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PhD in the area of Industry 4.0 Digital Twin for Offshore Wind Farms

Norwegian University of Science and Technology

At the Department of ICT and Natural Sciences, we have a vacancy for a Ph.D. candidate in the area of industry 4.0 digital twin for offshore wind farms.

The term digital twin refers to a digital representation of a physical asset sufficient to meet the requirements of targeted use cases. Digital twins can be used during the conceptualization, design, and engineering phases of a new asset and during the operation and maintenance phases of an asset (e.g. for energy production optimization, predictive maintenance, simulation, quality management). Security, system integration, interoperability, and connectivity are fundamental aspects for assets aiming to leverage the concept of digital twin. This presupposes the standardization of interfaces and data formats, information-modelling, communication, and established open standardized architectures in the industry. Various associations supported by numerous industrial enterprises are collaborating towards the establishment and maturation of standards for digitalization in the industry.

A main challenge in asset-heavy industrial companies is not the lack of digital representations of facilities and equipment; there are huge amounts of data around. The challenge is that the asset data (i.e. various pieces of the digital twin) is partly locked into several different data systems/applications where the data is defined purely for the application purpose using their own language, information models, interfaces, and access regimes – with limited standardization. Among the different standardization and interoperability initiatives, Asset Administration Shell (AAS), a key concept of Plattform Industrie 4.0 and adopted by the Industrial Digital Twin Association (IDTA), proposes a standardized electronic representation of industrial assets enabling digital twins and interoperability between automated industrial systems and Cyber Physical System (CPS).

The idea of this project is to leverage the use of AAS for digital twin development of offshore wind farms. The PhD student will investigate current applications of AAS in other industries that could be relevant for wind farms, possibility to transfer AAS learning and solutions from other industries. In general, this task should look at the opportunities of using the AAS framework in the offshore wind industry and highlight possible challenges for implementation, which include architecture design, data requirements, predictive analytics, information modeling, and simulation and visualization solutions for asset management and predictive maintenance. Furthermore, the PhD student will be expected to implement prototypes of simulation and visualization solutions based on Digital twin (AAS-based).

This PhD project is a part of the PERSEUS doctoral programme: A collaboration between NTNU- Norway’s largest university, 11 top-level academic partners in 8 European countries, and 8 industrial partners within sectors of high societal relevance.

Within PERSEUS we will recruit 40 PhD candidates who want to contribute to a smart, safe and sustainable future. We are looking for highly skilled PhD candidates motivated to approach societal challenges within one of the following thematic areas:

  • Big data and AI
  • Digital Twins
  • Internet of Things
  • Extended Reality
  • Information and Cyber Security

All participants in the PERSEUS network bring unique and important qualities with them into the doctoral programme. The PERSEUS PhD candidates will have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers in the partner institutions and in other project consortia, and benefit from these collaborative research and education activities.

As part of the PERSEUS team you will work alongside other highly motivated and talented PhD candidates and researchers. You will also have access to the knowledge base, state-of-the-art research infrastructure, and impact orientation of the partners in the team.

In addition to your education and development within the thematic research area, you will gain transferable skills within project development and management, science communication, research ethics, innovation and entrepreneurial thinking, as well as basic university didactics.

As a PERSEUS PhD candidate, you will be employed by NTNU. During your stay, you will do a 2-3 month international stay in Germany, and a 1-2 month national stay with Equinor, one of the PERSEUS partners. This will allow you to extend your network within academia and industry, and to learn about your research area from an academic, innovation, and societal perspective.

The duration of the PhD employment is 36 months

Starting gross salary is 491 200 NOK/year (equal to approx. 50.133 EUR/year by the exchange rate of May 2021)

We are looking for PhD candidates from all nationalities, who want to contribute to our quest to create knowledge for a better world. PERSEUS recruits candidates according to the EU’s mobility rule, i.e. applicants cannot have spent more than 12 months in Norway during the last 3 years.

We believe in fair and open processes. All applications will be considered through a transparent evaluation procedure, with independent observers involved.

You will report to Professor Agus Hasan as the main scientific supervisor of the research.

The position’s working place is NTNU campus in Ålesund.

We look forward to welcome you to the PERSEUS team.

Duties of the position

  • develop digital twin solution in the context of industry 4.0 for wind farms;
  • undertaking the necessary courses (30 ECTS) as part of the PhD programme;
  • submitting an application for admission and a research plan no later than 3 months after the employment;
  • conducting high quality research and report progress on a regular basis and in agreement with the supervisors.

Required selection criteria

  • International mobility requirements: Applicants of any age and any nationality will be eligible as far as they fulfil the mobility requirement of the COFUND programme, namely, the applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of the host organization (Norway) for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the call deadline of PERSEUS.
  • Education requirements: 5 years of higher education (BSC and MSC) or education equal to (300 ECTS). The grade requirements are B or higher (based on NTNU’s grading scale). Education will have to be documented by diploma supplement or equivalent documentation in English and include a description of the educational system. International Relations do require Chinese diplomas to be verified using CHSI. The NTNU Office of International Relations will evaluate degrees and diplomas.
  • Language skill requirements: The applicants will be asked to provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following certificates may be used as such evidence: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).
  • Export of Knowledge Control: The PhD candidates who, based on a comprehensive first-hand assessment, might come into conflict with legislation governing exports of knowledge, technology and services will not advance further from the first stage in the recruitment process. For further information, please refer to the Export Control Act.

In addition, the candidate must have:

  • academic background in computer science, cybernetics engineering, energy resources engineering, or other relevant engineering background,
  • strong programming skills, e.g., C++ and Python,
  • ability to thrive and contribute to the work environment,
  • ability to interact and cooperate with actors in industry, academia, and authorities.

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

  • hands-on experience in data and information modeling,
  • work experience from relevant industry, especially DevOps and wind energy business is strongly favored,
  • experience with data management and visualization software.

Personal characteristics

  • be scientifically curious and open to new research challenges,
  • demonstrate independence and persistence in addressing technical problems,
  • ability to work independently but also in a team,
  • commitment and delivery with respect to deadlines.

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 3 years.

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

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.

Please submit your application electronically via Jobbnorge website. Applications submitted elsewhere/incomplete applications will not be considered. Applicants must upload the following documents within the closing date:

  • CV including information relevant for the qualifications, submitted together with an identification document
  • Name, current affiliation and email address of at least 2 persons that will provide reference for you
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and transcripts and the reference letter
  • Applicants from universities outside of Norway will be requested to send a diploma supplement (or a similar document) which describes in details the study and grading system, and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).
  • A research interest description (maximum 2 pages) that includes a short presentation of the motivation for a PhD study, suitability for the position and the applicant’s view towards listed research challenges as well as the theoretical and methodological approach to the challenges.
  • Scientific publications (if any). 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 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.

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 Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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 Professor Agus Hasan, telephone: +47 93461014, email: or Associate Professor Francesco Scibilia, email: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Maren Skuterud Rasmussen, e-mail:

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2021/43838 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.09.2021

Fully Funded Scholarships for International Students to Work and Study Abroad

NTNU – knowledge for a better world

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 ICT and Natural Sciences

Our campus in Ålesund works in a partnership with industry that is in a class of its own among Norwegian universities. This ensures a practical focus for our study programmes, while they are firmly anchored in modern theory. The Department offers programmes in automation engineering, computer engineering, electric power systems, simulation and visualization. Our research areas include autonomous vessels, robotics, cybernetics, medical technology and health informatics, and artificial intelligence. The Department of ICT and Natural Sciences is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

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