Saturday, April 17, 2021

PhD Candidate in Data Science for Smart Sustainable Cities


At the Department of ICT and Natural Sciences, there is a vacancy in Data Science for Smart Sustainable Cities.

In particular, the PhD position is linked to the Sustainable Digital Transformation (SDT) Research Group. SDT has been established as the core arena at NTNU for developing cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research related to the design, implementation, and validation of digitalization disruptive innovations aiming to address United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and societal needs.

This position is also linked to the Sustainability Analytics (SA), a new interdisciplinary research arena that aims to offer data-driven support for sustainable development of enterprises and cities by integrating analytical tools from data science, sustainability science, and decision science.

The position is linked to the SmartPlan project. SmartPlan - Bærekraftig samfunnsutvikling gjennom samskaping og visuell simulering i planprosesser (NFR, 2020 - 2023) has as the main objective to develop a data-driven decision support tool where information is produced from integrated analysis models and made available in an intuitive and interactive way through a visual interface. The role of Sustainability Analytics in the SmartPlan project is to provide data and analytical models to a city digital twin for municipalities. Research activities involve development, testing, and validation of new approaches for data management and analysis. 

The scholarship position is an educational position that will provide opportunities for professional development in the form of a PhD position. The position will be linked to the PhD programme in Computer Science at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, NTNU. The Department of ICT and Natural Sciences in Ålesund are the employers. The position involves some traveling.

The office location will be on the Ålesund campus, at the Department of ICT and Science.

The position reports to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position
The PhD candidate, among other things, is expected to contribute to the design, development, and validation of data-driven decision support systems aiming at fostering the operation of city digital twins. The main purpose of the PhD project is to explore different approaches for optimal database data delivery, storage, and retrieval.

The PhD candidate is expected to contribute to the development of novel methods, algorithms, and solutions to support knowledge extraction and the decision-making process based on the analysis of large volumes of data. Proposed research venues here include the development of novel strategies for combining learning methods and descriptors aiming at creating effective and efficient classification and search services; development of novel mechanisms for automatically identifying information of interest within large volumes of complex data (e.g., textual documents, and time series); and development of novel approaches for complex data clustering. The PhD work is also concerned with the creation and management of knowledge bases to support decision-making.

More specifically, the candidate is expected to conduct research activities in the following major areas:

Data modelling, data storage, data pre-processing, and system integration (linking data from different data sources, formats, and types).
Development of effective and efficient information retrieval approaches for non-conventional data (e.g., time series, trajectories, geographic data and non-structured data).
Creation and management of knowledge bases to support decision-making.Support to geospatial data management for map representation and visualization, possibly using Geographic Information Systems (GISs).
The main supervisor for the PhD candidate will be Professor Ricardo da Silva Torres at Department of ICT and Natural Sciences. The supervisory team also includes Associate Professor Anniken Karlsen and Prof. Ibrahim Hameed.

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 Computer Science 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:

Good knowledge of relational and NoSQL data management systems, as well as information retrieval solutions.
Good programming skills.
Knowledge of machine learning and data mining algorithms and technologies.
Knowledge of geoinformatics and visualization of geographical data would be beneficial.
Good oral and written ability in English. Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language would be beneficial.
Personal characteristics
The candidate must be independent, have great work capacity, and enthusiasm for research.
The candidate is expected to contribute to a good research and work environment.
Personal qualities such as creativity, analytical, and structured reasoning, as well as the ability to carry out projects will be considered in the selection process. The applicant must be motivated to collaborate both within the discipline and across other disciplines.
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.
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.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Computer Science at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. Information about the PhD programs can be found here.

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 on a daily basis.

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:

Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience.
Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas for the whole bachelor and master’s degree. An English translation of all education documents is required unless the documents are in Norwegian.
A short presentation of the motivation for applying to this position. How the candidate sees her/his background as suitable.
Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons.
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.
PDF copies of prior publications, with associated bibliographical data.
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 Ålesund, with its population of 50 000, will provide you with plenty of opportunities to explore a region of Norway that is famous for its beautiful scenery with high mountains and blue fjords. Ålesund itself, with its Art Nouveau architecture, is by many considered to be the most beautiful city in Norway! The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world.

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 Ricardo Torres, telephone + 47 92 21 93 07, email

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Maren Skuterud Rasmussen, 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).

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 2021/15718 when applying.

Application deadline: 30.04.2021

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