NTNU  and  CERN  researchers have been collaborating for several years with a long-running tradition of having Master and Bachelor students from NTNU in the CERN Technical Student programme.  In  2017,  the two institutions decided to formalise the collaboration by signing a general Framework collaboration agreement.  The agreement states that  NTNU  and  CERN  intend to collaborate in science, technology, and engineering domains. Furthermore,  in  2019,  NTNU  and  CERN  signed another  Framework  Collaboration  Agreement concerning a Joint Doctoral Program. NTNU and CERN will co-finance PhD students. To implement the agreement and facilitate joint research projects,  NTNU  and  CERN  have twice announced  Ph.D.-positions  funded equally by the two institutions.

This programme targets engineering and technical physics under the same conditions as the CERN Dr. student programme. (Particle and experimental physics students interested in a PhD at CERN, please contact the relevant experiment groups at the University of Bergen or Oslo.) Project leaders and supervisors at CERN who would like to take advantage of this new programme are kindly invited to look at the call for joint PhD projects between NTNU and CERN and submit a project proposal ahead of the next deadline. Once the projects have been identified, applicants can apply at the advertised position at NTNU, and once accepted for a position at NTNU, on the CERN Doctoral student programme. 

Hence preparing for a position on the  NTNU-CERN programme is done in 3 steps:

  1. Identification of projects - submit at the next call for projects between CERN and NTNU.
  2. Application for a PhD position at NTNU for a given PhD project.
  3. Application for the CERN Doctoral student programme to be included formally as a Dr. student paid via CERN.

Typically the students will start with a stay at NTNU, then come to CERN for 18-24 months, and then go back again to NTNU towards the end of the project to finish the PhD.  There is some flexibility with this scheme depending on the project and candidate's requirements.  (Details can be agreed with supervisors at NTNU and CERN, as long as one stays within the CERN Doctoral student programme's modalities.)




LHC detector cooling with R744 refrigeration technology (CoolCERN)
NTNU and CERN work in close cooperation to develop a full CO2 refrigeration circuit for the ATLAS and CMS particle detectors with cooling capacities up to 300kW (ATLAS) and 600kW (CMS) at evaporating temperatures below -50°C. The silicon cells of the detectors, once cooled down, should be kept at low temperature to prevent their deterioration.

These detectors have a total cost of about 1 billion NOK, and this is why we need a primary cooling system complying with stability and reliability to keep the detectors in continuous operation, without any interruption. In addition, there is an increasing concern at CERN to meet the environmental sustainability constraints due to the European F-gas regulation and University a global consensus Norwegian of Science and Technology (Paris COP and Kigali agreement).

Project leader NTNU: Armin Hafner, Professor, Department of Energy and Process Engineering
Project leader CERN: Bart Verlaat, Technology Department


Mechanical and thermophysical characterization
Mechanical and thermophysical characterization at different strain rates of low-density graphitic materials, as well as characterization of pure Pb for beam intercepting devices applications.

Project leader NTNU: Filippo Berto, Professor, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Project leader CERN: Marco Calviani, Section Leader, Deputy Head of the Sources, Targets and Interactions Group, Engineering Department




Energy-optimal control of cooling systems
The aim of the project is to investigate control approaches to ensure energy-optimal operation of cooling and ventilation applications featuring a variety of actuators. The project will exploit knowledge about the actuators’ energy usage characteristics to derive a control strategy that seeks to minimize the energy consumption of the system.

Project leader NTNU: Morten Hovd, Professor, Department of Engineering Cybernetics
Project leader CERN: Brad Schofield, Control Engineer, Beams Department


Diagnostics and prognostics for power electronics converters in large-scale accelerator facilities
The objective of the project is to develop an additional layer of diagnostic and prognostic functionalities integrated with the central power converter controllers at CERN and to deliver advanced design methodologies for highly reliable power converters operating at a variety of mission profiles.

Project leader NTNU: Dimosthenis Peftitsis, Associate Professor, Department of Electric Power Engineering
Project leader CERN: Konstantinos Papastergiou, Power Electronics Engineer, Electric Power Converters group, Technology Department.


The social impact of CERN’s technological, human, and branding capital
Social impact is a vital measurement for universities and research institutions. The impact can be related to the dissemination of knowledge and technology, e.g. applied in the industry, spin-off companies and knowledge development through students. There is a lack of knowledge about social impact. The goal of this project is to qualify and quantify the social impact of CERN’s technological, human, and branding capital, through CERN’s knowledge transfer activities.

Project leader NTNU: Øystein Widding, Professor, Department of Industrial Economics and Technology Management
Project leader CERN: Giovanni Anelli, Group Leader, Knowledge Transfer





Hyper-redundant robots for maintenance in Big Science Facilities
To understand the needs of remote maintenance in big science facilities and to recognize the steps needed to overcome the current state of the art. To design, simulate and prototype robotic solution for dexterous remote maintenance in big science facilities.

Project leader NTNU: Kristin Y. Pettersen, Professor, Department of Engineering Cybernetics
Project leader CERN: Mario Di Castro, Section Leader, Engineering Department


Chirped optical laser cooling of positronium
The project will develop and use an ultraviolet short (sub-microsecond) chirped-pulsed Ti:sapphire and Alexandrite based laser system to laser cool positronium (Ps) and perform temperature characterization of the positronium cloud using Doppler velocimetry. The project will develop the basic Ti:sapphire laser system at NTNU first and will move to CERN to carry out the first laser cooling experiments with an existing Alexandrite based laser system.

Project leader NTNU: Irina Sorokina, Professor, Department of Physics
Project leader CERN: Michael Doser, Dr.,   Experimental Physics Department


Surface plasmons (and other surface waves) and their role in field emission and breakdown in high-field accelerating structures
The project will investigate the compelling link between the localized and strongly enhanced plasmon resonances to the enhanced field emission and breakdown phenomenon observed in high-field systems.

Project leader NTNU: Morten Kildemo, Professor, Department of Physics
Project leader CERN: Walter Wuensch, Principle Applied Physicist, Beams Department


For CERN related questions regarding the NTNU-CERN PhD programme, please contact:

  • Odd Øyvind Andreassen / EN
  • Nils Høimyr / IT
  • Jens Vigen / RCS