PhD Candidate in Lithium-ion Battery Sensing and Self-healing

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
October 17, 2023
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
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Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The Department of Energy and Process Engineering has a vacancy for a

PhD Candidate in Lithium-ion Battery Sensing and Self-healing This is NTNU

NTNU is a broad-based university with a technical-scientific profile and a focus in professional education. The university is located in three cities with headquarters in Trondheim.

At NTNU, 9,000 employees and 43,000 students work to create knowledge for a better world.

You will find more information about working at NTNU and the application process here.

About the job

The Sustainable Energy Systems research group in the The Department of Energy and Process Engineering at the Gløshaugen campus of NTNU is searching for excellent applicants for a PhD position. For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree. The position duration is 36 months, although extension to 48 months may be possible depending on external factors.

The topic for the PhD work will be in the area of operando/real-time sensing of lithium-ion batteries which can enable self-healing in lithium-ion batteries. Fiber optic-based sensors are an important new platform for enabling a wide range of detection capabilities in electrochemical energy storage devices. Preliminary reports of using fiber-based sensors for thermal and mechanical measurements are demonstrating the ability to identify thermodynamic signatures associated with both essential and deleterious electrochemical reactions during battery formation cycling and charging/discharging (e.g. https: // www.

The PhD candidate in this position will build on these past demonstrations by extending them to the probing of localized chemical environments inside batteries with the goal of understanding degradation modes and targeting in situ repair strategies. This will require extensive experimental development of cells and sensors, as well as some knowledge of data acquisition and sensor hardware implementation. Candidates with backgrounds in Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics, Electrical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering will all be considered as the work is cross-disciplinary. The candidate is expected to be able to work independently in a chemical lab, but the work will be part of a larger team-based effort. Opportunities for extended international exchange and travel are expected (EU).

You will report to Professor Steven Boles to whom further inquiries may be directed.

NB: The application should include a brief description (~300 words) of possible implementation and sensing strategies that pertain to the topic mentioned above (i.e. Project Proposal/Research Plan).

Duties of the position
  • The candidate will plan and execute a comprehensive, independent research project under supervision. This will involve laboratory experiments, chemical handling and systems integration.
  • The candidate will learn to master academic writing and be lead author of several journal publications.
  • The candidate is expected to present her/his work at international conferences and workshops.
  • The candidate is expected to collaborate internationally, which will involve extended periods outside of Norway.
  • Depending on funding, the position may be extended to 4 years, in which case the candidate will do 25% teaching.
  • The candidate is expected to contribute to the supervision of MSc students and other student projects.
  • Required selection criteria
  • You must have a relevant background in Chemistry, Materials Science, Physics, Electrical Engineering, Optics, or Mechanical Engineering. Although candidates holding a prior degree with an experimental (i.e. laboratory-based) battery-related thesis topic will be considered, regardless of degree title.
  • Relevant experience with independent laboratory work and chemical handling is necessary.
  • Proficiency with data analysis and collection software is required (i.e. Matlab, LabVIEW, etc.). Other programming competencies may be considered.
  • Excellent written and oral English language and communication skills
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • Master's students can apply, but the master's degree must be obtained and documented by 01/01/2024.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program
  • The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate (in Norwegian) and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosodophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant (in Norwegian).

    Preferred selection criteria
  • This work involves a wide-range of technical competencies and skills. A strong academic background and a demonstrated capacity to learn new topics will be considered more relevant than industrial experience.
  • Previous specialization and research within the area of lithium-ion batteries and/or fiber optic sensors.
  • Demonstrated capacity for multi-tasking and collaborative research.
  • Excellent written and oral English language skills are preferred to facilitate collaborative efforts with international research partners.
  • Candidates holding a degree from a QS or THE top 100 ranked university may be prioritized. Applicants with backgrounds from top ranked Engineering programs where the language of instruction is English may also be preferred.
  • Applicants whose backgrounds may be subject them to critical Export Control restrictions and regulations may be automatically disqualified.
  • Personal characteristics
  • Enthusiastic and highly motivated
  • Able to work effectively on their own and in a team
  • Diligent, thorough, and hard-working
  • Able to work structured and goal oriented with a drive to get projects finished
  • Creative, good at finding solutions
  • The applicant is expected to contribute to the social and environment and activities of the Sustainable Energy Systems group above and beyond the position itself.
  • Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

    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

    As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 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, although extension to 48 months may be possible depending on external factors.

    Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme 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 (in Norwegian), 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.

    The position is subject to external funding by the Norwegian Research Council.

    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 be attached to the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

    The application must include:

  • CV and certificates
  • Transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Candidates are required to submit a Project proposal or Research Plan (not more than 300 words)
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work. Copies of up to 3 most relevant research papers or outputs, if applicable.
  • If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

    We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

    In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates.

    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

    NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees' needs.

    NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality.

    EPT has established EPT Women in Science. The group is focused on supporting female PhD Candidates, Postdoctoral Fellows, Research Assistants and permanent academic employees within the Department. This support aims to help develop the careers of female PhD Candidates, Postdocs and Research Assistants, and is also made visible to our student body to encourage them to consider an academic path. As part of the EPT Women in Science initiative we are building an international network, inviting prominent female academics within and beyond the field of Engineering to speak at our events.

    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.

    A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation (in Norwegian). You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

    If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Steven Boles, email [email protected]. If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Emmy Høiseth, e-mail: [email protected].

    If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.

    Application deadline: 17.10.2023

    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 Energy and Process Engineering

    We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.


    17th October 2023


    NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology




    Fulltime (1 positions) Fulltime (%)



    Place of service

    Kolbjørn Hejesvei 1B, 7491 Trondheim

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