NTNU launches Research and Innovation Program in Digital and Automation Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry

NTNU, in collaboration with industrial partners, is establishing a new Research & Innovation Program in Digital and Automation Solutions for the Oil and Gas Industry with up to 40 PhD/PostDoc positions. 

The objective of the program is to develop novel digital and automation methods and technologies, as well as to prepare multidisciplinary specialists in the corresponding areas to increase efficiency, safety and environmental care in all operations in oil and gas activities. This program is the first step in implementing NTNU's strategy in oil and gas research, as presented in the BRU21 report.

Research areas
The program is organized as a multidisciplinary eco-system across seven departments at NTNU: Geoscience and Petroleum, Engineering Cybernetics, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, Information Security and Communication Technology, Sociology and Political Science, Industrial Economics and Technology Management. The research program covers the corresponding multidisciplinary areas of digitalization and automation. Most of the program’s research projects will be linked to specific digitalization/automation cases originating from our industrial partners. Innovation is a vital part of the program.

On the petroleum engineering side, the program is organized around the following main areas:

  • Field development and operational planning
  • Drilling & well construction efficiency
  • Reservoir monitoring and management
  • Operational and production efficiency, reliability, maintenance and safety
  • Geophysics 

On the digital side, the program involves application and research within the following areas:

  • Big data analytics
  • Automatic control technologies
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • Autonomy and robotics
  • Data-driven and model-based optimization
  • Automatic estimation, identification and detection
  • Stochastic programming
  • Cyber/information security
  • Organizational and economical aspects of digitalization/automation

Job announcement 
Information on the PhD positions can be found here and information on the PostDoc positions can be found here


BRU21 - Vision and Objectives


NTNU is to use its science and technology capacity to enhance the O&G sector by “better resource utilization” (BRU) and contribute to fnd solutions for greenhouse gas reductions with a zero emission vision.


The BRU21 objective is to address “technologies of the future” for the petroleum sector including safety aspects and a minimal CO2 footprint. NTNU will identify technologies and solutions to assure future petroleum
activities at low oil prices (break-even price of 30 USD/bbl) and develop petroleum assets in the future with the highest safety standards that are environmentally friendly.

BRU21 “Better Resource Utilization” stands for improved economic effciency by increased income (resource recovery/production) and reduced costs relevant for both existing O&G felds in mature areas (“brown felds”) and new petroleum felds in old and new areas (“green felds”).

NTNU has also adopted the OG21 objectives from its recent strategy report:

  • Maximize resource utilization
  • Minimize environmental impact
  • Improve productivity and reduce costs
  • Develop innovative technologies
  • Attract, develop and retain the best talents