SFI Smart Ocean

PhD Research Fellow in Acoustics (Smart Ocean PhD2 DAS)

There is a vacancy for a PhD Research Fellow in acoustics at the Department of Physics and Technology (IFT) at the University of Bergen (UiB). The position is for a fixed-term period of 4 years. The position is subject to financing by UiB grant under the Smart Ocean Centre for Research-based Innovation, hosted by UiB.

This is an opportunity to join one of the leading research and innovation clusters within marine instrumentation and operations, in an exciting time for marine life, environment, and observation technologies. In a consortium counting about 20 research, industry and public partners, the Smart Ocean Centre focuses on flexible and cost-effective solutions for monitoring and management of a productive and healthy ocean.

The PhD candidate will be affiliated with the acoustics research group at UiB/IFT, building on 55 years of experience within experimental, theoretical, and numerical acoustics, currently making up a group of 27 people (faculty, postdoctoral research fellows, PhD and master students). The group focuses on fundamental research and collaborates with external partners on applications, with interests spanning a broad range of areas (including guided ultrasonic waves, ultrasonic fiscal flow measurement of oil and gas, marine/fisheries acoustics, distributed acoustic sensing, and material/fluid characterization).

About the project/work tasks

The United Nations has announced a decade of ocean science for sustainable development. This involves novel methodologies for monitoring of marine environments and constructions. The PhD project is part of the new Smart Ocean Centre for flexible and cost-effective monitoring and management of a productive and healthy ocean.

In contrast to electromagnetic and optical waves, acoustic waves travel great distances underwater, and therefore acoustic sensor technology forms the basis for many remote sensing systems designed for monitoring ocean man-made sources and marine creatures. As such acoustic sensor systems can satisfy a range of ocean monitoring applications, from monitoring the integrity of ocean based wind farms and other industrial subsea installations, as well as in monitoring shipping traffic, the influence of ocean noise on animal behavior, and climate studies.  

In recent years, Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) has emerged as a technology for making spatially resolved measurements of acoustic disturbances using fiber optics. In addition to facilitating acoustic measurements over large length scales, DAS is particularly interesting for ocean applications because it can utilize the same ubiquitous optical fibers found on the ocean floor, and on man-made structures.

The PhD candidate will work on the development and understanding of fibre optic Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) technologies for novel ocean applications. An important element will be how to use and get value out of existing fibre optical infrastructures used for different purposes (e.g. subsea communication cable networks). The project will cover aspects including development and operation of NORCE’s Optoelectronic DAS hardware, as well as the development of data processing techniques for interpreting the large data streams (~1 GB/s). In addition to working with real-world DAS data, the project will utilize small scale experiments in combination with mathematical and numerical modelling. These activities will contribute to improved fundamental understanding of the physical mechanisms involved in the detection of acoustic signals from different ocean sources.

The PhD work is to be carried out in a cooperation with Centre partners, co-supervised by NORCE and Tampnet. The candidate is expected to participate in the guidance of master students.

Qualifications and personal qualities:

  • Applicants must hold a master’s degree or equivalent education in physics, or must have submitted his/her master’s thesis for assessment prior to the application deadline. It is a condition of employment that the master’s degree has been awarded.
  • Proficient skills in measurement physics laboratory/field work, involving acquisition and processing of electronic signals, is a requirement.
  • Advanced programming skills is a requirement, g. using MATLAB, Python, LabVIEW.
  • Applicants must be able to work independently and in a structured manner, and demonstrate good collaborative skills.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English.

Personal and relational qualities will be emphasized. Ambitions and potential will also count when evaluating the candidates.

Experience from one or several of the following areas will be an advantage:

  • Good knowledge of acoustics (preferably ultrasonics) is an advantage, such as ultrasonic laboratory/field measurements and/or numerical modelling in acoustics.
  • Good knowledge of optoelectronic systems and sensors is an advantage, particularly distributed sensor systems.
  • Experience from finite-element modelling of acoustic wave propagation in solid and fluid media is an advantage (programming, use, or both), e.g. using COMSOL Multiphysics.
  • Experience from mathematical/numerical modelling of acoustic guided wave propagation in solid-fluid media (e.g., layered solid-fluid media) is an advantage.
  • Experience from modelling and data analysis related to Distributed Acoustic Sensing (DAS) is an advantage.
  • Good knowledge of digital signal processing is an advantage.
  • Good command of the Norwegian language is an advantage.
  • Ability to start PhD work by September 1st 2021 is an advantage.

About the PhD Research Fellow

The duration of the PhD Research Fellow is 4 years, of which 25 per cent of the time each year comprises required duties associated with research, teaching and dissemination of results.

The employment period may be reduced if you have previously been employed in a qualifying post (e.g. research fellow, research assistant).

About the research training

As a PhD Research Fellow, you must participate in an approved educational programme for a PhD degree within a period of 3 years. The deadline for applying for admission to the PhD programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences is 2 months after you start your position or after the start of the research project that will lead to the PhD degree. It is a condition that you satisfy the enrolment requirements for the PhD programme at the University of Bergen.

We can offer:

  • a good and professionally stimulating working environment
  • salary at pay grade 54 (Code 1017/Pay range 20, alternative 10) in the state salary scale. This constitutes a gross annual salary of NOK 482 200. Further promotions are made according to length of service in the position.
  • enrolment in the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund
  • good welfare benefits

Your application must include:

  • a brief account of your research interests and motivation for applying for the position
  • the names and contact information for two referees. One of these should be the main advisor for the master’s thesis or equivalent thesis
  • CV
  • transcripts and diplomas showing completion of the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. If you have not yet completed your master’s degree, please submit a statement from your institution confirming that the master’s thesis has been submitted.
  • relevant certificates/references
  • approved documentation of proficiency in English (if required, cf. English language requirements for PhD admission)
  • a list of any works of a scientific nature (publication list)
  • any publications in your name

The application and appendices with certified translations into English or a Scandinavian language must be uploaded at Jobbnorge.

General information

For further details about the position, please contact Professor Per Lunde, Dept. of Physics and Technology, University of Bergen, e-mail: per.lunde@uib.no, tel. +47 99493901; or Senior Researcher Peter J. Thomas, NORCE, e-mail: peth@norceresearch.no, tel. +47 91131378.

The state labour force shall reflect the diversity of Norwegian society to the greatest extent possible. Age and gender balance among employees is therefore a goal. It is also a goal to recruit people with immigrant backgrounds. People with immigrant backgrounds and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply for the position.

We encourage women to apply. If multiple applicants have approximately equivalent qualifications, the rules pertaining to moderate gender quotas shall apply.

The University of Bergen applies the principle of public access to information when recruiting staff for academic positions.

Information about applicants may be made public even if the applicant has asked not to be named on the list of persons who have applied. The applicant must be notified if the request to be omitted is not met.

Further information about the employment process can be found here.