PhD position within Machine learning-based analysis of aquaculture environment

Deadline: 08.01.2024

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU will contribute to securing the future of life through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation. We have the country's most satisfied university students, who receive research-based education in a unique student environment. Our graduates gain a high level of competence in interdisciplinary collaboration and are popular in the labor market. NMBU has internationally leading research environments in several subjects. Together with our partners in society and business, we contribute to solving some of the biggest societal challenges of our time.

We focus on innovation, communication and entrepreneurship because we believe these challenges are best solved with joint efforts. We believe that a good working environment is characterized by diversity.

If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at  www.nmbu.no/en

About The Faculty of Science and Technology

The Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) develops research-based knowledge and educates civil engineers and lecturers needed to reach the UN's sustainability goals. We have approximately 150 employees, 70 PhD students and soon 1500 students. The education and research at REALTEK cover a broad spectrum of disciplines.

This includes data science, mechanics and process engineering, robotics, construction and architecture, industrial economics, environmental physics and renewable energy, geomatics, water and environmental engineering, applied mathematics as well as secondary school teacher education in natural sciences and use of natural resources such as in agriculture, forestry and aquaculture. The workplace is in Ås, 30 km from Oslo.

What is it really like to work at the Faculty of Science and Technology (REALTEK) at NMBU?

 - Guided tour of the Faculty of Science and Technology on Vimeo

We seek you who can develop and apply models to understand and improve sustainable aquaculture!

About the position

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant PhD–position related to computer vision in the aquaculture sector. The PhD position is for a period of 3 years, or up to 4 years if teaching and other work duties are agreed.

The research motivation associated with the aquaculture sector is characterized by two watchwords namely cheaper and sustainable. Therefore, understanding different aquaculture species in complicated water environment is important for sustainable aquaculture. Motion and other traits of these species present significant information to support a variety of functions including detection, tracking, prediction, and counting. The estimation of such information is the basis of scientific aquaculture species management and sustainable production.

The project aims to investigate machine learning based traits understanding method for aquaculture. We will also consider computational fluid dynamics based method for their health, welfare, and feed distribution.

We seek a PhD candidate who will consider data from multiple camera sensors and will perceive the full representation of these aquaculture species. The traditional methods put stress on these aquaculture species that affect their health and welfare. These are the factors that could be avoided by sustainable aquaculture supported by the machine learning-based techniques.

The goal is to evaluate biomass, identify these aquaculture species and their behaviors, and predict water quality parameters. The biomass information is a significantly important parameter often adopted to classify, feed, and estimate yield. The project will also facilitate other aspects without handling the aquaculture species to provide trends and the ongoing development of the aquaculture situation.

An application for a PhD position at NMBU is at the same time an application for admission to a PhD programme at the institution. The documentation that is necessary to ensure that the admission requirements are met must be uploaded as an attachment.

Main tasks

PhD main tasks:

  • Develop novel machine learning models for understanding and improving sustainable aquaculture.
  • Develop computational fluid dynamics-based method for aquaculture species health, welfare, and disease control.
  • Develop machine learning-based techniques for detection, tracking, and counting.
  • Develop tailored models to perceive full representation of the aquaculture species, their physical layouts, and their behaviors.
  • Write academic papers and present the work at international conferences.

The successful candidate is expected to enter a plan for the progress of the work towards a PhD degree during the first months of the appointment, with a view to completing a doctorate within the PhD scholarship period.


The successful applicant must meet the conditions defined for admission to a PhD programme at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year master’s degree or a cand.med.vet. degree, with a learning outcome corresponding to the descriptions in the Norwegian Qualification Framework, second cycle. Candidates submitting MSs thesis within 31. December 2023 may be considered. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and be able to document proficiency in both written and oral English. For more detailed information on the admission criteria please see the PhD Regulations and the relevant PhD programme description.

The applicant must document expertise and interest in the research subject.

Required Academic qualifications:

  • MSc degree in one of the following disciplines or similar:
    • Computer science
    • Data science
    • Mathematics

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Experience with developing machine learning model
  • Experience with computer vision-based techniques
  • Strong programming skills, especially Python, MATLAB, TensorFlow, PyTorch
  • Experience with computational fluid dynamics
  • Experience with handling large scale multi-modality data

You need to have:

  •  Good ability to work independently
  • Good ability to work and cooperate in an interdisciplinary group
  • Good communication and English skills

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017. PhD fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 532 200,-) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Employment is conducted according to national guidelines for University and Technical College PhD scholars.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NMBU.

For further information, please contact:

  • Professor Kristian Hovde Liland, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology Management, E-mail: Kristian.liland@nmbu.no; phone +47 67231624 (do not use this e-mail for application, it is only for questions)
  • Associate Professor Habib Ullah, Department of Data Science, E-mail: habib.ullah@nmbu.no; phone +47 67231482 (do not use this e-mail for application, it is only for questions)

Information for PhD applicants and general Information to applicants


To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply for this job' button above. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Application deadline: 08.01.2024

In the application, the candidate must confirm that information and documentation (in the form of attachments) submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process.

Your CV must be entered in JobbNorge's CV form and not just included as an attachment. This is to be able to comply with the regulations of §15 of the Public Administration Act.

Applicants invited for an interview are expected to present original diplomas and certificates.

The following documents must be attached to the application:

  • Motivation letter (maximum 1 page)
  • Complete CV 
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates. (i.e. Di-ploma, transcript. Diploma supplement for both bachelor and master). Diplomas, transcripts and diploma supplements that are not in Norwegian or English must be uploaded in the original language. An English translation of these documents must also be attached.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement, or a similar document, which describes in detail the study program and grading system.
  • Documentation of proficiency in written and oral English in accordance with NMBU PhD regulation section 5-2 (3)
  • Names and contact details for two references
  • Additional relevant documentation of professional knowledge (for example, list of scientific works). If it is difficult to judge the applicant’s contribution for publications with multiple authors, a short description of the applicant’s contribution must be included.

Apply for this job

Powered by Labrador CMS