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PhD Research Fellow in Computational Continuum Mechanics

Deadline: 30.07.2024

Universitetet i Oslo

The University of Oslo is Norway’s oldest and highest rated institution of research and education with 28 000 students and 7000 employees. Its broad range of academic disciplines and internationally esteemed research communities make UiO an important contributor to society. 

Njord is a cross-disciplinary Geology-Physics center hosted by the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences at the University of Oslo. We focus on the fundamental physics of geological processes related to: transport and reactions in deformable porous media, fracturing and fragmentation processes, interface dynamics during geophysical flows, and intermittency and pattern formation in geological systems far from equilibrium.

We conduct research on earth systems that range in scale from atoms to continents and apply methods where fieldwork, numerical modelling, experiments and theory act in concert.

The center includes the Oslo-branch of PoreLab, which is a Center of Excellence (CoE), the former CoE, Physics of Geological Processes (PGP) and several externally financed projects. There are 10 professors and associate professors at the center, in addition to doctoral research fellows, postdoctoral fellows, researchers and technical and administrative staff - in total about 55 persons.

About the position

Position as PhD Research Fellow in Computational Continuum Mechanics available at the Njord Centre, Department of Physics.

No one can be appointed for more than one PhD Research Fellowship period at the University of Oslo. Starting date is preferably 01.09.2024, but no later than 31.12.2024.

The fellowship period is 3 years.

A fourth year may be considered with a workload of 25 % that may consist of teaching, supervision duties, and/or research assistance. This is dependent upon the qualification of the applicant and the current needs of the Department of Physics..

Job description

We invite applications for a PhD position in computational continuum mechanics to develop a physical model for fluid transport and mixing in fracture networks. The objective is to better understand fluid flow and reactive transport in networks that evolve due to clogging and unclogging under the action of chemical precipitation. This dynamic phenomenon is encountered in many situations from the transport of nutrients through veins and branches in living systems to flow of chemical solutions through porous and fractured rocks in the subsurface. Applications may include the filling of vein networks on geological time scales, the formation of biominerals, the remediation of contaminants, the restoration of cultural heritage, the clogging of geothermal wells and the mineral trapping of CO2 in the subsurface. 

This PhD project is funded by Equinor and is hosted by the Njord centre at the Department of Physics, UiO. The successful candidate will develop a phase field model for flow in fractures to study the evolution of the fracture aperture due to mineral precipitation from a solute transported by fluid flow or produced at a mixing front between two miscible fluids. All the computational facilities are available at the host institution. While the work will be computational, the candidate will also have the possibility to attend experimental sessions on large instruments (neutron and synchrotron sources). The candidate will be part of a lively research environment at the Njord Centre and integrated in a group working on flow in porous media. The candidate will have the opportunity to acquire interdisciplinary education and to spend research visits at the University of Rennes (Brittany, France) during the project.

Qualification requirements

The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition to be among Europe’s leading communities for research, education and innovation. Candidates for these fellowships will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

Required qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in Physics or Applied Mathematics with competences in at least one of the following subject areas: computational physics, statistical physics, continuum mechanics.
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system
  • Programming Experience
  • Skills in Computational Methods
  • Theoretical background in fluid or solid mechanics
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English 

Candidates without a MSc degree have until 31.08.2024 to complete the final exam.

Desired skills:

  • Background in fracture mechanics
  • Background in geophysics

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • English requirements for applicants from outside of EU/ EEA countries and exemptions from the requirements

The purpose of the fellowship is research training leading to the successful completion of a PhD degree. 

The fellowship requires admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences. The application to the PhD programme must be submitted to the department no later than two months after taking up the position.

For more information see here.

Personal skills

  • Teamwork skills, as well as the ability to work independently
  • Enthusiasm, personal drive, and ability to take initiative
  • Attention to detail
  • Flexibility, ability to handle pressure and meet deadlines

We offer

  • Salary NOK 532 200 – 575 400 per annum depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement 
  • Vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities

How to apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter - statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work - scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records and 
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system (please follow the link “Apply for this job”). Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University's grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English or a Scandinavian language.

Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Formal regulations

Please see the guidelines and regulations for appointments to Research Fellowships at the University of Oslo.

According to the Norwegian Freedom and Information Act (Offentleglova) information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, also in cases where the applicant has requested non-disclosure.

UiO has an agreement for all employees, aiming to secure rights to research results a.o.

Inclusion and diversity are a strength. The University of Oslo has a personnel policy objective of achieving a balanced gender composition. Furthermore, we want employees with diverse professional expertise, life experience and perspectives.

If there are qualified applicants with disabilities, employment gaps or immigrant background, we will invite at least one applicant from each of these categories to an interview.

Contact information

For further information please contact: 

For questions regarding Jobbnorge, please contact HR Adviser Elin Thoresen, email: elin.thoresen@mn.uio.no

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