Ledig stilling på Universitetet i Sørøst-Norge

PhD Research Fellow in “ Stochastic Model Predictive Control for processes with operational uncertainty”

Deadline: 22.11.2019

Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a position as PhD Research Fellow in “Stochastic Model Predictive Control for processes with operational uncertainty” from 30.04.2020.

University of South-Eastern Norway

University of South-Eastern Norway has about 18 000 students and about 1500 employees. The university is organized in four faculties, with instruction and R&D activities on eight campuses.

The main profile of the university is to provide socially relevant education, geared towards specific professions, and adapted to the requirements of the workplace, as well as to produce applied research and development.

The position is at the Department of Electrical engineering, Information Technology and Cybernetics and reports to the Head of Department. The place of employment is Campus Porsgrunn, Norway.

About the PhD-project

The main goal of the project is to develop generic methodology where operational uncertainties of a process can be systematically introduced and handled in the framework of stochastic model predictive control (S-MPC). The candidate should perform research in trying to answer the question: “Is it possible to systematically handle uncertainty together with MPC? How?”. To highlight the importance and need for the development of generic framework for stochastic MPC, the project will consider various case studies. One important case study for S-MPC will be about optimal management of flood gates for a hydropower plant under the presence of prediction uncertainty. The challenge and a source of uncertainty for this case study is the prediction of future precipitation in the catchment region. Such forecasts are typically in the form of ensemble of, say, 50 possible prediction of future precipitation, say for 15 days into the future. Such predictions can contain useful information about uncertainty in inflow prediction. The candidate should research on how can MPC framework be developed to take into account such uncertainty in a systematic manner.

Other concrete case studies in connection to the hydropower production will be decided upon by supervisors, in coordination with industrial partner (Skagerak Energi) and with input from the candidate.

Another common yet interesting source of uncertainty is the parametric uncertainty due to lack of knowledge on system parameters. For example, energy consumption in a building are subjected to various sources of uncertainties from (i) uncertainty in knowing correct values of parameters when it comes to heat flow through walls, ceilings, windows, door etc., (ii) uncertainty in the prediction of irradiation from the sun. This project will also focus on the development of methodology for stochastic MPC under the presence of parametric uncertainty.

The candidate should have prior knowledge on standard MPC and mathematical optimization related to optimal control. This allows the candidate to immediately start researching on stochastic MPC. It may also be necessary for the candidate to develop mechanistic models of dynamic systems (related to the case studies). Thus, prior knowledge on modelling of dynamic systems will be an added advantage.

As part of the PhD work, publications are important, and efficient communication in English is therefore necessary. The research work will take place at the University of South-Eastern Norway, Campus Porsgrunn.

Appointment is for a period of three years. The position does not include teaching duties.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree or equivalent higher education qualifications in engineering or technology with solid knowledge within the fields (i) Model based predictive control, (ii) Engineering cybernetics or control engineering, (iii) mechanistic models of dynamic systems, (iv) mathematical optimization, (v) Programming in Python or MATLAB. The applicant must have gained the degree within the application deadline.In addition, applicants should have knowledge in state and parameter estimation principles, and some experiences in using experimental data for process control. Qualified applicants must have an average grade of B or better.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Process, Energy and Automation Engineering. Admission to the doctoral programme is a condition for appointment as a research fellow.

Co-operation between staff members is an integrated part of the working atmosphere at the University of South-Eastern Norway. The candidate must be motivated and demonstrate a proven ability to work effectively within a team and in a collegiate manner to formulate and realise common objectives.

Personal suitability for the position will be emphasized.

Good command of oral and written English is required. Experience with publishing papers is an advantage.

We offer

  • A professionally stimulating working environment.
  • Good opportunities to develop your career and your academic skills
  • A good social environment
  • Attractive welfare benefits in the State Pension Plan
  • Opportunity for physical activities within working hours


PhD Research Fellow (code 1017): NOK 479 600 a year. Further promotion will be based on service in the position. In special cases, employment in code 1378 may be considered. Salary NOK 479 600 – 600 200 a year. A statutory contribution will be made from the employee’s salary to the state pension plan.

Other information

Appointment to the position will be carried out by The Appointments Board for PhD Research Fellows. An expert assessment of applicants will be carried out. Short-listed candidates will be called in for interviews and must be prepared to present and discuss their projects.

The successful applicant must comply with the laws, regulations and agreements that apply to the position.

As an equal opportunities employer we welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation and transgender status. All appointments are made on merit.

There are few women employed in research positions at the Department, and consequently women are especially encouraged to apply.

According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information act § 25 2 paragraph, information about the applicant may be included in the public applicant list, even though the applicant has requested non-disclosure. The applicant will be informed if his/her request has been declined.

Contact information

For further information concerning the position please contact:

  • Assoc. Prof. Roshan Sharma (email: [email protected] or phone:+47 35 57 51 17) at the Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences, Department of Electrical Engineering, Information Technology and Cybernetics.

How to apply

University of South-Eastern Norway uses online applications. We therefore ask applicants to register their application and CV online by clicking on the “Send application” link to the right. The application must include the following documents:

1. Certified diplomas and certificates from university college/university

2. Master’s thesis

3. A 5-page (maximum) project description

4. Any scientific publications and a list of these

5. Three references (contact information)

Please note that all documents must be translated into English or a Scandinavian language by an authorized translator.

Send application