PhD position in Scientific Computing and Storm-Induced Flood Modeling

Deadline: 31.05.2023

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU's focus is a joint effort for a sustainable future. Our university will contribute to securing the future of life, through outstanding research, education, communication and innovation.

NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 500 phd scholarships and 6,700 students. The university is divided into seven faculties.

NMBU believes that a good working environment is characterised by diversity.

We encourage qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender, functional ability, cultural background or whether you have been outside the labour market for a period. If necessary, workplace adaptations will be made for persons with disabilities. More information about NMBU is available at www.nmbu.no.

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

Do you have great a interest for Scientific Computing and modeling of environmental flows?

About the position

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) invites applications for a PhD–position related to Scientific Computing and storm induced flood modeling. The PhD position is for a period of 3 years, or up to 4 years if teaching and other work duties are agreed.

With an extensive coastline and a supermajority of its population in coastal areas along with economical activities and supporting infrastructure, accurate models for storm surges and coastal hazards are critical for both social and economic reasons. Additionally, the topography of the landmass in many coastal areas is such that a significant portion of human activity is within an elevation of two meters above current sea levels. Therefore, a significant portion of coastal areas and populations are subject to potential impacts from coastal flooding and storm surges as noted by in the report “Integrating Sea Level Rise and Storm Surges in Local Planning” from the Norwegian Directorate of Civil Protection (DSB). To better understand and predict the impacts of storm induced flooding in Norway, it is critical to develop and use relevant computer models. The overall aim of the PhD project is to develop numerical models for coastal hydrodynamics and storm surge for the Norwegian coast. The models will be based on the finite element code called Advanced CIRCulation (ADCIRC – www.adcirc.org). Within the project, we will work closely with the Norwegian Meteorological Institute and the developers of ADCIRC.

We are seeking a dedicated and enthusiastic candidate for a PhD within Scientific Computing. The PhD project has a multidisciplinary profile with components from scientific computing, applied mathematics, fluid mechanics and engineering, hydrological sciences, and others. Candidates that thrive and have experience working in a multidisciplinary environment are therefore strongly encouraged to apply. The position will be part of newly initiated activities and collaborations between NMBU and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute with the purpose of developing new modeling capabilities and augment currently existing models. The work will be carried out at Ås, Norway, and the candidate will collaborate closely with a multidisciplinary team from NMBU, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, and international partners in the storm surge modeling community.

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

  • Develop and validate a numerical model for storm surge for the coast of Norway
  • Develop an extended model to also consider the effects of rainfall and riverine floods from major coastal watersheds
  • Develop and validate an extreme resolution model of the Oslofjord to study compound flooding (surge plus rivers) and post flooding impacts on, e.g., salinity distribution
  • Participate in meetings with research partners and industry.

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 program at NMBU. The applicant must have an academically relevant education corresponding to a five-year master’s degree or with a learning outcome corresponding to the descriptions in the Norwegian Qualification Framework, second cycle. Candidates submitting their master thesis in the spring semester 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

  • Master degree in Scientific Computing, Computational Science, Engineering, Mechanics or closely related area
  • Experience working with high performance computing systems
  • Very good written and oral communication skills in English

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Experience working with high performance computing systems
  • Experience in programming in, e.g., Python, C, C++, and Fortran
  • Experience with ADCIRC and/or similar codes
  • Experience with finite element methods and their implementation in research codes/software
  • Teaching experience

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 532200,-) 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:

  • Dr. Eirik Valseth, Associate Professor of Scientific Computing, E-mail: Eirik.valseth@nmbu.no; (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: 31.05.2023

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.

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.
  • Confirmation that information and documentation submitted via the job application can also be used by NMBU in a possible admission process

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