PhD Research Fellow in “Modelling tool for hydropower systems, for analysis and design”

Deadline 04.04.2019

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.

About the position

The Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences has a vacancy for a position as PhD Research Fellow in “Modelling tool for hydropower systems, for analysis and design”.

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 Porsgrunn, Norway.


Applicants to the PhD position must have a Master’s degree or equivalent higher education qualifications in in technology or engineering with solid knowledge and experience within the fields (i) mechanistic models of dynamic systems, (ii) numerical methods for solving dynamic models, (iii) control engineering, (iv) object oriented programming. In addition, applicants should have knowledge of fluid mechanics, mechanical systems, electrical systems, and experimental work. The applicant must have gained the degree within the application deadline.

It is a requirement that the successful applicant is granted admission to the university’s doctoral programme in Process, Energy and Automation Engineering.

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.

Information about the position

The goal of the project is to further develop a modelling library for hydropower systems (“OpenHPL” – Open HydroPower Library), and further develop analysis tools for this system.

OpenHPL is a Modelica library and currently has units for flow of water in filled pipes (inelastic and elastic walls, incompressible and compressible water), a mechanistic model of a Francis turbine (including design of turbine parameters), friction models, etc. The library also has draft models for a Pelton turbine, Francis turbine friction model, surge shaft, open channel flow, and a hydrology model. In addition, some accompanying work on analysis tools has been developed in scripting languages (Python, Julia) related to state estimation, structural analysis, etc. The library has been tested on real power plant data. The library is designed to interface to other Modelica libraries, e.g., libraries with generator models, electric grid, etc.

Further development could include: (a) further testing and improvement of existing library units, (b) improving surge shaft and draft units, (c) extend the library with a mechanistic Kaplan model, (d) add description of two phase water/water vapor for low pressure locations (turbine outlet; cavitation prediction), (e) carry out experiments and test/validate library wrt. Kaplan turbine/run-of-river system, (f) test/validate the library on other available experimental data, (g) develop more analysis/design tools in scripting language (structural analysis, state estimation, model fitting, advanced control, etc.), (h) documentation of tools. The concrete development will be decided upon by supervisors, in coordination with industrial partners and with input from the candidate.

The modelling tool should be based on free software. Modelica is a suitable language for library development. Python or Julia are suitable scripting languages; because Julia has more support for control tools, Julia will be prioritized. Integration of Modelica and Julia can be done, e.g., via OMJulia which is part of the free tool OpenModelica. Other possibilities could be to use the Modelica-like extension Modia for Julia, or OpenModelica translation of model code to Julia.

As part of the PhD-work, publications are important, and efficient communication in English is therefore necessary. The research work will take place within research group TMCC (Telemark Modeling and Control Center) at University of South-Eastern Norway, and contributions to the group is important.

Appointment is normally for a period of three years without teaching duties. For candidates who speak a Scandinavian language, appointment for a period of four years with 25% teaching duties may be possible, depending on the candidate’s interests and the needs of the department.

For further information concerning the position, please contact professor Bernt Lie or associate professor Roshan Sharma at the Faculty of Technology, Natural Sciences and Maritime Sciences, Department of Electrical Engineering, Information Technology and Cybernetics (EIK).

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 449 400 a year. Further promotion will be based on service in the position. In special cases, employment in code 1378 may be considered. Salary NOK 449 400 – 607 700 a year. A statutory contribution will be made from the employee’s salary to the state pension plan.

Additional 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.

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. The application must include the following documents:

  • Certified diplomas and certificates from university college/university
  • Master’s thesis
  • A 5-page (maximum) project description
  • Any scientific publications and a list of these
  • Three references (contact information)

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

For further information concerning the position, please contact:

Send application