The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD position within dynamic modeling and simulation of thermal power plants with CO2 capture

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    NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    EngineeringChemical engineering
    EngineeringMechanical engineering
    EngineeringProcess engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/07/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Norway › Trondheim

The Department of Energy and Process Engineering (https://www.ntnu.edu/ept) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) is seeking a PhD candidate to work within dynamic process modeling and simulation of thermal power generation with CO2 capture. 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 on plant level dynamics related to decarbonized energy. In addition, the candidate will be co-supervised by Postdoctoral Fellow Marcin Pilarczyk with expertise in energy systems modelling, thermal power plants, and heat transfer.

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås.

Duties of the position

The PhD candidate will join the InnCapPlant project, a joint Polish-Norwegian research project under the POLNOR CCS call. CO2 capture and storage (CCS) could play a role to reduce the carbon footprint of the power generation sector in the short to medium term. The current post-combustion CCS technologies suffer from high costs and energy penalties or fail to achieve the desired capture performance. In addition, these technologies have intrinsic slow dynamics. This can be detrimental in power markets with large penetration of renewable energy sources, where base load power plants are expected to balance the electric grid with frequents startups, ramps, and shutdowns. In this context, the InnCapPlant project aims to demonstrate the potential of a moving bed temperature swing adsorption (MBTSA) process as an effective CO2 capture solution that overcomes the aforementioned limitations. Although the MBTSA has been shown to offer great potential in terms of capture performances and low energy requirements, it is still not clear how to integrate this technology with the power plant in a non-intrusive way.

To fulfill this knowledge gap and advance toward the implementation of this capture technology, the PhD project will focus on how to integrate the MBTSA with a power cycle in a way that minimizes the impact on the net power output and dynamic behavior. The tasks of the PhD project include:

  • Modelling and simulation of the capture process and power plant
  • Validation of the models against experimental data
  • Investigate the integration of the capture process with the power cycle
  • Analyze the dynamic behavior of the system and develop control strategies for flexible operation under transient conditions
  • Linking the fundamental academic research performed in academia, with the applied research performed at SINTEF

The candidate will work in close cooperation with researchers at NTNU, and project partners Cracow University of Technology and SINTEF.

Required selection criteria

Essential qualifications

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, Energy Engineering, Chemical Engineering or related field 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 strictly advised to address the following additional qualification requirements:

  • A good understanding of thermal power plants
  • Knowledge in process engineering
  • Experience with computational tools relevant for dynamic process modeling and simulation, such as, Simulink, Modelica, and gPROMS
  • 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 qualifications

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

  • Knowledge of CO2 capture processes
  • Experience with experimental work or with analyzing experimental data


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

The period of employment is 3 years.

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.

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 jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Name and address of three referees must also be included. 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): http://www.chsi.com.cn/en/.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Lars O. Nord, Lars.Nord@ntnu.no or Postdoctoral Fellow Marcin Pilarczyk, marcin.pilarczyk@ntnu.no. If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Ingrid Wiggen, e-mail: ingrid.wiggen@ntnu.no.

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-145/20 when applying

Application deadline: 31.07.20

Anticipated starting date: January 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.

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