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DynaLoad - Dynamic loading of transformer insulation

PhD position in Electric Power Engineering- “Mechanical stresses of transformer insulation due to frequent start-stop operations”


The Department of Electric Power Engineering at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time 100% position (3 years) as a PhD candidate within high voltage technology – Mechanical stresses of transformer insulation due to frequent start-stop operations.

The PhD candidate will work alongside with researchers as SINTEF Energy covering different aspects of the same topic. The main supervisor for the PhD candidate is Professor Hans Kr. Høidalen. Co-supervision from senior scientist Lars Lundgaard, SINTEF and prof. Sören Östlund, KTH.

The prospective candidate will work in the research group High Voltage Technology (HVT).

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Duties of the position

Job description
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 defence 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.

Project description
Power transformers are critical components in the power system and failure of such units have a large impact on the society. The emerging power system with intermittent sources, strong market fluctuations and new loading conditions from rapid charging of batteries results in new stresses on power transformers. Frequent starts and stops with heavy temperature variations can cause fatigue and reduced mechanical strength. Transformer windings are made of copper wrapped in paper and supported by high density pressboard. The winding is subjected to a fixed clamping pressure to increase its mechanical strength and ability to withstand the large forces from short circuit currents. The windings are then submerged in oil for further electrical insulation and cooling.

In this Ph.D. project the main objective is to analyse how the clamping pressure will change with the operating conditions, temperature variations and insulation ageing and water content. Experimental testing on a laboratory mock-up model will be combined with plastic and thermal multi-physics modelling for prediction of clamping pressure and investigation of insulation and surface impacts. A full-sized power transformer providing data from several fibre-optic temperature and pressure sensors is also available for testing, modelling and calibration.

This Ph.D. project is hosted by a larger project at SINTEF Energy Research with funding partners from international leading industries and utilities. Cooperation and research stay with these partners including KTH in Sweden is an opportunity.

Required selection criteria

The candidate should hold a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, Physics or Electric Power Engineering with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Experimental and multi-physics simulation experience and a strong interest in high voltage equipment are relevant to the chosen task.

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

Other qualifications

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.

Personal characteristics

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 scientific mindset.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and the salary is NOK 479 600 before tax per year. 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. See this page for information about PhD studies 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
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) which includes information about the candidate’s prior education, work experience, academic merits and any scientific publications.
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates (both Bachelor and Master).
  • 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.

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.

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 ,.

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no. 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: T.b.a.