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Faculty of Natural Science

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

PhD research fellowships in Materials Science and Engineering – Nanothermodynamics for Molecular Machines

Two PhD fellowships are available on the topic: “Nanothermodynamics for Molecular Machines” at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The aim of the projects will be to develop thermodynamic models, theory, and computational methods to describe the thermodynamic state and transitions of molecular machines.

About the research project

In this project, we will use state-of-the-art computer simulations and thermodynamic modelling to study small molecular machines within the framework of nanothermodynamics. For systems consisting of few atoms, the thermodynamic description deviates from what we know about thermodynamics for macroscopic systems. Using nanothermodynamics, we have gained significant insight into size effects for systems consisting just a few atoms, i.e. far from the thermodynamic limit. Classical molecular simulations allow us to study small systems in detail, and study how the thermodynamics depends on the system size. The ultimate goal of the project is to extend on the current knowledge of molecular machines, and make way for extending the nanothermodynamic description to describe biological systems.


The candidates should hold a university degree (Master of Science or similar) in material science, mechanical engineering, chemistry, physics, or equivalent. Students graduating with a Master degree spring of 2018 are encouraged to apply. We are looking for candidates that have experience in thermodynamics, computer modelling, molecular simulations, DFT/ab initio simulations, or continuum modelling. A good candidate can work independently in a cross-disciplinary environment, and come up with creative solutions to the problems presented in the project. The candidates should have good communication skills, and be able to discuss scientific challenges and results with other graduate students, as well as colleagues and other researchers in the field.

Detailed information on our PhD programs can be found at: https://www.ntnu.edu/nv/phd
The regulations for PhD programs at NTNU state that the applicant must have a Master's degree or equivalent, with at least 5 years of studies. To be accepted into the program, the applicant must have an average grade of at least B within a scale of A-E for passing grades (A best) from the two least years of their programs. Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

Terms of employment

Applicants must agree to participate in organized doctoral study programs within the period of the appointment. A contract will be drawn up regarding the period of appointment and work-related duties.

The appointment of the PhD will be made according to Norwegian guidelines for universities and university colleges and to the general regulations regarding university employees. The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. (To undertake the teaching duties, it is a requirement that the candidate speaks Norwegian or another Scandinavian language.)

The position as PhD is remunerated according to the Norwegian State salary scale. There is a 2% deduction for superannuation contribution. Tentative start-date of the appointment will be August 1st 2018.

For more information about the position please contact: Associate Professor Sondre Kvalvåg Schnell, e-mail: sondre.k.schnell@ntnu.no. Information about the NTNU department and the research group can be found online:  http://www.ntnu.edu/mse  and http://www.ntnu.edu/mse/research/ceramics

The application should contain:
• CV including certificates from Bachelor and Master as well as Reference letters.
• List of publications with bibliographical references.
• Documentation of English language proficiency (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS, etc.) if English or a Scandinavian language is not the applicant's mother tongue.
• A statement on when the applicant can start in the position if selected.

Applications must be submitted electronically through this page. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered.

Mark the application with ref.no NV-09/18.

Application deadline is February 9, 2018.



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Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    9. februar 2018
  • Arbeidsgiver
    NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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