PhD Candidate within water and environmental engineering for smart cities

Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Ålesund, Norway
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Optimization of drinking water treatment plants through digital twins

Today’s operation and maintenance of water treatment plants is mostly driven by human experience and criteria which determines the efficiency of the process. Plant operators are also facing major challenges associated with responses to process disturbances (e.g. variations in raw water quality, filtration inefficiencies etc.). Overcoming challenges associated with human in the loop in plant operations is very critical to ensure optimal and cost-effective operations of water treatment plants. Advances in sensors and actuator technologies with data transmission and cloud connectivity for the water sector, as well as developments in software engineering for digitalization and artificial intelligence, provide an unprecedented opportunity for large-scale implementation of digital twins. Digital twins for process operations are particularly attractive to implement since they can objectively maximize the performance of treatment processes through process modelling and simulation, as well as overcoming human in the loop limitations. Although the implementation of digital twins in the water sector is at its infancy, it is already starting to bring great attention as an innovation driver for the sector within the broader context of smart cities development.

The water group at Department of Ocean Operations and Civil Engineering (IHB) is pioneering in the digitalization of the water sector. In connection with this, the group is currently undertaking a project (SmartVann) to digitalize the water infrastructure in the city of Ålesund.

The PhD research will be carried out in an interdisciplinary environment. The Water Group at IHB have ongoing PhD projects working on related aspect of challenges facing the water sector within the broader context of smart city development in close collaboration with the Ålesund Municipality. In line with the strategy of IHB, the candidate will be expected to collaborate with researchers across many of the research groups in the Department. The student will also work in close collaboration with staff from the Water and Wastewater Department of Ålesund Municipality.  

The position is located in Ålesund and reports to the head of the department.