The Industrial Ecology Program (IndEcol), Department of Energy and Process Engineering (EPT) at NTNU is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow or Researcher to advance the assessment, modeling and planning of zero-emission neighborhoods, including the development and evaluation of strategies to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions through strategies such as energy and material efficiency, sustainable lifestyles, and energy self-generation.

Net-zero emission buildings are now commonly designed, but their development has given rise to the recognition that residents in such buildings cause greenhouse gas emissions and other impacts in several ways. This includes affecting the ability of the surrounding neighbourhood to achieve emission reductions. Looking at a larger scale provides additional opportunities to optimize the system and reduce emissions. NTNU, SINTEF, and a several corporate and public partners collaborate in a research centre on zero-emission neighbourhoods (FME ZEN). To ascertain the emissions at the neighbourhood scale, a set of modelling tools based on life-cycle assessment and product cohort analysis have been developed.

Resource efficiency has been recognized by the European Union and the United Nations Environment Assembly as an important mechanism to achieve sustainable development goals (SDGs). Land, water, energy, biomass, and minerals comprise resources which are to be used more efficiently. The International Resource Panel has found that there are important potential synergies between reducing material footprints (the indicator for SDG 12.1) and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Its Resource Efficiency and Climate Change report (RECC) has influenced policy in several world regions and is cited in three legislative proposals by the European Commission, including the Green Deal and the Renovation Wave.

ZEN has systematically worked with a set of assessment tools to ascertain the net-zero-emissions status of neighbourhoods and developed neighbourhood-scale life cycle assessment. In addition, there has been substantial effort in the collection and definition of an inventory database. The RECC modeling framework focuses on the functional performance and dynamics of product stocks over time and combines life-cycle assessment, engineering models, and material flow analysis in a similar manner as the ZEN modelling tools.

The Postdoctoral Fellow or Researcher would take a leading role in the further development and application of the current suite of models and assessment approaches to zero-emission neighbourhoods with the aim to develop a tool that can be widely used in the analysis of greenhouse gas mitigation opportunities in new and existing settlements. The work will be done under the guidance of Professors Edgar Hertwich and Helge Brattebø. The work would build on previous work in ZEN and the RECC modelling framework. 

The Head of Department is Professor Terese Løvås. The position’s supervisor is Professor Edgar Hertwich and Helge Brattebø the co-supervisor. 

Trondheim is the place of duty.

Duties of the position

  • Advance the modelling of resource efficiency opportunities on a neighbourhood or settlement scale using life-cycle product-cohort models
  • Summarize research and give recommendations to decision makers
  • Model development (programming) and documentation
  • Data collection and management
  • Collaborate with team members and FME ZEN partners. Lead collaborative effort on the assessment of neighbourhood environmental impacts
  • Write scientific papers
  • Produce project deliverables and coordinate with project partners
  • Co-advise PhD and Master’s students

Required selection criteria

The position is envisaged as a Postdoctoral Fellow, but for highly qualified candidates who have already completed at least two years of relevant postdoctoral training, hiring in a Researcher position may be considered.

Postdoctoral fellow: 

A Postdoctoral research fellowship is a qualification position in which the main objective is qualification for work in academic positions.

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.

Required selection criteria:

  • You must have completed a Norwegian doctoral degree in industrial ecology, energy or climate economics or a related field, or a corresponding foreign doctoral degree recognized as equivalent to a Norwegian PhD
  • Strong analytical capabilities
  • Relevant programming and software skills (Python, R, BIM, GIS, or similar)
  • Research competence and productivity, demonstrated through research output
  • Relevant subject competence* 
  • Interest expressed in a cover letter or research proposal
  • Fluent English language skills

*Competence in industrial ecology methods (life cycle assessment, material flow analysis, input-output modeling), or subject knowledge regarding buildings, construction, or transport systems.

The selection criteria for a Researcher will be the same as for a Postdoctoral Fellow, however it is a prerequisite that they have completed at least two years of relevant postdoctoral training. In addition, they will need to demonstrate a high level of competence and an independent standing as a researcher. The scope of the research is restricted to that of funding project, and organizationally the position lies under the position’s supervisor.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant  

Preferred selection criteria

  • It is considered a strength of the candidate also speaks a Scandinavian language

Personal characteristics

  • Self-motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated
  • Ambitious and goal-oriented
  • Ability to solve complex technical tasks independently
  • Team player
  • Excellent communication skills 

We offer 

Salary and conditions

As a Postdoctoral Fellow (code 1352) you are normally paid from gross NOK 545 300 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 position of Researcher is placed in code 1109 and is paid in accordance with the Public Sector salary regulations, depending on qualifications and length of service. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 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 at and accessible to the institution on a daily basis. 

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 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.  

The application must include: 

  • CV, certificates and diplomas 
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor’s-, master’s- and PhD degrees
  • Academic works – published or unpublished – that you would like to be considered in the assessment 
  • Research plan 
  • Name and address of three referees 

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. 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 
A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background.  

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. 

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants. 

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Professor Edgar Hertwich, If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact Megan Norris,
Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas, certificates and other required documents. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Applicants with European Master`s qualifications from outside Norway are required to include a Diploma Supplement. Applicants with Master`s qualifications from China are required to include confirmation of Master`s Diplomas from China Credentials Verification (CHSI): China Credentials Verification (CHSI).  

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number IV-217/21 when applying.  

Application deadline: 05.11.21


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 Energy and Process Engineering

We conduct research and teaching covering the entire energy chain, from resources to the end-user. We look at how energy is produced and used by humans and machines in a sustainable way with regard to health, climate change and the resource base. The Department of Energy and Process Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Engineering.

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