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Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Department of Mathematical Sciences

PhD research fellowship position within Computational Geosciences

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has a vacancy for a full-time position as a PhD candidate at the Department of Mathematical Sciences.

The candidate will be enrolled in the PhD program at NTNU but will work in close collaboration with the Computational Geoscience group at SINTEF Digital in Oslo. The group consists of 14 researches and is well known for its open-source simulation software for subsurface flow, MRST (www.sintef.no/MRST) and OPM (https://opm-project.org/). Tentatively, the candidate will also spend one academic year visiting Prof. Albert C. Reynolds at the University of Tulsa.

Work description

The successful candidate will be offered a three-year position. The Department may offer an extension as a teaching assistant for up to six months. This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree. The PhD position is within the research project Digital Subsurface: Flow Diagnostics and Data-Driven Modeling in Optimized Reservoir Management funded by the Research Council of Norway, Equinor, Wintershall, and Total. The project aims to develop efficient computational methods in flow diagnostics, i.e., tools to reveal volumetric connections and communication patterns between injection and production wells in a hydrocarbon reservoir. These tools can be used to quickly pre-screen large ensembles of geomodels, to postprocess existing simulations, or to quickly estimate recovery rates, displacement efficiency, or the economics of a particular recovery strategy. As such, these methods constitute a complementary approach to detailed multiphase reservoir simulations. Flow diagnostics is a relatively recent concept which is currently being implemented in several commercial software solutions.

The candidate will develop and study data-driven surrogate models amenable for optimization problems in reservoir management, such as injection planning and well placement. In addition, representation of uncertainties in geology and fluid properties for these models will be an important part of the PhD project. New computational methods and models will be prototyped within MRST (Matlab Reservoir Simulation Toolbox) and OPM (Open Porous Media Initiative) using MATLAB or C++. The candidate will have the opportunity to work within a wide range of disciplines from computational mathematics applied to challenging (industrial) problems. The candidate is expected to work independently and at the same time collaborate closely with other members of the project team.


A master's degree (at the time of employment) in applied mathematics/physics with a strong focus on modelling and computational mathematics with very good results is required - average grade B or better, or education at the equivalent level. In particular, candidates with a master's degree in petroleum engineering will only be considered if they can demonstrate sufficient proficiency in mathematics. Importance will be attached to personal suitability.

We are looking for a candidate with strong background in applied/computational mathematics and numerical modelling, including (but not restricted to) finite element/finite volume methods, numerical linear algebra, optimization, inverse problems and statistics. Knowledge of reservoir engineering and subsurface flow is a benefit. Communication and interpersonal skills and the ability to be self-driven will be emphasized.

Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Formal regulations

Appointments are made in accordance with the regulations in force regarding terms of employment for PhD candidates issued by the Ministry of Education and Research, with relevant parts of the additional guidelines for appointment as a PhD candidate at NTNU. Applicants must undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme of study during their period of employment. The person who is appointed must comply with the conditions that apply at any time to employees in the public sector. In addition, a contract will be signed regarding the period of employment.

Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See http://www.ime.ntnu.no/forskning/phd for information about PhD studies at NTNU.

Salary conditions

The position follows code 1017, salary grade 51 – 62 in the Norwegian State salary scale, normally in salary grade 51, gross kr 449 000 per year, depending on qualifications. A deduction of 2% is made as a statutory contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.


We can offer:

  • an informal and friendly workplace with dedicated colleagues
  • academic challenges
  • attractive schemes for housing loan, insurance and pension in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering wants to attract outstanding and creative candidates who can contribute to our ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment. We encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of the gender, disability or cultural background.

For further information about the position, please contact Prof. Knut-Andreas Lie (+47 930 58 721, Knut-Andreas.Lie@sintef.no )

The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector.

Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

The application with a CV and certified copies of diplomas and certificates must be sent electronically via this page (www.jobbnorge.no ) with information about education and relevant experience (all in one combined PDF file).

Mark the application IE 153-2018.

Deadline for applications: 31.08.2018.

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Om stillingen

  • Søknadsfrist
    31. august 2018
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    NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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