The University of Agder has more than 1200 employees and 12000 students. This makes us one of the largest workplaces in Southern Norway. Our staff research, teach and disseminate knowledge from a variety of academic fields. Co-creation of knowledge is our common vision. We offer a broad range of study programmes in many fields. We are situated at two modern campuses in Kristiansand and Grimstad respectively.

We are an open and inclusive university marked by a culture of cooperation. The aim of the university is to further develop education and research at a high international level.

PhD Research Fellow in Coupled Dynamics Between Vessel and Crane

The University of Agder invites applications for a PhD fellowship in Coupled Dynamics Between Vessel and Crane. The position is linked to the Department of Engineering Sciences and the contract is for a period of 3 years. Starting date in December 2017 or negotiated with the faculty.


The Department of Engineering Sciences has more than 90 employees in scientific positions, and more than 1500 students at all levels. A variety of research is being conducted within all the groups Mechatronics, Renewable Energy, Civil Engineering and Industrial Economy, and we also welcome interdisciplinary projects within the department or with other research groups. This position will be associated with the Mechatronics Group. We have a broad international cooperation and we have a close cooperation with industrial partners and public services in the region. This is a benefit both to teaching and research. The partners contribute with assignments, competence and resources.


Brief Description of the Research Project


With the increased focus on offshore operations to deep water fields, it is important to perform crane operations faster with increased weather operation window. In addition, necessary precautions towards the safety of human lives, environment and property should be taken. To achieve satisfactory control performance, the investigation of coupled dynamics between vessel and crane is very important. The accurate control for the dynamic positioning of the payload in a vessel-mounted crane system is challenging due to the exogenous disturbances such as actuator movement, accidental collisions, the motion of the vessel induced by waves and ocean currents, and so on. The objective is to increase the control performance of the crane and vessel, and ensure the safety of operations.


The task of the project includes:

  • modelling of vessel dynamics and crane dynamics
  • analysis of coupled dynamics between large crane, small vessel and heavy payloads
  • response amplitude operator (RAO)
  • developing controllers to precisely locate crane payloads under poor sea environments
  • motion compensation and heave compensation
  • implementing and testing the developed models and control design.

The applicant should have:

  • Strong academic credentials, written and spoken English proficiency
  • Strong knowledge in systems and control
  • Good academic record, showing a strong theoretical/mathematical background and a strong interest in dynamical control systems
  • Strong programming skills and years of experience in using numerical tools such as MATLAB

To be regarded as an eligible applicant, the applicant must hold a master’s degree in mechatronics, control, marine technology or related area.


To be considered for this position, applicants must have either already finished their master’s degree during the last five years or have a date for the defense of the master’s thesis that will take place not later than summer 2018. In any case, the master’s thesis should be related to one or several topics listed for this position.


The position places great demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, and any previous research and development work. Relevant industrial experience, personal suitability and good teamwork skills will also be emphasized.


Applicants must prepare a research proposal (preliminary project description), to be submitted as attachment to the electronic application. The proposal should not extend beyond 2 pages, including literature list and should present and discuss possible research challenges with a description and tentative approaches and methods to answer the research questions within the presented frame. The proposal should also include a tentative schedule for the PhD project.


Regarding the English skills, please check here to see if an English test is required.


Further provisions relating to the position as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the “Regulations concerning terms and conditions of employment for the position of Post-doctoral research fellow, research fellow, research assistant and resident”.


Personal suitability and good teamwork skills will be emphasized in the evaluation as well as relevant practical experience. Research Fellows are expected to contribute to the active research community at the University. The positions place demands on the applicants’ capacity for independent goal-oriented work, ability to concentrate and attention to detail. Applicants will be assessed on the basis of academic background and results, attainment, and any previous research activity, in addition to a research proposal submitted with the application.


Research visits to an external institution or with a national or international partner for part of the period of employment may be anticipated, as indicated in the above text.


Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before appointment.



The position is remunerated according to the State salary scale, code 1017 Research Fellow, salary NOK 435 500 gross per year. A 2 % compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.


The Norwegian public service is committed to reflect the diversity of society, and the personnel policy of the University of Agder aims to achieve a balanced workforce. All qualified persons are therefore encouraged to apply for the position, irrespective of cultural background, gender, age or disability.


Appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions. The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the public service.



Submit your application and CV online. Please click on the link “Apply for this job”. The following documentation should be submitted as attachments to the online application:

  • A letter of application which includes a rationale for applying for the position together with an outline of the applicant’s research interests, motivation, background and thoughts related to the proposed project
  • Certificates and/or grades for all post-secondary education, up to and including the bachelor's level
  • Master's degree/higher degree certificate, with a summary of the courses/subjects included in the degree
  • Applicants with a foreign higher education must attach an official description of the grading system used at the issuing institution
  • Applicants who are required to document their English proficiency must submit their TOEFL or IELTS test results (these may be forwarded after the closing date)
  • An additional assessment of English may be undertaken at the time of interview
  • Summary and links to the applicant's scientific publications if produced
  • A short research proposal (preliminary) that sets out background, rationale, recent work and research design for the intended study. This should not extend beyond about 2 pages, but it will form an important part of the evaluation of candidates

Original documents must be presented for verification to the University of Agder. Successful candidates will be asked, normally during the interview, to ensure that the issuing university submits documents in a sealed envelope directly to UiA or provide access to their documents online, which allows UiA to verify the authenticity of these electronic documents via a secure website hosted at the issuing university (contact person at UiA will be provided later for certain candidates).


The applicant is fully responsible for submitting complete documentation. Without complete documentation, we cannot, unfortunately, include you in the assessment process.


All documentation of education must be in the original language and in English, Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish (if the original language is not one of these), the application should include a translation should preferably be from the issuing university. Additional documentation must be in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

Closing date: 31.05.18


For further information please contact Professor Jing Zhou, tel. +47 37 23 31 91, e- mail , Professor Geir Hovland, tel. +47 37 23 33 27, e-mail or Assistant Head of Department Tom Viggo Nilsen, tel. +47 37 23 32 55, e-mail .


In accordance with §25(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, applicants may request that they are not identified in the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the name of applicants. Applicants will be advised of the University’s intention to exercise this right.

Søk stillingen

Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    31. mai 2018
  • Arbeidsgiver
    University of Agder
  • Nettside
  • Kommune
  • Jobbnorge-ID
  • Intern-ID
    Ref. 68/17
  • Omfang
  • Varighet

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