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PhD position in risk modelling and ICT for fire disaster prevention

Deadline: 10.01.2020

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science has an available PhD position in Risk Modelling and ICT for Fire Disaster Prevention

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Faculty of Engineering and Science (FIN) has one available position as PhD Research fellow in Risk Modelling and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) for Fire Disaster Prevention. This is a 100 % position for 3 years. The PhD Research Fellow will be part of the ICT-oriented PhD programme in Computer Science (www.hvl.no/en/studies-at-hvl/study-programmes/2019h/phdcs/). The research and PhD programme in Computer Science currently include 20 Professors and Associate Professors, 25 PhD and Post-Doctoral fellows, and a number of master students. The place of employment is at campus Haugesund or campus Bergen.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

With about 16,000 students, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest higher education institutions in Norway. A broad range of academic programmes are offered at Bachelor, Master and PhD levels, spread out on the five campuses Førde, Sogndal, Bergen, Stord and Haugesund.

Our ambition is to build strong and solid academic and research environments that will interact nationally and internationally. The aim is to become a recognized actor on the international higher education arena. We work towards this goal by international cooperation and engagement in externally funded projects.

The Faculty of Engineering and Science has 270 employees and 3200 students. The faculty has a broad education portfolio offered at bachelor and master level in engineering and sciences, as well as PhD education in computer technology. The Mohn center for Innovation and Regional Development researches and offers master programs in innovation and entrepreneurship. The diver training program offers a one-year vocational education.

The majority of the faculty's activities are in Haugesund, Bergen, Sogndal and Førde, but we also offer decentralized education in Florø, Kristiansund and Stord. The faculty's activities are internationally rooted and we work in close collaboration with regional companies, clusters, health enterprises and the public sector, including other institutions in the university and college sector. This applies to research, development, innovation, and not least, education with student projects at all levels.

The Department of Safety, Chemistry and Biomedical laboratory sciences has over 60 employees in full-time and part-time positions inbcluding 7 Professors, 17 Associate Professors, 24 Assistant Professors and 8 Engineers. In addition, there are 8 PhD Research Fellows associated with the academic environment at the institute. The department has four bachelor programs and one master program. In Bergen, we have a bachelor program for bioengineering and chemistry engineering. At campus Haugesund we have a bachelor program for fire engineering education and HSE engineering education as well as a master program in fire safety. The department has laboratories with state-of-the-art instrument parks, a broad research activity and close collaboration with many companies in the region.

About the PhD project

The prospective PhD Research Fellow will be a member of the interdisciplinary project "Reducing fire disaster risk through dynamic risk assessment and management (DYNAMIC)" supported by the Research Council of Norway. We are seeking a PhD Research Fellow interested in designing, developing and testing of warning systems for potential fire disasters in the built environment and in the wildland-urban interface. The PhD project will give special attention to the Norwegian context. Target groups for the warning systems will be fire brigade officers, prescribed burner groups and the general public. Systems shall be developed and experimentally evaluated to handle potential hazardous condition warnings as well as warnings during ongoing fires. The PhD project will investigate how modelling and warning system technologies can support proactive emergency management. Interests in fire safety, risk modelling and communication systems are appreciated. The overall objective is to develop validated technology and tools for the fire and rescue services.

Research environment

The computer science and ICT research environment at HVL includes the research themes of software engineering, engineering computing, and sensor networks. The programme has a strong focus on use-inspired and applied research, and on ICT as an enabling technology. The Fire Safety research environment at HVL, campus Haugesund, has a strong focus on fire disaster prevention including risk understanding, fire dynamics and emergency management. The research environments have cooperation with many national and international research groups, national and regional industry partners, and public sector agencies. The current PhD Research Fellow position is focused on modelling of fire disaster risk and the engineering of software technology for early warning systems providing improved emergency management and fire disaster prevention.

The PhD Research Fellow will be assigned two academic supervisors at the Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, combined with and advisory group with members from both research groups. An application for enrolment should first be submitted after an appointment is made. The supervisor(s) will help with this procedure. The candidate must be enrolled as a PhD Research Fellow within 3 months from the start of the employment.

Key duties and responsibilities:

  • Plan and perform research to design, develop and test warning systems for potential fire disasters in the built environment and the wildland-urban interface
  • Conduct research, applying relevant methods within qualitative and quantitative studies, assess data, interpret and form conclusions
  • Write scientific manuscripts for national seminars, international workshops, conferences and peer-reviewed journals
  • Travel may be needed as part of the position. It is required to visit the other campus on a regular basis


  • Relevant MSc Degree in (or closely related to) system engineering, software engineering, computer science, computing, information and communication technologies, or in fire safety with a strong emphasis on computing. According to the Norwegian system, the grades should be minimum a B grade on the master thesis
  • The person that is hired must fulfill the requirements for admission into the PhD program in Computer Science: Software Engineering, Sensor Networks and Engineering Computing, and must meet the formal admission requirements for this PhD programme. (For more information, see https://www.hvl.no/en/studies-at-hvl/study-programmes/2019h/phdcs)
  • In order to communicate with fire brigades and civilians, fluency in a Scandinavian language is an advantage
  • Competence and grades on completed course work in MSc Degree

In addition to the required educational background and language requirements, the following criteria will be evaluated:

  • Experience with teaching and research
  • Publications
  • Practical software engineering skills and experience

Personal skills:

  • Ability to work alone, in small groups, among multiple discipline experts
  • Good communication skills, both orally and in writing
  • Diligent and have the ability to work independently, supplemented with regular guidance
  • Strong motivation for completing the PhD within the given time frame (2020-2023) and contributing to research within the field

Application procedure:

Please send your resume, CV, certificates and diplomas by clicking the button marked with «Søk stillingen» on this site. We kindly inform you that your application will be assessed by the information entered in www.jobbnorge.no at the application deadline. The applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the documentation is submitted before the closing date, including the scientific work (up to 15), complete publication list, certificates and diplomas. If the diplomas, transcripts or other documentation are not in a Scandinavian language or English, the applicant must upload the certified translations. If the attachments exceed 15 MB, they must be compressed before uploading or attaching as a link.

The appointment board is Faculty of Engineering and Science (FIN) at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences. Applicants to PhD positions will be assessed by an expert committee. Based upon the expert committee’s evaluation and recommendation, the qualified applicants will be invited for an interview and trial lecture. Applications cannot be sent by e-mail or to individuals at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

We offer:

  • Exciting academic environment with the possibility of competence enhancement and development
  • Opportunities for physical training within the working hours
  • Good occupational pension, insurance and loan schemes from The Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

The position as PhD candidate is paid according to the Government's salary regulation, in position code 1017, Ltr. 54, NOK 479 600.

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see http://www.spk.no/en for more information). The successful applicant must comply with the guidelines that apply to the position at any time.

General information:

The appointment will be made in accordance with the regulations for the State employees Law in Norway ("Lov om statens ansatte)".

State employment shall reflect the multiplicity of the population at large to the highest possible degree. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences has therefore adopted a personnel policy objective to ensure that we achieve a balanced age and gender composition and the recruitment of persons of various ethnic backgrounds.

Information about the applicant may be made public even though the applicant has requested not to be named in the list of applicants. The applicant will be notified if his/her request is not respected. Applicants may be called in for an interview.


1) Professor Torgrim Log (fire safety), phone: +47 900 500 01, e-mail: [email protected]

2) Professor Lars Michael Kristensen (ICT), phone: +47 55 58 71 64, e-mail: [email protected]

3) Professor Håvard Helstrup, Coordinator of PhD Program on Computer Science, phone: (+47) 55 58 75 61, e-mail: [email protected]

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