Postdoctoral Researcher in Production of Solar Energy Under Arctic Environmenta

University of Oulu Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

Postdoctoral Researcher and Doctoral Student for Energy- and Cost-Efficient Production of Solar Energy Under Arctic Environmental Conditions

The North changes the world – more sustainable, more intelligent, more humane. We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

Kvantum Institute is one of the four strategic focus institutes supporting high-quality research, coordinating multidisciplinary research activities and doctoral training. Kvantum’s science-based expertise meets global challenges in the focus areas Sustainable materials and systems and Changing climate and northern environment. The Institute promotes interdisciplinary networking of research groups as well as co-operation between groups and national and international partners.

We are now looking for

A Postdoctoral Researcher and a Doctoral Student to conduct research on Energy- and cost-efficient production of solar energy under arctic environmental conditions

Description of the positions

The Postdoctoral Researcher is responsible for conducting the design and constructing of instrumentation and performing the measurements to predict the solar energy harvesting efficiency of photovoltaic installations in unconventional artic conditions. In addition, tasks related to simulation model development and experimental data analysis needed for optimization the efficiency of solar harvesting installations is needed.

The Doctoral Student is expected to improve the understanding of the impact of arctic environmental conditions, in particular that of snow and ice, on the operation and power output of solar panels. The specific subject areas of this position are:

Optimizing the operation of solar photovoltaics in winter conditions
Determining the polarization factor caused by the reflection from snow and ice
Consolidation of measured data with solar PV system modelling
Systems level forecasting of the role of photovoltaics in energy transition in the Arctic
The work will include simulations and empirical observations, and the candidate will be responsible for the design and development of methods for measuring the interrelation between snow and ice coverage on the solar production in an Arctic environment. The work will further include developing models based on these measurements to improve the inclusion of Arctic conditions in PV-system models. These models will be further used to improve short- and long-term forecasting of PV-system output. We are looking for a Doctoral Student with a strong knowledge of energy systems and energy technologies to conduct this research and complete their degree of Doctor of Technology. This includes post-graduate studies, independent research and writing a minimum of 3 scientific articles and publishing them in high impact peer-review journals. The selected applicant will work in a team of environmental engineers focusing on smart grid and energy transition research. The research will be conducted in Oulu, Finland, and the researcher will have access to the research facility and PV installations at the University of Oulu, Linnanmaa campus.

Description of the research groups

The Postdoctoral Researcher position is placed at the Optoelectronics and Measurement Techniques Research Unit (OPEM), Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. OPEM holds an established position as an internationally recognized research organization in the field of optical measurement technologies and additive manufacturing of optics and electronics. In the latest international research assessment at the University of Oulu, OPEM’s scientific research was evaluated to the highest level. The education and research activities cover the topics such as optoelectronics based instrumentation and measurement and printed electronics fabrication and characterization. OPEM is multidisciplinary research group which is actively collaborating with the best international research groups around the world including the large number of industrial partners. The majority of OPEM’s research is externally funded by the Academy of Finland, EU, and Business Finland (former Tekes). The research unit is the vibrant and inspiring multicultural team of young and motivated people with an access to modern and diverse research facilities and instruments.

The Doctoral Student position is placed at the Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering (WE3) in its research group focusing on energy technology ( at the Faculty of Technology. The Energy and Environmental Engineering (EEE) Group focuses on research and education in smart and sustainable energy systems and circular economy. Our expertise is in smart grids, critical materials, material flow analysis and sustainability assessment. A special focus of EEE is on Northern and Arctic aspects of energy technologies and resources management. The research of EEE falls under the University of Oulu's strategic research area of "Creating sustainability with materials and systems". Our research also supports the social sustainability dimension of technologies, sustainable regional development, and the energy transition process. We have substantial experience in international projects and EU funding, supported by a wide cooperation network in Europe. We are conducting several basic, applied and advanced projects in energy technologies and circular economy. We are also providing education and guidance to the students of the sustainable energy systems orientation at the Faculty of Technology.

Qualification requirements

Postdoctoral Researcher position: Doctoral degree in the field of engineering or applied physics with strong hands on experience of constructing optoelectronics based instrumentation and measurements is required. The PhD degree must have been received no more than 10 years ago. The experience of different simulations methods and data analytics is also needed. Fluent English proficiency is mandatory and Finnish proficiency preferred.

Doctoral Student position:

A Master of Science degree in the field of energy technology, sustainable energy systems, process or environmental engineering. The candidate needs to have a strong knowledge of energy technologies, energy systems as well as the energy transition process. We expect doctoral student candidates who had very good grades in their master’s studies, especially in relevant energy courses. Their master’s level studies must include at least 30 ECTS worth of advanced level energy courses. Diploma work graded minimum 4/5, and degree average min. 3,8/5 Experience of different modelling tools such as Homer, Skelion, MatLab or PyThon is also required, and knowledge on data analytics is considered an advantage. Fluency in both written and spoken English is mandatory and will need to be proven. Knowledge of the Finnish power system and an understanding of Arctic environmental conditions will be considered a strong advantage. Assessment of the applicants’ qualifications will be based on these criteria, acknowledging their educational background as well as work experience.

The selected candidate will carry out her/his doctoral studies within the University of Oulu Graduate School (UniOGS) and must meet the requirements to receive doctoral study rights as defined in:

What we offer

You will become a part of a highly talented research group, that is working on strategically and globally significant research area
You will receive support from your team and supervisor, so that you can excel in your studies and research
In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as occupational healthcare and affordable sport services
4-year position, beginning on January 1, 2021 (or as soon as possible thereafter)
A salary in accordance with the Finnish universities salary system (for teaching and research personnel): A Postdoctoral Researcher will be based on demand level 5 – 6 and a Doctoral Student level 2 – 4. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Typical starting salary for a Postdoctoral Researcher is approx. 3400€ per month (before taxes) and for a Doctoral Student approx. 2350€ per month (before taxes). A trial period of six months will be applied.

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by November 1st, 2020 at 23:59 (Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

1) A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here

2) Curriculum vitae (max. 4 pages) in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity

3) List of publications based on the guidelines of the Academy of Finland

4) A research plan, max. 3 pages (Postdoctoral Researcher position only)

5) Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original doctoral degree certificate (Postdoctoral Researcher position) or of the original Master's degree certificate (Doctoral Student position) and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to Finnish or English

6) Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through portal will be considered.

Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview.

Further information

Postdoctoral Researcher position

Research unit leader, professor Tapio Fabritius

Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering

P.O. Box 4500, FI-90014 University of Oulu

email: tapio.fabritius(at)

Doctoral Student position

Research group leader, Professor Eva Pongrácz

Faculty of Technology, WE3

FI-90014 University of Oulu

email: eva.pongracz(at)

City of Oulu

The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban centre in northern Scandinavia and one of the fastest growing regions in Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Find out more about Oulu: