Website University of Agder

The University of Agder invites applications for five PhD fellowships in several fields within Civil & Structural Engineeering. The PhD fellowships are for three years and are linked to the Department of Engineering Sciences. The starting date is as soon as possible.

The Department of Engineering Sciences has more than 110 employees in scientific positions and more than 1600 students at all levels. A variety of research is conducted within the research groups in mechatronics, renewable energy, civil engineering and industrial economy. This position will be associated with the renewable energy group. We have broad international cooperation and close collaboration with industrial partners and public services in the region. This is a benefit both for teaching and research.

Based on a cooperation between the governmental road building client company Nye Veier and the university, UiA is launching the research project “More efficient and environmental friendly road construction” (MEERC). MEERC (Norwegian only) is externally funded by the Research Council of Norway (NFR) and Sørlandets Kompetansefond, to comprise six PhD research fellow positions. Five of these are hereby announced. Applications must be directed towards each specific position. All research fellows in the project will be part of a common research environment, localized at Campus Grimstad and closely cooperating with industry.

PhD position 1 – Industrialized sustainable construction of concrete bridges

The PhD study is related to structural design and sustainable standardized solutions for new concrete bridges. In general, the project will involve aspects due to new materials (new environmentally friendly binders and alternative reinforcement solutions), durability, structural concepts and detailing, prefabrication, digitalization and modern design tools. The topics introduce strong demands on the structural strength analysis and design in ultimate serviceability and durability limit state design, which is the main topic of the PhD-project. Candidates should have strong background in mechanics and structural engineering, including the finite element method and analysis and design of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete structures.

PhD position 2 – Preventing emission to water

The PhD study will focus on water pollution from construction and maintenance of roads, and measures to prevent or reduce impacts on water resources. The work may focus on one or more phases in road construction. It may focus on developing methodologies and practices for foreseeing and rating potential hazardous emissions to water prior to construction, methodologies and technologies for reducing emission during construction, and/or during operation and maintenance after construction.

Studies can be related to impacts of various geological structures and rock types on run-off water characteristics (physical, chemical, and toxicity) during construction (excavation, drilling, blasting and transportation), during stone crushing for reuse, and during storage of excess rock material in rockfills. Studies may also focus on innovative measures and technologies to reduce environmental impacts of runoff water, including runoff from point sources (e.g. tunnel-water) or non-point sources (e.g. rockfills). The solutions should be based on environmental friendly principles, and contribute to energy saving, circular economy, waste reduction, and reduced carbon footprint.

PhD position 3 – Improving and reclaiming rock

The PhD study will focus on reducing the environmental impact from construction and maintenance, by using alternative materials in road construction. The purpose is to assess and compare the technical applicability of using materials from different origin in new road constructions. Recycled and natural materials used separately or in combination, is included in the scope. The materials may origin from activities like excavation, drilling, blasting, de-construction and demolition. One or more indicators that may be covered are durability, leaching of chemical species, CO2 – emission and reduced energy consumption. The work may include lab and field studies. The aim is results to be used in decision-making tools to help identify the most environmentally friendly road construction materials available in each new road building project.

PhD position 4 Management in construction

The PhD study will focus on management of design and construction of complex projects, having interphases between numerous specialized professions. These projects often experience several reciprocal dependencies, generating uncertainty between stakeholders in the process (ref e.g. the CYNEFIN framework). The complexity increases when elements are outsourced to domestic or international suppliers having separate design responsibility, as does procurement of goods or services with long lead-time. Candidates should have enhanced understanding of the distinctiveness of the major professions included in construction, and the interphase towards digitalization (e.g. BIM). We are based on a Lean Construction tradition, and the project should include the study of effects from various implementation models – especially on generating value for the building client.

PhD position 5 – BIM in construction

The PhD study will focus on the core content of digitalization; harvesting, processing, storing and presenting information within construction. Holistic solutions are endeavored through implementation of altered processes, and software and hardware for BIM and GIS. This process requires understanding and close cooperation with interactive innovation processes in the industry, like Lean Construction and Production (LC/LP), Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), implementation strategies and contract strategies. MEERC is open to numerous suggestions concerning approaches through the life-span of constructions, including design management, construction, industrializing, LCA, LCC and expanded application of (big) data from sources like data bases, sensors (Internet of things) and scanning from drones. Please use the requested research plan to suggest an innovative plan, based on your special competence within the construction industry. Case will be applied in close cooperation with the industry.

Common for all positions

All candidates are required to submit a brief description (up to 4 pages) of a suggested research plan within the proposed area. Proficiency in oral and written English is required. Knowledge of Norwegian or another Scandinavian language is required, as communication with constructors will be important.

