The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD Research Fellowship in Machine Learning for Cognitive Power Management in IoT

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    NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
    Computer science
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    13/09/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Norway › Trondheim


About the position

This is a researcher training position aimed at providing promising researcher recruits the opportunity of academic development in the form of a doctoral degree.

Bringing intelligence into Internet-of-Things systems is mostly constrained by the availability of energy. Devices need to be wireless and small in size to be economically feasible and need to replenish their energy buffers using energy harvesting. In addition, devices need to work autonomously, because it is unfeasible to operate them manually or change batteries — there's simply too many of them. To make the best of the energy available, IoT devices should plan wisely how they spend their energy, that means, which tasks they should perform and when. This requires the development of policies. Due to the different situations, the various devices may find themselves in, it will also vary from device to device which policies are best, which suggests the use of machine learning for the autonomous, individual development of energy policies for IoT devices.

One special focus in this project is the modeling of the power supply of the IoT devices, that means, the submodule that combines energy harvesting and energy buffering. Both are processes that are highly stochastic and probabilistic and vary over time and with the age of the device yet have major impact on a devices ability to perform well. In addition, due to the constraints, the approach itself must be computationally feasible and not itself consume too much energy. Combining machine learning for power supplies with the application goals of the IoT device is therefore a research challenge.

You will report to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

Within this project, we will design and validate machine-learning approaches to model power supplies to know more about their current and future state, and energy budget policies that allow IoT devices to perform better and autonomously. The project is cross-disciplinary involving electronic design, software and statistical techniques and machine learning. Depending on the skills of the candidate, different aspect may be emphasized, for instance focusing on statistical modelling of relevant effects, transfer learning and model identification, and explainability of machine learning models. Experience with electronics may be beneficial but are not strictly required.

The research will be carried out in an interdisciplinary environment of several research groups, and under guidance of three supervisors,

  • Associate Professor Frank Alexander Kraemer from the Department of Information Security and Communication Technology (IIK), NTNU,
  • Associate Professor Kerstin Bach from the Department of Computer Science (IDI), NTNU,
  • Assistant Professor Bernd-Christian Renner from the SmartPort research group at the Hamburg University of Technology.

The research environments include

  • the NTNU Internet of Things Lab, which provides experimentation test beds for autonomous sensors and data that can be used as starting point for simulations.
  • The Norwegian Open AI Lab at NTNU, with expertise in machine learning, case-based reasoning and reinforcement learning
  • The SmartPort research group at the Hamburg University of Technology, with experience in IoT energy management and access to relevant use cases.

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in computer science, statistical machine learning, applied mathematics, communication- and information technology, electrical engineering, electronic engineering, or an equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

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

  • Motivation for fundamental scientific research of practical relevance is essential.
  • Publication activities in the aforementioned disciplines will be considered an advantage.
  • The applicant should have good communication skills and be willing to collaborate with other researchers in the cross-disciplinary group of people connected to this project.
  • Good written and oral English and Norwegian language skills. Applicants who do not master a Scandinavian language must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. The following tests can be used as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS or 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.

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidate:

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 479 600 per annum, 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 4 years including 25% of teaching assistance. Students at NTNU can also apply for this position as part of an integrated PhD program (https://www.ntnu.edu/iik/integrated-phd).

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Information Security and Communication Technology within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period.

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.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution 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 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 contain: 

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) with information about the candidate’s prior training, exams, and work experience.
  • A research statement (max. 3 pages), detailing research interests and initial plans with regard to the specific project description for this position provided above. The statement should also describe why the applicant is suited for the position, and how the project relates to previous education, research and competence.
  • Names and contact information of at least 2 reference persons
  • A copy of the master thesis (in PDF), or, for those who are near to completion of their MSc, an extended abstract combined with a statement of how and when the applicant plans to complete the thesis.
  • Certified copies of transcripts and diplomas of the bachelor and master’s degree. The documents have to be translated to English unless they are in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, German or English.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement (for European Master Diplomas outside Norway) or a similar document that describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.

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.

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.

Questions about the position can be directed to Frank Alexander Kraemer, via kraemer@ntnu.no

Please submit your application electronically via jobbnorge.no with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway.

Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

Pakistani applicants are required to provide information of Master Diploma from Higher Education Commission (HEC) https://hec.gov.pk/english/pages/home.aspx

Applicants with degrees from Cameroon, Canada, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Nigeria, Philippines, Sudan, Uganda and USA have to send their education documents as paper copy directly from the university college/university, in addition to enclose a copy with the application.

Application deadline: 13.09.2020


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 Information Security and Communication Technology

Research is vital to the security of our society. We teach and conduct research in cyber security, information security, communications networks and networked services. Our areas of expertise include biometrics, cyber defence, cryptography, digital forensics, security in e-health and welfare technology, intelligent transportation systems and malware. The Department of Information Security and Communication Technology is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering .

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NTNU Norwegian University of Science and Technology
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