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PhD Position in Condition Monitoring and Predictive Maintenance for Marine Combustion Engines

Syddansk Universitet (SDU)

Department of Technology and Innovation (ITI) at University of Southern Denmark (SDU), section of Engineering Operations Management, invites to applications for a PhD position in condition monitoring and predictive maintenance for marine combustion engines. The application deadline is 1 July 2024 at 11.59 PM / 23.59 (CET/CEST)
Department of Technology and Innovation, University of Southern Denmark (SDU), Section for Engineering Operations Management invites applications for a 3-year full-time PhD position on the topic of condition monitoring and predictive maintenance of marine combustion engines. The starting time of the position is 1 October 2024 or as soon as possible thereafter, and the location is at SDU’s main campus in Odense as well on the premises of industrial partners.

The application deadline is 1 July 2024 at 11.59 PM / 23.59 (CET/CEST)

Would you like to make a contribution to the Blue Denmark and take part in the digital, green and zero-emission transition of the global shipping industry? Now, we are offering an exciting opportunity to address such interdisciplinary challenges requesting close collaboration between academia and companies. The successful candidate is expected to work actively in Work Package 3 (WP3) of the Shippinglab phase II project running from 2024-2027 focusing on digitalization, decarbonation and safety for the future blue Denmark funded by IFD (Innovation Fund Denmark) and several DK Maritime funds and conduct application-oriented research with a team of industry partners in the maritime sector.

The aim of Shippinglab is to accelerate the green transition of the global maritime sector by promoting a digital and safe transformation through innovation actions, developing the position of Blue Denmark as frontrunner for digitalization and decarbonization. WP3 will focus on digital twin models for CBM (Condition based monitoring) and PdM (Predictive maintenance), targeting subsystems and critical components of marine combustion engines. New technologies such as DS (Data science), ML (Machine Learning) methods and AI (Artificial intelligence) will be used to facilitate the development of digital prediction models for wear and estimation of RUL (Remaining useful life) to support ship operators and engine vendors in improving uptime of equipment, prevent safety critical incidents and reducing operational expenses and emissions from operations.

The successful PhD candidate will

  • conduct research in the corresponding research area in a supportive, friendly, and international environment.
  • work closely with key industry stakeholders, particularly MAN Energy Solutions, being the leading vendor of marine combustion engines for the global merchant fleet.
  • conduct data collection, data cleansing, data analysis, modelling, test and performance and business impact evaluation using state-of-art AI technology and model implementation based on open-source software as Python.
  • get support from experienced senior researchers in the section, at SDU, and from industry partners with relevant domain expertise.
  • publish and present research work both at international conferences and in scientific journals with high impact.
  • assist in teaching and supervision activities.

This PhD position is fully funded by the Shippinglab Consortium.

The PhD candidate will investigate how to enable condition monitoring and predictive maintenance for existing and future generations of marine combustion engines via development and implementation of digital models based on ML using state of art software technologies.

Required selection criteria

  • You must have a relevant background in engineering or computer science.
  • You must hold a MSc degree in one of the following domains: Operations Management, Industrial Engineering, Ship and offshore engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Energy Systems, Systems Engineering, Computer science, Data Science or similar.
  • You must have a strong academic background.
  • Your must have good programming knowledge and experience.
  • You must have excellent written and oral English.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Prior knowledge and experience with Marine combustion engines and Ship operations.
  • Prior knowledge and experience in one or more of the following areas: Artificial intelligence, Machine Learning, Industry Internet of Things, Cloud and Edge computing.
  • Prior experience with publishing in conference proceedings or academic journals or working in research and innovation projects.

Personal characteristics

  • High motivation for research and innovation work.
  • Curious and willingness to learn new skills and new technologies if needed.
  • Willingness to conduct industry relevant research aiming at solving practical problems and support project team, industrial partners, and overall research project progress.
  • Passion to work with students and to contribute to teaching / supervision of (master) students.
  • Ability to work both individually and in a team environment and a high level of personal responsibility.
  • Ability to meet deadlines and produce work of a consistently high standard.

SDU offers an interdisciplinary research environment with other PhD students and where research programs are developed in close collaboration with industry. The department contributes to the sustainable development within the focus area of manufacturing, circular economy, and industrial and supply chain engineering management.