All positions will be associated with the Civil and Structural Engineering group, and candidates must be qualified for admission to this specialization within the PhD Programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science.

Admission requirements and qualifications

The candidate will be enrolled in the PhD-programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science, and the applicant must therefore qualify for admission to this PhD-program.

To be considered for the position, the applicants must hold a master’s degree in civil & structural engineering and having competence relevant for each announcement.

Applicants from some countries must document their English proficiency through one of the following tests with the stated results or better:

TOEFL – Test of English as a Foreign Language with a minimum score of 550 on the Paper-based Test (PBT), or 80 on the Internet based Test (iBT)
IELTS – International English Language Testing System, with a result of at least 6.0.
Regarding English skills, please check here to see if an English test is required. Possible categories of applicants from particular countries may be exempted. Please note that the English test requirement applies to applicants from most countries according to the list mentioned above. No other tests will be approved, and certifications/statements cannot replace a test.

The candidate will be enrolled in the PhD programme at the Faculty of Engineering and Science and the applicant must qualify for admission to this PhD Programme. As a general rule, the following apply:

The average grade for courses included in a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) must be C or above
The average grade for courses included in a master’s degree (or equivalent) must be B or above
The master’s thesis (or equivalent) must have the grade B or above.
Applicant’s must submit an approved project description within three months of appointment. The PhD dissertation must be written in English.

Personal suitability and good teamwork skills will be beneficial. The position also places high demands on the applicant’s capacity for independent goal-oriented work, their ability to concentrate, and on attention to detail. Applicants will be assessed based on academic background and results, personal skills, as well as previous research and development work.

Short-listed applicants will be invited for interviews. With the applicant’s permission, UiA will also conduct a reference check before the appointment.

Further provisions relating to the position as PhD Research Fellow can be found in the Regulations Concerning Terms and Conditions of Employment for the Posts of Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Research Fellow, Research Assistant, and Resident.


The position is remunerated according to the State Salary Scale 17.515, code 1017 Research Fellow, salary NOK 436 900 gross per year. A 2 % compulsory pension contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund is deducted from the pay according to current statutory provisions.

The Norwegian Public Service is committed to reflecting the diversity of society, and the personnel policy of the University of Agder aims to achieve a balanced workforce. All qualified persons are therefore encouraged to apply for the position, irrespective of cultural background, gender, age, or disability.

The appointment is made by the University of Agder’s Appointments Committee for Teaching and Research Positions. The successful applicant will have rights and obligations in accordance with the current regulations for the Public Service.


Submit your application and CV online. Please click on the link “Apply for this job”. The following should be considered when submitting the online application:

Certificates and grades for all post-secondary education, including the bachelor’s level; master’s degree/higher degree certificate, with a summary of the courses/subjects included in the degree must be submitted by all applicants.
Applicants with a foreign higher education must attach an official description (in English) of the grading system used at the issuing institution.
Applicants who are required to document their English proficiency must submit their TOEFL or IELTS test results (these may be forwarded after the closing date). An additional assessment of the applicant’s skills in spoken English may be undertaken at the time of interview.
Summary of and links to the applicant’s scientific publications, if any, should be submitted.

Applicants who wish to submit a short project proposal may do so, but this is optional. The proposal should not exceed one page.
Please do not submit large documents, like a full thesis or publications. If any additional information is required, the applicant will be informed later.

Original documents must be presented for verification to the University of Agder. Successful candidates will be asked, normally during the interview, to ensure that the issuing university submits documents in a sealed envelope directly to UiA or provide access to their documents online, which allows UiA to verify the authenticity of these electronic documents via a secure website hosted by the issuing university (contact person at UiA will be provided later for certain candidates).

The applicant is entirely responsible for submitting complete documentation. Without complete documentation we cannot, unfortunately, include you in the assessment process.

All documentation of education must be in the original language and English, Norwegian, Swedish, or Danish (if the original language is not one of these). The application should include a translation, which should preferably be from the issuing university. Additional documentation must be in English, Norwegian, Swedish or Danish.

For further information please contact Professor Rein Terje Thorstensen, Tel. +47 37 23 32 16, e-mail [email protected] or Assistant Head of Department Tom Viggo Nilsen, tel. +47 37 23 32 55, e-mail [email protected]

Positions can be applied for by using the following link: 

In accordance with §25(2) of the Freedom of Information Act, applicants may request that they are not identified on the open list of applicants. The University, however, reserves the right to publish the name of applicants. Applicants will be notified in case the University intends to exercise this right.

436000 NOK / year
3 years


If you would like to get in touch with us, please feel free to send us a message. Thank you very much in advance.


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