PhD Programme in Process, Energy and Automation Engineering

Phd student. Photo.

The aim of the PhD programme is to educate candidates with knowledge and skills that make them competent to improve production processes and reduce environmental impacts of such processes. This may be achieved through new or modified equipment and procedures, and through improved process control. The ultimate goal is to increase the industrial sustainability.

The PhD programme activities are the backbone of the research conducted at the faculty. The research done by the PhD students is an integral part of the activities in the five faculty research groups:

Examples of research areas are (in alphabetic order):

  • Alternative fuels
  • Catalysis
  • Biogas production
  • Chemometrics
  • CO2 capture
  • Gasification
  • High-voltage power systems
  • Hydrogen safety
  • Hydro power
  • Multiphase flow processes
  • Process control
  • Sensor technology
  • Smart houses


PEA block diagram


Who can apply

Candidates can apply for PhD positions announced at the USN website. We do not accept open applications.

The research topics will be pre-defined by the faculty supervisors. The research area will vary, depending on which research group that offers the position. Hence, the required background of the candidate will also vary.

Positions are typically available to candidates with a master's degree in one of the following areas: process technology, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, energy technology, environmental technology, power engineering and cybernetics.

International cooperation

The faculty research groups cooperate with many international partners, mainly through joint research projects. Examples (alphabetically ordered):

ABB Power Products Division, Air Liquide, Frankrike, Alstom/GE (Germany), DTU (Denmark), ETH (Switzerland), European Commission Joint Research Center (Netherlands), Harbin Institute of Technology (China), Health and Safety Executive (UK), Huazhong University of Science and Technology (China), Hubei University (China), INERIS (France), International Energy Agency, Japan Automobile Research Institute (Japan), Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (Germany), Kathmandu University (Nepal), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Lublin University of Technology (Poland), Modelon AB, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (USA), National Technical University of Ukraine, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (USA), Sandia National Laboratories (USA), Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Toho University (Japan), United Technologies Research Center (USA), Universidad de Valladolid (Spain), Universidad Politecnic de Catalunya (Spania), Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (Canada), University of Austin Texas (USA), University of California at Berkeley (USA), University of Minnesota, University of Moratuwa (Sri Lanka), University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Austria), University of Newcastle (UK), University of Southern Denmark, University of Turin (Italy), University of Ulster (UK), UPC (Spain)

PhD candidates

Program summary

ECTS: 180
Duration: 3 years, fulltime
Language: English
Campus: Porsgrunn

Contact information

Mariken Kjøhl-Røsand


Regulations relating to the PhD degree of at USN

PhD handbook

Annual reports