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Junior researcher (doctoral student) in nuclear thermal hydraulics system modelling - job post

Lappeenranta University of Technology
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Junior researcher (doctoral student) in nuclear thermal hydraulics system modelling

The LUT School of Energy Systems is looking for a junior researcher (doctoral student) in nuclear thermal hydraulics system modelling.

The position is located at LUT’s Laboratory of Nuclear Engineering. LUT University is the leading institution in Finland for individuals seeking careers in the energy field. LUT's nuclear engineering laboratory has been conducting nuclear power plant thermal hydraulics experiments and modelling since 1974, focusing on large light-water reactors, small modular reactors, gas-cooled reactors, advanced measurement techniques, and nuclear regulations. The laboratory has vast expertise in evaluating the impact of different factors on the safety of nuclear power plants.

We are looking for a curious mind who is aiming for an academic career and is passionate about improving current state-of-the-art safety analysis methods. The work focuses on non-condensable gas release and dissolution phenomena inside nuclear reactor systems and their impact on nuclear safety. The job will involve the analytical, experimental, and numerical analysis of non-condensable gas dynamics, targeting improvements in physics modelling in system thermal hydraulics codes commonly used in nuclear safety analysis.

The selected candidate will contribute to independent and original research within the nuclear engineering laboratory, submit publications to refereed journals and collaborate with international research groups working on nuclear thermal hydraulics.


The applicant must have a master’s degree (M.Sc. or equivalent) in a relevant field (energy technology, nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering) and the ability and motivation to complete the doctoral studies within their normative duration (i.e., four years).

The applicant should be knowledgeable in nuclear thermal hydraulics, thermodynamics, numerical methods, applied mathematics, and related areas. Previous experience in and knowledge of mathematical modelling and the behaviour of non-condensable gases – in particular, experience in release and dissolution phenomena – are to the applicant’s advantage. Some experience in conducting experiments and knowledge of system thermal hydraulics codes (e.g., APROS, TRACE, RELAP5) would be advantageous.

Applicants must be fluent in English (both written and spoken).

Job role and goals

The doctoral studies aim to introduce the realistic physics of the release and dissolution of non-condensable gases (NCGs) in system codes based on experimental, analytical, and numerical work to be conducted by the candidate. The realistic model is expected to be based on the first principles of mass conservation and interfacial transfer. At LUT University, a separate effect test (SET) facility will be built to conduct NCG release and dissolution tests. A novel instrumentation and measurement system will be employed for this purpose, and the candidate will participate in the development of the test facility and testing.

The student will implement NCG release and dissolution models in a selected system thermal hydraulics code, verify the implementation, and validate code performance using test data also from earlier systems tests. Realistic physics modelling will advance the current state of the art, improve understanding of the impact of non-condensable gases on normal and abnormal operations in nuclear power plants, and thereby advance nuclear safety as well.

What we offer

  • An opportunity to launch a successful academic career and to become an expert in the field of the dissertation
  • A four-year (1+3 years) contract for completing the doctoral degree
  • Encouragement and supportive supervision by Professor Juhani Hyvärinen, Post-doctoral Researcher Giteshkumar Patel, and Project Researcher Lauri Pyy.

Employment relationship and salary

The goal is to finish the doctoral degree within the given timeframe. The work will start as soon as possible, with a one-year term that includes a six-month trial period. If the work proceeds satisfactorily, the term can be extended by three years.

An employment contract can be concluded only if the candidate obtains the right to pursue doctoral studies at LUT University. The candidate appointed to the junior researcher position will draft a research plan under the guidance of the supervisors of the doctoral studies.

The job is located in Lappeenranta, Finland. The gross annual starting salary for a junior researcher is typically 32,500 euros plus a holiday bonus, based on the current collective agreement for Finnish universities.

How to apply

Please submit your application together with the required attachments through the university's online application system:

  • A motivation letter: an account of your merits and activities of significance to the vacancy (max. 2 pages)
  • A curriculum vitae
  • A copy of your academic degree certificate and transcript of records; if the original documents are not in English, Finnish, or Swedish, each document must be accompanied by an official certified translation into English or Finnish
  • Contact details of at least two references (or letters of recommendation, if already available)

The deadline for applications is 31 March 2024 at midnight, Finnish local time (UTC +2h).

For more information, please contact Post-doctoral Researcher Giteshkumar Patel,, +358 40 152 9413, or Project Researcher Lauri Pyy, , +358 50 440 8300.

Read more about LUT as an employer and LUT Doctoral School

LUT University | Clean energy, water and air are life-giving resources for which we at LUT University seek new solutions with our expertise in technology, business and social sciences. We help society and businesses in their sustainable renewal. Our international community consists of nearly 8 000 members. Our campuses are in Lappeenranta and Lahti, Finland.
We’re one of the top universities in the world for climate action.

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Application period starts: 2024-03-04 08:00Application period ends: 2024-03-31 23:59
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