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Post-doctoral fellow position in data-driven energy system analysis

Deadline: 15.11.2020

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 five campuses Førde, Sogndal, Bergen, Stord og Haugesund.

Our ambition is to build stronger and more 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. Increased international cooperation and engagement in externally funded projects will work towards this goal.

The Faculty of Engineering and Science has approximately 270 employees and approximately 3,200 students. The faculty has a broad educational offer at both bachelor's and master's level in engineering and science, as well as PhD education in computer technology. The Mohns Center for Innovation and Regional Development researches innovation and offers master's education in innovation and entrepreneurship. The diving education offers a one-year vocational school education.

The main part 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 based and take place in close collaboration with regional companies, clusters, health trusts 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.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL), Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences has an open position as a post-doctoral researcher for two years.

The position is funded by the university grant S3UNIP project on Artificial intelligence for sustainable energy. The position is related to the “Data-driven Energy System Analysis” and “Data Science and AI” research groups.

Research group and environment

The researcher at HVL will be affiliated with the data science group (https://www.hvl.no/en/research/group/data-science-group/) and the data-driven energy system analysis group (https://www.hvl.no/en/research/group/data-driven-energy-system-analysis/).

The data science group currently includes 14 professors and associate professors and several graduate students. The group focuses on a branch of Computer Science that studies computational models of reasoning, action, learning, and perception for different applications including healthcare, energy, environment, etc. The data-driven energy system analysis goal is assessing whether sustainable development is an integrative one, which means that we assess the complex interactions in socio-technical-economic systems with equal importance of the environmental dimension. The group currently includes 3 professors and associate professors and graduate students.

Project and duties of the post

We seek candidates who enjoy working at the interface of machine learning and complex networks for energy systems. In reality, energy systems are multilayer networks that operate through multiple types of interactions between their components to perform their emergent functions. Despite advancements in network science, the vast majority of studies only deal with simplified models that are undirected and non-temporal. Those network models rarely take into account causal relationships and non-linear structures. Failing to address concurrent dynamic processes in complex multilayer networks creates significant challenges when addressing estimation and forecasting problems.

This project aims to create machine learning-based models for complex systems in the energy domain. Such data-driven models can transform a large-scale network of networks with many nodes into a compact and simplified model that can adequately reflect real-life energy systems' behavior.

The research groups are involved in European projects such as GridEyeS from the European Space Agency to use satellite imagery to monitor power lines. Also, the EU Horizon 2020 COMETS project, where a Europe-wide inventory of collective action initiatives related to renewable energies is built. The group is leading another EU Horizon 2020 project, EERADATA, on open and fair access to energy data.

The successful applicant is expected to contribute to project management, develop EU funding applications, and publish research papers in high-quality conferences and journals in collaboration with the permanent research staff members.

Main duties of the post

  • Research and algorithm development in the intersection of complex systems, machine learning, and data analysis for energy systems domain
  • Preparation of scientific publications for high-quality, international journals
  • Presentations of research results at international conferences and workshops


The successful applicant must hold a PhD degree in a relevant subject area such as theoretical physics, applied mathematics, electrical engineering, computer science or informatics, or have submitted the PhD thesis before the application deadline. In the latter case, it is required that the PhD defense has been completed prior to the interviews with shortlisted candidates.

The work tasks include study and development of algorithms using toolsets from Bayesian networks, graph theory, and machine learning. Having familiarity with electricity networks fundamentals (electricity generation and delivery) is a plus. The use cases come from the ongoing energy-related project in HVL.

In addition to the required educational background and scientific profile, the following criteria will be evaluated:

  • Solid programming skills (e.g., R, Python, etc.)
  • Solid background in Bayesian networks and machine learning
  • Knowledge in graph theory and causal inference will be considered a plus
  • Knowledge in the analysis of the energy system (e.g., complex interlinkages, power systems, electricity demand, etc.) will be considered a plus
  • Track of strong publications and research experience,
  • Very good English communication and writing skills

Personal skills and abilities

  • The candidate must be diligent and display the ability to work independently, supplemented with regular guidance
  • Being a reliable team member
  • Flexible, social and open-minded

The applicant should be highly motivated, welcoming the ability to work with a dynamic team of interdisciplinary scientists. The work tasks also include writing academic manuscripts, help in supervising PhD students, and grant writing.

The location of the position can be in HVL’s Bergen campus or Sogndal campus. For more information about both campuses, please refer to the HVL webpage.

Application procedure:

Applications will be evaluated by an expert panel consisting of three members. Applicants are asked to submit their application and CV online.Please use the link “Apply for this job” (“Søk stillingen”).

  • The following documentation must be uploaded as an attachment to the online application:
  • Copies of selected academic publications (no more than 5)
  • A CV with a complete list of academic publications
  • Diplomas and certificates

Applicants should indicate which publications or parts of publications should be given special consideration in the evaluation. If the documents submitted are not in a Scandinavian language or in English, applicants must submit certified translations of these.

Applicants should note that the evaluation will be based on the documentation submitted electronically via Jobbnorge within the submission deadline.

The applicants are responsible for ensuring that all the documentation is submitted before the closing date. It is of utmost importance that all publications to be considered in the evaluation are uploaded as an attachment with the application, since these are sent electronically to the expert panel. Applications cannot be sent by email or to individuals at the college.

We offer:

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

The position is remunerated according to the state salary scale, code 1352 Postdoctoral Fellow.

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 State employees Law in Norway ("Lov om statens ansatte)". Organizational changes and changes in the duties and responsibilities associated with the position must be expected.

State employment shall reflect the multiplicity of the population at large to the highest possible degree. Western Norway University of Applied Sciences Bergen 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) Prof. Reza Arghandeh, tlf: +47 55 58 71 95, email: [email protected]

2) Prof. Valeria Jana Schwanitz , tlf: + 47 57 67 61 25, Email: [email protected]

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