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PhD scholarship within Renewable energy and big data

Deadline: 21.09.2020

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 1,800 employees and 5,200 students. The university is divided into seven faculties and has campuses in Ås and Oslo. We will be co-located in Ås from 2021.

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.

We are looking for a motivated candidate that can combine reactor engineering, catalysis and data mining for the production of biofuel from waste fish oil.

About the position

The Faculty of Science and Technology at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU) has a vacant three year PhD–position related to renewable energy, catalysis and data mining.

The candidate will be joining the reactor engineering and catalysis group, which is currently working on renewable energy, catalysis, valorisation of waste, data mining, big data and modelling.

The candidate will work on the transformation of fish waste oil into biofuel and biochemicals via a catalytic pathway.

We encourage candidates to read the description of the project (separate file) for a better and in-depth knowledge of the work related to this position.

Main tasks

As part of the project the candidate is expected to:

  • Carry on experimental work to prepare different catalytic materials.
  • Perform experimental work to test those catalysts produced.
  • Develop algorithm to data mining previously used catalysts, operational conditions and outcome.
  • Develop software for machine learning for prediction of new outcomes for the reactions under consideration.
  • Develop reaction pathways develop kinetics models and obtain kinetics parameters as well as energies.
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively with other team members and data providers
  • Lead the writing of research articles for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals

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 Norwegian degree programme, where 120 credits are at master's degree. The applicant must have a documented strong academic background from previous studies and 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’s degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, physical chemistry, physics, data science, or a closely related field.
  • Proficiency in written and spoken English.

The following experiences and skills will be emphasized:

  • Knowledge on experimental reactor engineering, catalysis and/or data mining, machine learning, and programming.
  • Experience in analytical tools: GC, GCMS, Titration, etc.
  • Experience in reaction kinetics, reaction mechanism and the use of mathematical software for solving equations.
  • Experience in carry on experimental work.
  • Experience working with large data sets.
  • Academic article writing skills.
  • Knowledge on Python.

You need to:

  • Have strong self-motivation.
  • Be able to work independently as well as to discuss idea and solutions within the group.
  • Have good communications skills, orally and in written form.
  • Be problem solver oriented.
  • Have goal oriented personality.
  • Have analytical and academic approach to research questions.

Each candidate should provide the contact information of two references that could be contacted if required.

Remuneration and further information

The position is placed in government pay scale position code 1017 PhD. Fellow. PhD. Fellows are normally placed in pay grade 54 (NOK 479.600) on the Norwegian Government salary scale upon employment and follow ordinary meriting regulations.

Terms of employment are governed by Norwegian guidelines for PhD fellowships at Universities and University Colleges.

For further information, please contact:

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: 21.09.2020

Applications should include (electronically) a letter of intent, curriculum vitae, full publication list, copies of degree certificates and transcripts of academic records (all certified), and a list of two persons who may act as references (with phone numbers and e-mail addresses).

Publications should be included electronically within the application deadline. The relevant NMBU Department may require further documentation, e.g. proof of English proficiency.

Printed material which cannot be sent electronically should be sent by surface mail to the Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Faculty of Science and Technology, P.O. Box 5003, NO-1432 Ås, within 21.09.2020. Please quote reference number 20/03309

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 include

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