Ph.D.-scholarship in modelling and simulation of solid oxide fuel cell systems

Deadline: 24.10.2023

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences

With about 17,500 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 370 employees and approximately 3,260 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.

The Department of Mechanical and Marine Engineering has 40 employees. More than 70% of the academic staff have first competence, of which 7 are professors. The department has about 600 students and educates engineers. There are 5 educational programs offered at bachelor level (general mechanical engineering, ocean technology, energy technology, marine technology and sustainable production and circular economy), and 2 at master's level (sustainable energy technology and ocean technology i cooperation with University of Bergen). R&D work in energy, materials technology and marine technology is conducted at the department. The department has modern laboratories with, among other things, Marinlab for testing boats and offshore structures. Great emphasis is placed on developing the content of our study programs in close collaboration with the public and private business community, which are employers for our engineers.

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (Høgskulen på Vestlandet, HVL), Faculty of Engineering and Science, has a vacancy for a scholarship (PhD position) in modelling and simulation of solid oxide fuel cell systems for maritime applications

About the position (Ph.D.-scholarship):

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (Høgskulen på Vestlandet, HVL) has an open Ph.D. position with a project period of 4 years at the Department of Mechanical and Marine Engineering. The Ph.D. candidate will be part of interdisciplinary research groups focusing on energy and environmental technology and data science. Due to the nature of the work to be carried out in the project, the candidate will be a part of the Ph.D.-programme Computer Science: Software Engineering, Sensor Networks and Engineering Computing. This programme is located at the Faculty of Engineering and Science at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

Workplace will be at HVL campus Bergen.

Tasks and areas of responsibility:

The shipping industry is undergoing a transformation with respect to propulsion and other energy systems and the types of zero-emissions fuels to be used already in the near future. Modelling and simulation of ship energy systems as a whole and of certain components plays a vital role in finding optimal solutions and operation modes for hybrid propulsion systems.

The main objective of the project to be worked on is the development of simulation models for establishing architectures for controlling a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system, which is part of a maritime energy system. The development is to be carried out with the help of big data analysis and machine learning with data from a test facility where a 100 kW SOFC will be running on renewable fuel as part of a prototype of a maritime propulsion system. The simulation models and control architectures shall aim for optimal operation of the fuel cell with respect to parameters like, for example, cell voltage, load, degradation, and environmental conditions. Furthermore, the simulation models shall be able to help with planning predictive maintenance of the fuel cell stack and its subsystems as well as be usable in simulations of hybrid maritime energy systems.

As part of the required duties (25% of the position), the candidate will join the team focusing on regional development at the faculty and the department. 

This might include:

• Promote more externally funded research projects in collaboration between our research environment and the shipping industry.

• Interact with regional, national and international partners, and work to promote cooperation between the department and the surrounding society (e.g., bachelor and master theses).

• Mobilization to promote research-based innovation in the shipping industry in collaboration with our participation in the project FORREGION Vestland.

• Supporting the department in our work related to lifelong learning in the shipping industry, with emphasis on strengthening the portfolio of flexible and decentralized education.

A separate application to join the Ph.D. programme Computer Science: Software Engineering, Sensor Networks and Engineering Computing must be submitted and accepted within 3 months of starting in the position. The supervisors will help with this procedure.

Qualifications (requirement):

Admission to the Ph.D. programme requires that the applicant holds a master's degree within computer science, informatics, engineering computing, scientific computing, or computational engineering. Candidates from other natural sciences or engineering disciplines, in particular control systems engineering, holding a master's degree with a strong emphasis on computing may also qualify for admission to the programme.

A master’s dissertation of at least 30 ECTS is required.

  • Admission to the Ph.D. programme requires an equivalent of grade B or better on the ECTS grading system for the master’s dissertation and an average equivalent to grade C or better on the ECTS grading system for the courses taken in the master’s programme.
  • Documented programming skills such as Matlab, Python, C++ etc.
  • Documented skills in big data analysis and machine learning.

Favoured qualifications (not a requirement):

  • Knowledge and experience of modelling, simulation and control of energy systems.
  • Knowledge of and experience with energy systems containing fuel cells.
  • Knowledge of and experience with optimization methods.
  • A formal background (bachelor/master’s degree) in control systems engineering is beneficial.

Personal abilities:

  • Ability to contribute towards a good work environment and in teamwork.
  • Excellent communication skills, ability to communicate well in both written and spoken English. Proficiency, written and spoken, in a Scandinavian language is an advantage.

Applicants who have submitted a master’s thesis (but who have not yet been awarded a master’s degree) may also qualify for the position provided that the master`s degree is awarded within 4 weeks after the application deadline. Applicants already holding a Ph.D. are not eligible for this position.

For more information, contact: 

  • Associate Prof. Norbert Lümmen

The PhD candidate will be assigned two academic supervisors at Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, combined with an advisory group with members from both research groups. An application for enrolment should first be submitted after an appointment is made and the supervisor(s) will help with this procedure. Normally the candidate apply for enrolment within three (3) months after the start of the employment according to Regulations relating to programmes of study and examinations at Western Norway University of Applied SciencesHVL § 2-4. 

Application procedure:

Applications will be evaluated by an expert panel 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:

  • Master’s dissertation
  • Copies of selected academic publications (no more than 15)
  • A CV with a complete list of academic publications
  • Diplomas and certificates
  • At least one letter of recommendation, preferably from a previous academic supervisor.

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, the applicants must submit certified translations of these. The transcripts must specify the topics, the course works, and the grades at the bachelor`s and master`s degree levels. 

Applicant whose education is from another country than Norway, need to also attach a certified translation of the diploma and transcript of grades to English or a Scandinavian language, if the original is not in any of these languages. It is required that the applicant enclose a review from NOKUT whether the education (bachelor and master’s degree) is of a scope and level that corresponds to the level of a Norwegian master’s degree. Please see www.nokut.no/en for more information about NOKUT’s general recognition. This may take some time and we recommend you to apply as soon as you know you will apply for this position. If no answer within the application deadline, please enclose documentation from NOKUT that they have received your application.

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 e-mail or to individuals at HVL.


  • 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 

Initial salaries will be offered at grade 54 (code 1017) in the Civil Service pay grade table scale.

There is a compulsory 2 % deduction to the pension fund (see her 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.

Short-listed applicants will be called in for an interview.

Employed on condition that you are granted a work and residence permit (must be considered individually).

Western Norway University of Applied Sciences is subjected to the regulation for export control system. The regulation might be applied in the processing of the applications.


1) Associate Prof. Norbert Lümmen, +47 55 58 76 41, Norbert.Luemmen@hvl.no

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