Department of Technology and Innovation is located at SDU’s main campus in Odense. As the 3rd largest city in Denmark, Odense provides the perfect combination of a historic city center with an urban field yet a close proximity to beaches and recreational areas. Its location on the beautiful island of Funen is ideal with easy access by train or highway to the bigger cities of Aarhus and Copenhagen; direct trains can take you straight to Copenhagen airport in less than 2 hours. Since 1966 the city has been a university town, and strong collaborative ties are in place between the University of Southern Denmark and the many Danish and International corporations in the region. As the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen, Denmark’s famous fairytale author, the city is home to a vibrant and creative population that hosts numerous festivals and markets throughout the year.

Further information is available from Assistant Professor Jie Cai, phone: +45 53 71 01 81, email: [email protected] or Head of Section Niels Gorm Maly Rytter, phone: +45 29 10 37 29 email: [email protected].

If you experience technical problems, you must contact [email protected].

Application procedure
Before applying the candidates are expected to read the Faculty information for prospective PhD students, the SDU information on how to apply and specific faculty information for application at the Faculty of Engineering.

The application must be in English and include the following:

  • Motivating letter stating your specific interest, motivation, and qualifications for the PhD position in question (max. 2 pages).
  • A one-page proposal/description of your approaches to the above research project in WP3.
  • Detailed Curriculum Vitae.
  • Verified copies of the official bachelor diploma and master's diploma and transcripts of exams, both the original documents and in professional English translation.
  • Completed TEK PhD application form for 5+3 applicants. Find the form at the Faculty website.
  • Completed TEK PhD form for calculation grade point average. Find the form at the Faculty website.
  • An official document describing the grading scheme of the awarding universities (if not Danish).
  • Only for applicants from programmes that evaluate thesis/examination project by approved/not approved: Please submit an official and verified written assessment of the thesis or dissertation project from the grade giving institution. The statement must clearly state that the candidate has been among the top 30 pct. in the graduation class for the study programme.
  • References, you're welcome to use the form for reference letter at the Faculty website. OR three names and e-mails of researchers who can provide an informed reference letter at short notice.
  • List of publications and maximum 2 examples of relevant publications (in case you have any publications) – upload as full text in PDF-format.

Assessment and selection process
Read about the Assessment and selection process.

Applications will be assessed by an assessment committee or an expert. Shortlisting may be applied. Only shortlisted candidates will receive a written assessment. Read about shortlisting at SDU.

Interviews and tests may be part of the process.

Conditions of employment
Appointment as a PhD fellow is a 3-year salaried position.

Applicants must hold a master’s degree (equivalent to a Danish master's degree) at the time of enrollment and employment.

Employment of a PhD fellow can only happen after the PhD School has approved the candidate for admission. Employment and enrollment will cease without further notice at the end of the period. A PhD fellow is not allowed to have any kind of sideline employment, while enrolled as PhD fellow at the faculty.

Employment as a PhD fellow governed by the Protocol on PhD Research Fellows signed by the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information about salary and conditions of employment.

The successful candidate will be enrolled at SDU in accordance with Faculty regulations and the Danish Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities (PhD order).

The application deadline is 1 July 2024 at 11.59 PM / 23.59 (CET/CEST)


  • According to the University of Southern Denmark’s internal guidelines, there must be at least three qualified applicants to a position before it can be filled.
  • Documents should not contain a CPR number (civil registration number) – in this case, the CPR number must be crossed out.
  • The application and CV must not exceed 10 MB.

The University of Southern Denmark wishes to reflect the surrounding community and therefore encourages everyone, regardless of personal background, to apply for the position.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark. You may also visit WorkinDenmark for additional information.

Further information about The Faculty of Engineering.

Placering: Odense, Denmark

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Syddansk Universitet (SDU)

Campusvej 55, 5230 Odense M

SDU åbnede dørene for de første studerende i Odense i september 1966, og siden da er det gået stærkt. Vi har nu fem fakulteter med omkring 30.000 studerende, heraf mere end 15 % fra udlandet, og knap 4.000 ansatte fordelt på hovedcampus i Odense samt regionale campusser i Slagelse, Kolding, Esbjerg og Sønderborg og København.

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