OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University is Norway’s third largest university, with nearly 22,000 students and 2,200 employees. Through the students we educate and the research we produce, the university has a direct impact on society, both in Norway and beyond. The university has two campuses, one in central Oslo and another a short distance from the city in the municipality of Lillestrøm. OsloMet is home to some of Norway’s largest and oldest educational programmes, including degree programmes in nursing, engineering and teacher education. The university is also a hub of research and technological innovation aimed at strengthening and sustaining the Norwegian welfare state.
The Faculty of Technology, Art and Design (TKD) offers higher education and research and development (R&D) activities within technical subjects, arts and design. The Faculty has approximately 4.000 students and 400 staff members and is situated at Pilestredet Campus in downtown Oslo and at Kjeller Campus in Viken.
The Department of Mechanical, Electronic and Chemical Engineering (MEK) is one out of five departments at TKD. The department offers three bachelor's degree programmes and a master's degree programme in Electrical Engineering, in addition to research and development activities. The department has approximately 35 staff members, 10 PhD students, and 800 students.
There is a vacancy for a PhD fellowship at the Department of Mechanical, Electronics and Chemical Engineering (MEK), in the field of Advanced Materials Technology, related to the project “Manufacture of nanomaterials with application in Neuromorphic Computing”. The PhD candidate will be part of the Mechanical Engineering group, and the project will receive support from the ADEPT research group (Advanced health intelligence and brain-inspired technologies) and the Artificial Intelligence laboratory at OsloMet. The position is for a period of three years, and the person appointed should preferably take up the position as soon as possible.
Area of research
Relevance of Nanomaterials in AI. Numerous technologies are limited by the capabilities of available materials and Artificial intelligence (AI) is not an exception. Expensive computational cost during implementation of AI in transistor-based computers leads to increasingly high energy requirements and carbon footprint. Nanotechnology can be crucial to break through these limitations by manipulating materials in the sub-micron scale to provide new physical substrates for computation.
Brain-Inspired AI. The human brain is the only system that can implement true general intelligence. Computers emulate brain’s computations using networks of artificial neurons, but they are based on fundamentally different underlying principles. While computers use transistors, the brain operates with slower processing units, the neurons. Although apparently inferior, neurons enable the brains to perform complex computations in a shorter time, with significantly inferior energy consumption. Therefore, it is critical to understand the underlying principles of how natural neurons deploy computations and thereby utilize these principles to create physical substrates to emulate them.
Neuromorphic Computers. Networks of brain neurons operate by transmitting pulses of information, or spikes. In contrast to artificial neural networks, networks of spiking neurons process information asynchronously, relying on the dynamics of active sub-populations instead of relying on the information encoded in specific neurons. This enables greater parallelization and robustness, which is ultimately expressed in the speed and the generality of natural intelligence. Although there are computational simulations of these networks of spiking signals from neurons, their full computational power can only be fully manifested through hardware that is able to operate with spikes, the so-called Neuromorphic Computers.
Memristors. The physical substrate required to perform neuromorphic computing can be formed by memristors, which are electronic devices that mimic the electric response of brain neurons by integrating inputs and nonlinearly sending a timely pulse of information. This project aims at developing materials and methods to produce memristors in the form of nano-layered materials deposited by electro-hydrodynamic atomization of liquids. Arrays of these devices will be formed to test simple forms of neuromorphic computing.
We are looking for a candidate who has:
- A Master`s degree in Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering or other relevant fields with 120 ECTS or equivalent with an average grade of A or B within a scale of A-E passing of grades, and bachelor’s degree in the same fields with an average grade of C and higher
- Excellent written and spoken English
Candidates who already hold a PhD in the same or similar field may not apply. General criteria for appointments to academic positions are covered by the Forskrift om ansettelsesvilkår for stillinger som postdoktor, stipendiat, vitenskapelig assistent og spesialistkandidat.
Admission to the doctoral program at the Faculty of Technology, Art and Design at OsloMet, within 3 months after employment in the position, is a prerequisite for joining the position. To be admitted to the PhD program, the applicant must have a B or better at the master's degree and C or better at the bachelor's degree.
