The Department of Technology Systems (ITS) at the University of Oslo in Norway invites applications for a PhD Research Fellow in Energy storage systems for a sustainable telescope in 2021.

Project details:

Energy storage is a crucial tool for enabling the effective integration of renewable energy sources in the future energy system. The PhD candidate will perform modeling studies for a hybrid energy storage system including batteries and hydrogen storage. The system will be designed to provide energy to a new generation telescope to be built near the ALMA site (Chile). The project is supported by the EU-funded project called “Towards an Atacama Large Aperture Submillimeter Telescope (AtLAST)” (Horizon 2020, GA number 951815). This will be the first astronomical facility of this scale for which a full environmental sustainability study is implemented at the Design Study stage.

The energy usage for AtLAST requires a careful study on the combination of solar energy with the appropriate energy storage system in order to provide both the needed load for the operations of the infrastructure, and a sustainable solution. The candidate will perform original research using both actual data as well as appropriate simulation models. Analysis of individual components and their system integration in hybrid configurations will be performed. The models are based on thermodynamics, electrochemistry, and applied physics. The simulations will use empirical relationships for the different components (e.g. current–voltage characteristics, etc). Typical system model parameters are: (i) component sizes, (ii) system sizes (e.g., number of cells per module), and (iii) limits (e.g., min/max of voltages, currents, temperatures etc.). The study of the optimal hydrogen storage solution for the proposed infrastructure will include the option of using advanced metal hydride materials.

The PhD may provide answers to some of the following research questions:

  • Which combination of components will be the most cost-effective solution in an energy system design, which allows AtLAST to be fully powered and sustained by renewable energy source?
  • What is the optimum operation plan of the energy system, e.g. the start/stop and operating power of each system component in relation to the demand profile of AtLAST?
  • How can the lifetime and performance of the single energy storage components (e.g. electrolysers, hydrogen storage tanks, fuel cells, and batteries) be maximized? How can the various components interact in the most efficient way?
  • What is the suitability of different metal hydrides in respect to thermal integration with fuel cells? What is the metal hydrides behaviour during hydrogen uptake and discharge and how it is influenced by factors including flow rate, temperature and hydrogen concentration distribution?

Worth of Award

  • Salary NOK 479 600 – 523 200 per year depending on qualifications and seniority as PhD Research Fellow (position code 1017)
  • Attractive welfare benefits and a generous pension agreement
  • A vibrant international academic environment
  • Career development programmes
  • Oslo’s family-friendly surroundings with their rich opportunities for culture and outdoor activities


The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences has a strategic ambition of being a leading research faculty. Candidates for this fellowship will be selected in accordance with this, and expected to be in the upper segment of their class with respect to academic credentials.

Required qualifications:

  • Master’s degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry, energy, engineering, computer science or a related topic
  • Experience in modelling. Knowledge of one or more of the following tools will be an advantage: MATLAB/Simulink, COMSOL Multi-physics
  • Background in energy storage systems modelling, with knowledge of batteries, fuel cells, electrolysers, hydrogen technology, metal hydrides
  • Foreign completed degree (M.Sc.-level) corresponding to a minimum of four years in the Norwegian educational system

Candidates must have defended their Master thesis before their starting date.

Desired qualifications:

  • Background in energy is preferred
  • Programming skills
  • Experience in model development
  • Experience in processing and analysing data

Grade requirements:

The norm is as follows:

  • The average grade point for courses included in the Bachelor’s degree must be C or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The average grade point for courses included in the Master’s degree must be B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • The Master’s thesis must have the grade B or better in the Norwegian educational system
  • Fluent oral and written communication skills in English

How to Apply

The application must include:

  • Cover letter – statement of motivation and research interests
  • CV (summarizing education, positions and academic work – scientific publications)
  • Copies of the original Bachelor and Master’s degree diploma, transcripts of records and letters of recommendation
  • Documentation of English proficiency
  • List of publications and academic work that the applicant wishes to be considered by the evaluation committee
  • Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, e-mail and telephone number)

The application with attachments must be delivered in our electronic recruiting system, please follow the link “apply for this job”. Foreign applicants are advised to attach an explanation of their University’s grading system. Please note that all documents should be in English (or a Scandinavian language).

Applicants may be called in for an interview.

Deadline: Application closes December 1, 2020.


Click here for more details and to apply

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