Two PhD positions in Process Systems Engineering (Energy Research) at the
Department of Chemical Engineering, NTNU, Trondheim Norway
PhD Position no. 1  (NV-61/17)
"Optimal operation and control of flexible heat-to-power cycles"
Supervisor: Professor Sigurd Skogestad
Cyclic processes that extract power from heat go back to the
industrial revolution and steam engines, and will remain important also in the future.
Examples include solar power plants, nuclear power plants, gas and coal power
plants, waste power plants and many smaller power plants that effectively make use of
excess heat from industrial processes.
Although there is a large literature on optimal design and thermodynamics of
heat-to-power cycles, there is little published work on a systematic approach on how to
operate and control such cycles. The focus will initially be on steam cycles, but  this
may be extended to other fluids, such as CO2 or other, including organic
Rankine cycles.
The main research challenge to be answered through this project is:: How do we design the control strategy for
heat-to-power cycles so that energy-efficient operation with low CO2-emission can be achieved
and at the same time we can have fast response to load changes and disturbances?
The issue is not only to design the controller (e.g., PID versus MPC) but
to decide on what to measure and control, and how to pair the variables if single-loop
control is used (PID). Dynamically, an important decision variable is the location of the throughput manipulator.
An important issue is the choice of software for dynamic simulation, and this is not an obvious choice.
Some possibilities are Hysys/Aspen, Matlab and Modelica.
We are looking for a candidate who combines a strong systems background with knowledge and interest for processes;
the background can be a Masters degree in chemical engineering,  process engineering or control engineering (cybernetics).
It would be good if you have knowledge about power cycles and also about optimization, simulation and control.

PhD Position no. 2 (NV.62/17)
"Optimization of Energy Efficiency in Large-Scale Industrial Systems under Uncertainty"
Supervisor: associate professor Johannes Jäschke, NTNU
Process plants are operated under a variety of operating conditions. In practice, only part of the operational
conditions is known exactly, while there is a significant uncertainty associated with the other part.
This project studies methods for realizing high energy efficiency despite uncertain parameters.
The goal is to develop methods that take this uncertainty into account in a systematic and optimal way.
For example, the processes on a site may share common resources like steam, cooling water, etc.
It is desirable to operate the plants flexibly, such that when one plant needs less of a resource, another plant can use more.
Coordinating such a scheme when the consumption patterns of the other plants are uncertain, can be challenging.
One approach to achieve this is by price-based coordination, such that the
prices are adjusted to which can be addressed by methods for optimization under uncertainty.
The activities in the project involve advanced process modelling and analysis, as well as applying and
developing methods from robust and stochastic optimization, and to combine them with control strategies
to achieve energy efficient processes. The idea is to combine methods from optimization under uncertainty
with methods from control in order to obtain optimal operation.
We are looking for candidates with a strong process systems background, and
solid knowledge in numerical mathematics, optimization and control.
Relevant candidates should have a Master's degree or equivalent in chemical engineering, process cybernetics,
or process engineering. Beside this, we are looking for someone who enjoys implementing mathematical models
in a programming language such as matlab, python or C/C++.


More information about the positions are available at the jobbnorge online system:



The positions are part of "HighEFF" which is an FME (center) in efficient energy usage at NTNU and SINTEF.
The center is financed by the Norwegian research Council and industrial sponsors.

PhD positions in Norway are well paid, with a monthly salary before tax of almost 4000 USD.

Applications should be send through the jobbnorge online system.

Application deadline: 01 May 2017