- Experience with experimental research: experiment design, development of instrumentation, data collection and data analysis
- Ability to use numerical simulations tools and programming language such as Python/MATLAB for the prediction of mechanical/electrical properties of materials
- Knowledge in electro-hydrodynamics: electrospray atomization, electrosprays, electrospinning, or related phenomena
- Experience with characterization of thin-film materials, particularly with one or more of the following techniques: scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffractometry (XRD), reflectometry (measuring of thin film thickness), UV spectroscopy
- Knowledge and/or experience in the characterization of semiconductors
- Knowledge/experience on neuromorphic computing and memristors
- Experience of publishing peer-reviewed scientific articles
Desired personal skills
- Ability to work independently and in a team
- Highly motivated and goal oriented
- Capacity to conduct and report research in a structured way
- Good communication skills
- Strong analytical skills
- Good abilities in problem-solving and understanding new theory
- Keen learner with scientific curiosity and eagerness to develop in the research field
It is important to OsloMet to reflect the population of our region, and all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. We make active endeavors to further develop OsloMet as an inclusive workplace and to adapt the workplace if required. You are also welcomed to apply for a position with us if you have experienced periods where you have not been in work, education, or training.
In order to be considered for the position you must upload the following documents together with your online application by the final date for the application:
- Application letter, describing your motivations for applying to this fellowship as well as a short overview of the qualifications, technical skills, experience, and personal skills that make you an attractive candidate for a successful and productive completion of this work.
- CV and copies of diplomas/certificates including all grades.
- Copy of MSc thesis.
- A letter of motivation where you describe why you apply for this project and what makes you especially suited to finish a PhD (500-1000 words).
- Names and contact details of 2-3 references (name, relation to candidate, email, and telephone number).
- Candidates from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to include a Diploma Supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grade system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree: https://ec.europa.eu/education/diploma-supplement_en
- Applicants from countries where English is not the first language must present an official language test report. The following tests qualify as such documentation: TOEFL, IELTS, 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 is accepted)
- The following applicants are exempt from the above-mentioned language requirements:
- Applicants from EU/EEA countries
- Applicants who have completed one year of university studies in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK or USA
- Applicants with an International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma
Please apply electronically to this position.
All the documents must be written in English or a Scandinavian language (Norwegian, Swedish or Danish). Any translations must be authorized by government. Originals must be presented if you are invited for an interview. OsloMet performs document inspections in order to give you as a candidate a proper evaluation and ensure fair competition.
Please note that incomplete applications will not be considered.
We can offer you
- An exciting job opportunity at Norway’s third largest and most urban university
- Opportunity for professional development within a stimulating interdisciplinary research environment combining materials technology, nanotechnology, and neuromorphic computing
- Participation in an active research group, with support of experts in brain-inspired biotechnology and artificial intelligence
- The opportunity to participate in various international research networks
- Beneficial pension arrangements with the Norwegian State Pension Fund
- Good employee welfare arrangements
- Free Norwegian classes to employees
- Working location in downtown Oslo with multiple cultural offers
If you would like more information about the position, feel free to contact:
- Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering, Rafael Borrajo, +47 67 23 60 97
- Head of Research at MEK, Tore Gimse, +47 67 23 72 81
Salary is set in accordance with the Norwegian State Salary Scale, position code 1017 PhD Fellowship, pay grade 54, NOK 501 200. By law 2% of the salary is deducted as to the Norwegian State Pension Fund.
The position adheres to the Norwegian Government’s policy that the national labour force should to the greatest possible extent reflect the diversity of the population. Therefore, we encourage qualified candidates with immigrant background or reduced functional ability to apply for this position. OsloMet is an IA (Inclusive Workplace) enterprise and operates in compliance with the Norwegian IA agreement.
According to the Norwegian Freedom of Information Act (Offentleglova) your name may be published on the public applicant list even if you have requested non-disclosure. You will in this case be contacted before your name is published.
Please apply electronically to this position by clicking on the button «Click here and apply».
Deadline for applications: 04.12.2022
Ref.: 22/ 07180
OsloMet is a Charter & Code certified institution by the EU Commisson holding the right to use the logo HR Excellence in Research (HRS4R). OsloMet is a member of the EURAXESS network supporting a positive work environment for researchers in motion. OsloMet has signed The Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA). DORA recognizes the need to improve the ways in which the outputs of scholarly research are evaluated.