PhD Position in Computational Geomechanics

About the position

We have a vacancy for a 3-year PhD fellowship at the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum (IGP). The position is within computational geomechanics. The research will include development and implementation of boundary-element methods (BEM) with plasticity. The PhD student will be assigned to the Department of Geoscience and Petroleum and will be supervised by Prof. Alexandre Lavrov. 

You will report to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

  • The main goal of the PhD project is to develop, implement and test a robust and computationally efficient numerical method in 2D and 3D, to enable modelling of deformation and failure around underground excavations.
  • The main focus will be on boundary-element methods, with plasticity and possible discontinuities, with or without pore fluid.
  • Some topics of interest are: Implementation of different failure criteria (Mohr-Coulomb; Hoek-Brown) in BEM. Use of higher-order boundary elements. Different approaches to the representation and tracing of plastic zone in BEM. Hybrid boundary-element/discrete-element method for a naturally fractured, blocky rock mass. Fluid flow in between the blocks, incl. matrix-fracture fluid exchange, and how to include those in the hybrid method. Efficient implementation of the developed numerical techniques on a parallel platform (cluster, GPU).

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position’s main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in engineering or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale . If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant .

Other qualifications:

  • Documented and relevant background in one of the following fields: applied mathematics; computational mechanics; computational geomechanics; computational physics.
  • Documented knowledge of solid mechanics, theory of elasticity, and theory of plasticity.
  • Documented knowledge of C++ and object-oriented programming.
  • Documented scientific programming skills.
  • Good written and oral English language skills.

Preferred selection criteria

It is advantageous if the candidate

  • Has a solid knowledge of the theory of boundary-element method and finite-element method
  • Has some previous knowledge of theoretical fracture mechanics and/or poromechanics.
  • Is familiar with modern software development principles, incl. unit testing
  • Has practical experience with parallelization using MPI, OpenMP, and/or parallel implementation on GPU
  • Has practical experience with Numerical Python and boost
  • Has some hands-on experience with commercial finite-element software packages, e.g. ABAQUS, ANSYS, COMSOL
  • Has published articles in English

Personal characteristics

  • High level of personal responsibility and initiative
  • Work independently as well as part of a team in accordance with the project objectives

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years without required duties. 

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in engineering ( ) within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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 NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

The application must include:

  • CV, certificates and diplomas
  • Research plan or project proposal
  • Academic works – published or unpublished – that you would like to be considered in the assessment
  • Name and address of three referees

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment – DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Alexandre Lavrov, e-mail . If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Anne-Lise Brekken, e-mail: .

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI) .

Please refer to the application number SO-IV-18/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 07.02.2021.

NTNU – knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Geoscience and Petroleum

We conduct teaching and research related to management of Earth’s geological resources. Norway’s rich resources of wind, water, oil, gas and minerals have been and are essential to the country’s prosperity, and will continue to be in the future. The Department plays a key role in the development of technology and the education of graduates who enable value creation based on our natural resources. The Department of Geoscience and Petroleum  is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline 7th February 2021
Employer NTNU – Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Institutt for geovitenskap og petroleum

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