Closing Soon! PhD position in advanced natural fibre reinforced polymer composites (SO IV 32/19)

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About the position

We have a vacancy for a PhD position for 3 years at Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering

The candidate will deal with the investigation of durability of a radically new concept of green FRPs, that of natural fibre-reinforced liquid thermoplastic matrix renewable composites. Natural fibres have found to possess substantial mechanical properties whereas liquid thermoplastics is a radically new technology of thermoplastic polymers that comes in liquid format at the raw state (different than up-to-date thermoplastic polymer technologies). In order to meet the requirements of durability of currently adopted synthetic FRPs, green composites will be enhanced with appropriate fillers. Therefore, this PhD project will for the first time investigate the adoption of sustainable FRP composites for engineering applications using natural fibres and renewable polymer systems supported by nanotechnology.

The position reports to the supervising professor.

Job description

The PhD position aims to investigate:

  • Development and manufacturing of high performance green FRPs
  • Assess the quality of green FRPs by making use of Non-destructive techniques such Ultrasound scanning, X-Ray Computed Tomography, Impedance Spectroscopy and IR Thermography
  • Subject the green composites to simulated real environments (i.e. replicating the wind energy service conditions) such as moist, erosive and UV radiative conditions via case-tailored accelerated aging testing
  • Hollistic assessment of performance of green FRPs during and after aging/exposure in terms of physicochemical testing, thermomechanical testing, mechanical testing as well as microscopic analysis and chacterization
  • Investigate the incorporation of appropriate fillers
  • Investigate various polymeric coatings as protective layers from environmental exposure
  • The successful candidate will study challenges with service-induced degradation of composite components used in i.e. wind energy sector (e.g. wind turbine blades). We will develop solutions to assess, predict and protect. The research will be carried out in close collaboration with industrial partners such as EASYFORM, etc.


  • The position is a 100% employment for 3 years
  • The candidate shall perform research, publish scientific papers in international journals and in the end a PhD thesis in order to be qualified for a PhD Degree
  • Main work place is at NTNU Gjøvik
  • As part of the research activities, travelling to industrial partners in Norway and international partners is expected and will be largely supported.

Qualification requirements

The PhD-position’s main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is completion of a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in [subject area] or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Applicants with no letter grades from previous studies must have an equally good academic foundation. Applicants who are unable to meet these criteria may be considered only if they can document that they are particularly suitable candidates 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, postdoctor and research assistant
Other qualifications

Industrial experience and ability to speak Norwegian will be considered as strong merit, and will be highly weighted in the selection process. Furthermore, will emphasis be placed on cooperation and communication skills, previous experience and personal suitability and motivation.

The candidate should have:

  • Hands-on experience with polymer and composite materials
  • Experience with manufacturing, testing, characterization and analysis
  • Experience with structural degradation issues of engineering polymer and/or composite materials during service
  • Experience with non-destructive evaluation
  • Good written and oral English and Norwegian language skills

Proficiency in English language written and communication skills is a prerequisite. The candidate is expected to be fluent in written and oral English language skills. Candidates from universities outside Scandinavia and English-speaking countries are kindly requested to document English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS, Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE));

TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)

IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)

CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Candidates with competence in oral Norwegian language will be preferred. In extraordinary circumstances, formal documentation of language skills can be relinquished. In such cases the candidate’s language skills will be assessed in a personal interview.

Personal characteristics

  • We are looking for a positive, balanced personality who can think creatively and critically.
  • The candidate must have excellent analytical and collaboration skills as well as an ability to work both independently and in teams.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

  • exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic environment
  • an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
  • favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • employee benefits
  • a friendly workplace with research-oriented, dedicated academics
  • main workplace at NTNU Gjøvik located 120km north of Oslo
  • brand-new research facilities and laboratories
  • close collaboration with the industry and SINTEF
  • possibility for mobility to industry and/or abroad
  • attractive schemes for housing loan, insurance and pensions in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund

The Faculty of Engineering wants to attract outstanding and creative candidate who can contribute to our strategic ongoing research activities. We believe that diversity is important to achieve a good, inclusive working environment and we encourage all qualified candidates to apply, regardless of gender, disability or cultural background.

The appointment is subject to the conditions in effect at any time for employees in the public sector, and assessments regarding the legislations regulating export control and knowledge transfer. Under Section 25 of the Freedom of Information Act, information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have his or her name entered on the list of applicants.

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years. Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Engineering.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

Appointment takes place on the terms that apply to State employees at any time, and after the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.


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. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Prof. Sotirios Grammatikos, phone number 0047 90577561, e-mail

About the application:

The following must be included in the application:

1. Cover letter

2. Curriculum vitae

3. Certified copy of transcripts and diplomas with grades from post graduate studies

4. Statement of Purpose (max. 2 pages) including:

A short presentation of the motivation for a PhD student

How the applicant sees his/her background suitable for the position

The applicant’s view of research challenges within the area of the PhD position

5. Names and contact details of at least 2 reference persons

6. A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis (1 page)

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Nominations and applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Please submit your application electronically via Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number SO IV 32/19 when applying.

Application deadline: 17.01.2019

Gjøvik bygning fasade Foto: Marte Foss/NTNU

NTNU – knowledge for a better world

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 Manufacturing and Civil Engineering

Our profile of expertise can help to solve the world’s most important societal challenge: the development of sustainable solutions in industry and society. This profile includes research on modern industrial processes, use of new and recycled materials, new technological solutions and the application of new forms of organization and business models. The Department of Manufacturing and Civil Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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