The Department of Physics has a vacancy for a Phd position in time-resolved neutron and X-ray tomography

Phd position in time-resolved neutron and X-ray tomography

Denne stillingsutlysningen er utløpt siden 22. mars, 2020. Se andre jobbmuligheter »


About the position

A position as PhD candidate in experimental physics is available at the Department of Physics, NTNU. The position is within the field of time-resolved neutron and X-ray tomography of liquid flow in porous media.The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of until 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. Starting date will be August 2020.

We are searching for a creative, skilled and ambitious candidate for our experimental studies of the physical properties of porous media. Emphasis will be put on time-resolved tomographic neutron and X-ray imaging of liquid flow in porous materials.

The candidate will work in an international team of several principal investigators, PhD students, postdocs and master students. External collaboration with other academic research groups and industry actors will be an important part of this position. The PoreFlow project is funded by the Norwegian Research Council through the NANO2021 program and is a collaboration between NTNU, University of Oslo, and University of South-Eastern Norway. The Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) in Switzerland, the Institute Laue Langevin (ILL) in France, and the University of Le Mans in France are international partners. A significant part of the research will be carried out at the premises of these international partners. The project is associated with the recently funded Center of Excellence for Porous Media Laboratory (CoE PoreLab,

The PoreFlow project addresses several environmental challenges that point to the need for a better understanding of liquid transport in porous media, including contamination of soil and rocks, pollution of fresh water supplies, radioactive leakage into the ground, potential escape of sequestrated CO2, seabed pollution, and thawing of the permafrost with subsequent release of methane. A parallel branch of the project will deal with neutron imaging of bio-liquids in tissue, with special emphasis on water uptake in plants and microfluidics. X-ray computed tomography (CT) enables porous structures inside opaque materials to be observed with sub-micrometre resolution. However, X-rays have fundamental limitations when it comes to distinguishing liquids and materials of similar density, which call for combined tomography studies simultaneously utilising both X-rays and neutrons for studies of liquid flow in porous media – which is the essence of the PoreFlow project.

For further information please contact: Professor Dag W. Breiby, phone: +47 73593594, e-mail:

Main duties and responsibilities

  • The research work will involve designing, constructing and using state-of-the-art experimental setups, specifically sample cells for large scale neutron and X-ray (synchrotron) facilities.
  • Sophisticated analysis and modelling based on large datasets, also using statistical and possibly machine learning (artificial intelligence) methods, will be important tools in this project. 
  • Developing computational microscopy methods to be applied to challenges in the environmental -, life -, and materials sciences. 
  • Image processing and segmentation, tomographic imaging, and studies of porous media.
  • In addition, the candidate is expected to participate actively in the research group activities, including mentoring and co-supervision of students.

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 physics 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

Candidates from universities outside of Norway are kindly requested to send a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree:

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA. 

We have a strategic ambition of being a leading research group, and the candidates are selected accordingly, expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

  • The successful candidate for the PhD position should hold a master’s degree in physics. In exceptional cases, candidates with a background in related fields like biophysics, nanotechnology, materials science, or geophysics can also be considered.
  • The position requires a strong interest in experimental physics, computational imaging, image processing and data analysis.
  • Experience from nanoscale studies using scattering, diffraction or microscopy methods would be considered an advantage.
  • Knowledge of environmental science would be an asset
  • Computer programming skills (e.g. Matlab, Python or C) and hardware building skills are desired.
  • The position requires spoken and written fluency in English.
  • Excellence in scientific writing and good oral presentation skills are requested.

In the cover letter the applicant must specifically describe his/her expertise in relevant fields like experimental physics, geophysics, neutron and X-ray scattering/diffraction/imaging, analysis of large datasets, physics of porous media, and computer programming.

Due to the ambition for close contact with Norwegian industry, a good knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language would be evaluated positively.

Personal characteristics

The successful candidate should be creative, ambitious and enthusiastic, with a strong ability to work independently and goal oriented.

The candidate should enjoy interdisciplinary research and take keen interest in learning and working in teams, which is of high importance in this multidisciplinary project. 

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 vibrant international academic environment

Salary and conditions

Phd candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per year. From the salary, 2 % is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

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 criterias 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.

General information

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.

Information about the Department of Physics

The department is currently in an expansion phase and incorporates a broad activity within physics with activities in solid state physics/material physics, soft/complex and biopolymer physics, medical physics, statistical physics, optics, atmospheric physics, university didactics and astroparticle physics. The department is also since 2017 the hosting institution of two national centres of excellence - Porelab and QuSpin. The department is responsible for the best recruiting physics study programmes in Norway, both within applied and fundamental physics. It also provides a large set of courses within physics for other study programmes at NTNU.

For more information about the department and its activities, see

About the application:

Publications and other academic works that the applicant would like to be considered in the evaluation must accompany the application. Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify the individual applicant's contribution to joint works, the applicant must include a brief description of his or her contribution.

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applicants invited for interview must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number 20/3127 when applying.

Application deadline: 22.03.2020


Dag W. Breiby
Telefonnummer: 73 59 35 94

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