Postdoctoral Fellow in Solid Insulation Systems under Power Electronics Converter Stresses

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


About the job

The postdoctoral fellowship position is a temporary position where the main goal is to qualify for work in senior academic positions.

The Department of Electric Energy (IEL) at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time 100% position as a Postdoctoral Fellow within the field of degradation and breakdown in solid insulation systems under power electronics converter stresses.

During the last decades power electronic converters (PECs) have been introduced to control and transform electric power – and permeate society for numerous applications: zero-emission transport, renewable energy, and transmission. The PEC is a key technology to succeed with the electrification of society and reach the climate goals set out by the EU and UN.

PECs function as on/off switches, resulting in sharp-edged square wave voltages with a high repetition rate. These sharp voltage flanks introduce different stress distributions internally in components and can induce or accelerate degradation and lead to premature breakdown. The SwoP (Impact of switched voltage waveforms on power components and grids) project will develop methods to measure, characterize, and predict the increased stresses and accelerated degradation of power components exposed to fast PECs.  Failure modes in electrical insulation will typically be partial discharges (PD), i.e., small local sparks that degrade insulation, and dielectric heating. PD measurements are feasible for quality assurance and factory assessment testing, as it identifies potential defects. However, there is no good documentation of the correlation between PD level and life expectancy. Performing ageing studies along with diagnostics (e.g., PD and dielectric spectroscopy) gives insight into the relevance and information that could be derived from PD measurement. This should be combined with analysis of the mechanical and chemical material deterioration that leads to decreased electric withstand strength. To manufacture novel and lightweight insulation systems for electric propulsion and renewable energy generation, knowledge is thus needed on degradation mechanisms and suitable insulation materials under PEC stresses.

The work of this project will be associated with the project SwoP, which is a collaborative project involving NTNU, SINTEF Energy Research, the University of Bologna (UniBo), and several national and international industry partners. The PhD Candidate will be employed at NTNU, and the workplace will be in Trondheim, in connection with this research project, with exchange to the University of Bologna for one year.  The prospective candidate will be part of a project team that works in close collaboration with SINTEF, UniBo, and industry partners.

The main supervisor will be Professor Kaveh Niayesh (NTNU) and the co-supervisors will be Prof. Andrea Cavallini (UniBo) and Dr. Espen Eberg (SINTEF Energy Research).

Your immediate leader is the Head of Department. 

Duties of the position

  • Develop methods to measure, characterize and predict the increased stresses and accelerated degradation on power components exposed to fast PECs.Perform ageing studies and apply appropriate diagnostics methods.
  • The results of the project are expected to be published in high-quality scientific journals and presented at conferences and for research partners as well as for user partners within the project.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree or corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian PhD in Electric Power Engineering, Physics, Material Science, or Electrical Engineering. If you can document that the PhD thesis has been submitted, your application can be assessed even if you have not yet defended your dissertation. Documentation of the obtained doctoral degree must be presented before you can take up the position. 
  • Good written and oral English language skills. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

    • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)

    • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)

    • CAE/CPE: grade B or A

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills, and the ability to communicate fluently, will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for the shortlisted applicants

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Ph.D Candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Work and/or research experience in high voltage engineering.
  • Experience with running and building lab setups could be beneficial.

Personal characteristics

  • Inquisitive, self-motivated, and self-driven with a strong ability to work both independently, and in cooperation with others when required.  
  • Communicates information with clarity and ease, both orally and in writing. 
  • Structured, targeted and solution-oriented. 
  • Creativity and innovation in research.
  • Scientific mindset. 

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 594 500 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 two years.

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.  

After the appointment, you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding.

It is a prerequisite you can be present physically at and accessible to the institution at campus Trondheim 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 applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above.  

If, for any reason, you have taken a career break or have had an atypical career and wish to disclose this in your application, the selection committee will take this into account, recognizing that the quantity of your research may be reduced as a result. 

The application must include: 

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes personal motivation and relevance with respect to the requirements of this advertisement.
  • CV and certificates
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's-, master's- and PhD degrees. If you have not yet completed your Ph.D., you must provide confirmation on your estimated date for the doctoral dissertation, or that your PhD thesis has been submitted
  • A copy of the doctoral thesis. If you are close to submitting or have recently submitted your thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed doctoral degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Academic works - published or unpublished - that you would like to be considered in the assessment (up to 5 items)
  • Research plan (3-5 pages)
  • English language proficiency documentation
  • Name and contact information of three references.

Incomplete applications will not be assessed.

If all, or parts, of your education have been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education. A description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well. 
Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief 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 a strength. We want our faculty and staff to reflect Norway’s culturally diverse population and we continuously seek to hire the best minds. This enables NTNU to increase productivity and innovation, improve decision-making processes, raise employee satisfaction, compete academically with global top-ranking institutions, and carry out our social responsibilities within education and research. NTNU emphasizes accessibility and encourages qualified candidates to apply regardless of gender identity, ability status, periods of unemployment or ethnic and cultural background.

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


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 Kaveh Niayesh, e-mail:, and/or Dr. Espen Eberg, e-mail: If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR consultant Sven Robert Storø, e-mail:

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: 26.02.2024.


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