PhD Candidate in Stormwater Quality Modelling

Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

Trondheim, Norway 🇳🇴

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

At the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, there is a PhD position available in modelling of urban stormwater quality and urban diffuse pollution. The candidate will be a member of a well-established and dynamic research team with mix between young and more experienced scientists working on urban water infrastructure, stormwater management and modelling.  The research group collaborates with national and international partners and other faculties at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).  The research group of water and wastewater engineering, has a wide portfolio of national, European, and international projects addresses the challenges of sustainable stormwater management, resilient urban water systems, treatment technology and resource recovery. Risk assessment, hydraulic and water quality modelling, and data driven analytics are overarching research interests for the group.

This PhD position is a part of the Horizon Europe funded project StopUP. The goal of StopUP is to minimise pollution from urban runoff by better understanding pollutant sources and pathways. StopUP will provide innovative monitoring, treatment technologies and tools to enable end-users to apply existing and new SUDS practices. Progressing the use of SUDS with a focus on water quality supports achieving ambitious environmental quality targets as required by the Water Framework Directive (WFD). StopUP will equip drainage engineers and supporting experts with better solutions for managing urban surface water runoff, while taking into account the project pressures due to climate change.

The research topic for the open PhD position is to better understand the pathways of urban diffuse pollution from source to sink using both monitoring and modelling approaches. The modelling will explore temporal and spatial resolutions on modelling the expected impact of reduced CSO activation frequency, and improved water quality on the catchment scale. Nature based systems connected to the combined sewer systems will be assessed for runoff reduction and frequency and duration of CSOs spills, combined with water quality improvement performance. Water quality measurements with online IoT based sensors combined with selected pollutants will be used to explore data driven modelling approaches as input into a mass balance-based model from source to sinks.

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

Your immediate leader is Professor.

Duties of the position

In the context of the research team project portfolio, the candidate will:

  • Conduct quantitative and qualitative research on the topic of urban diffuse pollution relevant for the StopUp project
  • Prepare a PhD dissertation on the topic of urban diffuse pollution and nature based solutions
  • Using, testing, and evaluation of tools for modelling urban diffuse on a catchment scale for new and existing systems
  • Publish and present results both at international conferences and in scientific journals
  • Interface and collaborate on a technical level with research partners and will deploy the models in the solar energy to support the transition towards energy positive districts
  • Contribute to building a collaborative and interactive local and international research team

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position’s main objective upon completion is to qualify for work in research positions.

  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master’s level
  • You must have a strong academic background from 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 the candidate does not have letter grades from previous studies, the candidate must have an equally good academic basis. If the candidate has a weaker grade background, the candidate may be assessed if the candidate can document that are particularly suitable for a PhD education
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the Engineering faculty’s doctoral program
  • Experience with research and practice-based work in urban drainage modelling and design will be highly valued
  • Good written and oral English language skills

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 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 

Preferred selection criteria

  • Prior knowledge or professional experience in catchment scale modelling of water quality in an urban context
  • Good programming skills in Python is considered an advantage
  • Advanced experience from research or industry using GIS software is considered an advantage
  • Experiences in publications in international scientific journals and conferences will be considered an advantage

Personal characteristics

  • Honesty and high ethical standards
  • Highly motivated for research work
  • Team Worker
  • Ability to work independently
  • Creative
  • Focus and goal oriented
  • Good communication skills
  • Critical thinking

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 501 200 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 that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Engineering 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, 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 (e.g., candidates from Russia, Iran, North Korea, China).

Please note that the candidate holding the announced position is expected to work with critical national objects and infrastructure in Norway. Candidates with the potential of not fulfilling requirement for security clearance, access clearance and authorization as described in the Act Relating to National Security, cannot be considered for the position.

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 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 follow 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
  • Name and contact information of three referees
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work

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.


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. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Tone Merete Muthanna by telephone +47 951 86 817 or email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR Consultant Martine Sulen, 

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: 20.03.2023.

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 Civil and Environmental Engineering

We conduct research and teaching in civil and transportation engineering, technical planning, structural engineering, water and wastewater engineering and hydraulic engineering. Graduates from our programmes become employees – in both the public and private sectors – with a sustainability mindset combined with competitive knowledge and skills. The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development