We are looking for a
PhD position in Electric Power Engineering- “A Novel Modular HVDC Generator
for Offshore Wind”
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000 employees and 42 000 students.
We are looking for dedicated employees to join us.
You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application
About the position
The Department of Electric Power Engineering at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-
time 100% position (3 years) as a PhD candidate within design of electrical
machines – A Novel Modular HVDC Generator for Offshore Wind.
The PhD candidate will work alongside 2-3 other PhD candidates covering
different aspects of the same topic. The PhD candidate will collaborate with
researchers from Ghent University and Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy that is
among the leading offshore wind turbine manufacturers.
The main supervisor for the PhD candidate is Associate Professor Pål Keim
Olsen (NTNU). Co-supervisors are Professor Robert Nilssen (NTNU),
Professor Hendrik Vansompel (UGhent) and Chief Engineer Erik Grøndahl
The prospective candidate will work in the research group Electric machines
and Electromagnetics (EME).
You will report to Head of Department.
Duties of the position
The objective of the PhD education is to qualify for scientific research of
high international standard. The PhD education has a nominal duration of three
years of full-time study and includes required coursework or similar academic
training comprising a minimum of 30 credits. The most important component of
the PhD education is an independent scientific research project carried out
under academic supervision, which results in the PhD thesis. The PhD degree is
conferred based on these two elements and the doctoral examination, which
consists of a trial lecture and a public defense of the scientific thesis.
The candidate is expected to fully complete the course work and the PhD thesis
within the period of employment, which could be 3 or 4 years. The doctoral
examination may take place after the period of employment. The option of
4-year employment would imply 1 year of duties as Teaching Assistant for the
Department and may be offered to a candidate with clear motivation and ability
for such work, if the Department sees the need. This will be clarified during
and after any interview.
Offshore wind is set to be competitive with fossil fuels within the next
decade. The International Energy Agency estimates in its Stated Policy
Scenario from 2019 that levelized cost of energy (LCoE) from offshore wind
will decrease 40% by 2030, transmission infrastructure accounting for one-
third of the costs at that point. Currently, there is a trend towards locating
offshore wind farms further from shore, increasing the transmission distance
but also helping capacity factors reach 43%, increasing the energy yield of
wind farms. Over long distances high voltage DC (HVDC) transmission can
offer significant cost savings. Even at shorter distances from shore DC
voltage systems show potential for capital cost saving and equipment, as well
as lower transmission losses.
In this PhD project a compact and modular HVDC generator is seen as a feasible
solution to higher energy efficiency and lower cost in offshore wind energy
generation and distribution. By producing high DC voltage, above 100 kV, in
the first conversion step the subsequent conversion steps are eliminated. In
addition, the modular structure of the HVDC generator has in-built fault
tolerance capability, potentially increasing the availability of the wind
The drastic reduction in conversion steps due to the use of the HVDC generator
may help the market to meet its goals for reducing the cost of energy from
renewable energy sources. The solution is particularly suited for wind and
hydro energy systems, but may also have a broader field of use on the
consumption side when the technology reaches full maturity. The concept may
increase the benefits of HVDC power systems and make it feasible to replace
parts of the HVAC system that is used today.
The challenges with the technology are multidisciplinary and ranges from
electromechanical to thermal and high voltage insulation design of the
generator modules, choice of module converter topology and optimum control
strategies, as well as a protection system able to clear internal DC faults
within the machine. The overall goal for the project is to demonstrate the
feasibility of the HVDC generator to reduce LCoE in offshore wind, addressing
the above challenges. The focus of this particular PhD study is the design of
a high voltage, modular HVDC generator for offshore wind. The student may
focus on one or more of the following tasks:
Electromagnetic and thermal design of a modular synchronous PM machine
with stator core modules at HVDC potentials.
Electromechanical design of generator modules and fastening system.
Integration of all or some of the above perspectives in a system-oriented
design of machine and converter stack with concurrent design principles.
The technology will be validated in lab. The Department of Electrical Power
Engineering at NTNU has invested in a 200 kW, high torque test rig to support
experimental verification of the HVDC generator.
Required selection criteria
The candidate should hold a Master's degree in Electric Power Engineering with
a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU's grading scale. Experience and a
strong interest in design of electrical machines and working knowledge of
power electronics are relevant to the chosen task. A record of scientific
publications in international journals and conferences are merited.
The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force
concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and national guidelines for
appointment to PhD, postdoctor and research assistant positions.
NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality
according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA
Applicants must have very good English language skills, written and spoken.
Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must
provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of
an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge
Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of
Proficiency in English (CPE).
Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the
ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection
process and during any interviews for all applicants.
In the evaluation of the candidates, emphasis will be placed on education,
experience and personal suitability, as well as personal motivation for the
position, in terms of the qualification requirements specified above. We look
for candidates who show clear signs of independence, original thinking and
exciting and stimulating tasks in a strong international academic
an open and inclusive work environment with dedicated colleagues
favourable terms in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
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 employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility
for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.
Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in
Electrical Power Engineering. Applicants must be qualified for admission as
PhD students at NTNU.
As a PhD candidate, you will have to successfully complete the PhD academic
training programme; the training includes mandatory course work and other
obligatory activities. Within the first three months of your employment, you
must formally qualify for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of
Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.
The Department of Electric Power Engineering works closely with key players in
the Norwegian electricity supply sector, who manage critical infrastructure. A
comprehensive risk assessment of the candidates' research interests and
potential activities related to national threat assessments will therefore
also form basis for the final selection of candidates.
About the application
The application must contain:
A cover letter where the applicant describes his/her personal motivation
and how he/she intends to fill the position and contributes to the
research topic with his/her skills.
A draft research proposal specific to the PhD topic
Curriculum vitae (CV) which includes information about the candidate's
prior education, work experience, academic merits and any scientific
Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates.
Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a
diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the
study programme and grading system.
The required documentation of English language proficiency.
Names and contact information of at least two references.
Emphasis will be placed on the quality of the cover letter and the ideas
and/or originality of the draft research proposal in shortlisting of
candidates. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.
In the final assessment of the candidates, strategic considerations at the
Department Electric Power Engineering will also be taken into account. We aim
for better gender balance, and when qualifications are approximately equal
among qualified candidates, female applicants will be preferred.
Working at NTNU
A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified
candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or
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
According to the 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.
Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Pål Keim
Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no 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).
Application deadline: 22.06.2021
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 Electric Power Engineering
The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments
at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our
department is Norway's leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the
centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with
business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations
internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary
research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and
22nd June 2021
NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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