PhD Position within Turbomachinery in Organic Rankine Cycles

Updated: about 1 month ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 20 Nov 2020

About the position

The Department of Energy and Process Engineering ( ) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is seeking a PhD candidate to work within design optimisation and experimental testing of turboexpanders in organic Rankine cycles (ORC). The successful candidate will be employed full-time by NTNU for a period of three years.

The candidate will be supervised by Associate Professor Lars O. Nord with expertise in power cycles and turbomachinery. The candidate will be co-supervised by Researcher Václav Novotný at the Czech Technical University in Prague with expertise in ORC technologies and expanders.

You will report to Head of Department Professor Terese Løvås.

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will join the DEXPAND project, a joint Czechia-Norwegian research project under the TACR KAPPA programme ( ). The project involves research on optimised expanders for small-scale distributed energy systems.

Efficient, reliable and cost-effective expanders are the key enabling components for many distributed energy systems, such as ORC and other thermodynamic cycles for waste heat recovery, biomass-fired power generation, or low-temperature geothermal resources based on deep energy wells. ORCs are the unrivalled technical solution for generating electricity from low to medium temperature heat sources of limited capacity; therefore, this project aims specifically at the development of expansion machines for these technologies. Current expanders for small systems (1–50 kW electrical power output) are either not in the market, are too expensive, or don’t provide satisfactory performance

To fulfill this knowledge gap and advance toward the implementation of this technology, the PhD project will focus on optimised design and testing of turboexpanders and primarily on axial small-scale turbines in the range of 20-50 kW power output. The tasks of the PhD project include:

  • Apply state-of-the-art shape optimisation methods to the design of axial turbines
  • Investigate the performance of the designed turbines in the new expander test rig located at the NTNU laboratory
  • Use the experimental data to validate and calibrate the mathematical models used for turbomachinery design

The candidate will work in close cooperation with researchers at NTNU and project partners Czech Technical University in Prague and SINTEF.

Required selection criteria

Essential qualification 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 Mechanical Engineering or related field (focus on applied thermodynamics or fluid dynamics is advantageous), or equivalent education with 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.

Applicants are advised to address the following additional qualification requirements. This knowledge can have been obtained through course work, Master’s thesis work, or industrial and research experiences.

  • A good understanding of turbomachinery
  • Background in experimental work
  • Experience with computational fluid dynamics
  • Good written and oral English language skills
  • Please also include a one-page research plan for suggested research topic

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 .

Preferred selection criteria

In addition to the above listed essential qualifications, the following preferred qualifications are also an advantage for the position:

  • Knowledge of axial turbines
  • Knowledge of fluid dynamics with focus on compressible flow
  • Knowledge in applied thermodynamics
  • Experience with numerical optimisation
  • Experience with analysing experimental data and statistical methods
  • Good programming skills in a relevant programming language, such as Python, MATLAB, C++

Personal characteristics

  • Ability to work in teams: promotes effectiveness in groups by facilitating and building on the ideas of others
  • A high level of personal responsibility, initiative, and independent thinking
  • Excellent communication skills with both technical and administrative staff
  • Is aware of their own strengths and weaknesses, pays attention to situations when help from others is needed to do the job effectively
  • The ability to guide Master students in relevant topics.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, 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 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.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering at the Department of Energy and Process Engineering 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. 

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.

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Applicants with European Masters` qualifications from outside Norway are required to include a Diploma Supplement. Applicants with Masters` qualifications from China are required to include confirmation of Masters` Diplomas from  China Credentials Verification (CHSI) : .

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Lars O. Nord, email: . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Ingrid Wiggen, e-mail: .

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-218/20 when applying.

Application deadline: 20.11.20.

Anticipated starting date: March-August 2021.

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. 

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

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 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.

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.

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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 20th November 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Department of Energy and Process Engineering

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