 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 also include:

  • A cover letter with a brief description of the personal motivation for the research topic, a summary of the previous scientific work of the applicant and an explanation of how the applicant sees her/his background as suitable for the position.
  • A draft research proposal of maximum 3 pages for the PhD study, where the candidate presents her/his own ideas for research work within the PhD programme at NTNU and how this can be applied in the context of the overall project funding the position. This proposal will be neither final nor binding for the project.
  • A CV summarizing previous education, working experience, scientific experience including publications and any other qualifying activities. 
  • Copies of educational certificates, including transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. Letters of recommendation from academic supervisors can also be included. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information for at least two referees (including a statement of the relation to the candidate)
  • Documentation of English language proficiency

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 documented academic qualifications. The motivation expressed in the cover letter and the draft research proposal will also be considered in the assessment and the identification of the candidates to be invited for an interview.  

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 Adjunct Associate Professor Jon Are Suul, telephone +47 95910913, email .

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 2021/58734 when applying.

Application deadline: 15.01.2022.

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 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 15th January 2022
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Project
Place of service Trondheim

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