PhD position within infrared sensor technology for food quality assessment

Deadline: 10.10.2022

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

NMBU has a particular responsibility for research and education that secures the basis for the life of future generations. Sustainability is rooted in everything we do and we deliver knowledge for life. NMBU has 1,900 employees of which about 300 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.

Do you wish to work with photonics technologies for food quality sensing?

Do you wish to work in an exciting international environment with innovative research within photonics?

About the position

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant PhD–position to establish infrared photonic devices food quality measurements. The PhD position is for a period of 3 years, or up to 4 years if teaching and other work duties are agreed.

The PhD projects will be within the development and application infrared sensor technology based on mid-infrared lasers and LED.

Project and supervisor group

Prof. Dr. Achim Kohler, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Volha Shapaval and Prof. Pål From at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås, Norway and Professor Dr. Boris Mizaikoff at Ulm University in Germany.

The PhD position is part of the digifoods research center.

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

  • Establish two infrared setups based on new light sources (LED and QCL) for food quality measurement. For the PhD project, brand-new optical components such as LEDs and QCLs will be designed, manufactured and provided by project partners. The PhD student will need to combine these light sources with state-of-the-art waveguides and detectors and establish the optical setups. The optical setups will serve as lab prototypes for portable and handheld devices. The PhD student will work in a strong international team with all scientific expertise needed for fulfilling the project.
  • Use the setups and different light sources for developing food quality measurement applications:
    • Measuring lipid composition in different food products
    • Detection of mildew on plant materials
    • Air monitoring in food production
    • Combine infrared sensing technologies with robotics
  • Analyze infrared data employing chemometrics and machine learning methods and correlate infrared data related to food quality and contamination.
  • When the optical setups are developed, possibilities for integrating them in robotic systems developed within the DIGIFOODS center will be investigated.

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 candidate will need to have research stays at Ulm University in Germany for the development of optical designs and prototypes for food quality applications.


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. 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 in photonics or physics
  • Experience with design and establishment of optical setups
  • Fluent English both written and oral
  • Experience with photonics sensors or spectroscopic measurements

Experience in one or several of the following areas is desired:

  • Experience with infrared spectroscopy
  • Experience with applications of photonics devices in live sciences or the medical sciences
  • Experience with data science

You need to:

  • be able to work both independently and in a multidisciplinary research team and needs to describe these skills in the application.

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 501.200,-) 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.

For further information, please contact:

(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: 10.10.2022

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.

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.

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