Postdoc position – Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway)

A two-year postdoc position on the influence of waves on oil spills in the upper ocean is now open at the Norwegian Meteorological Institute (MET Norway). The postdoc is funded through the ENTIRE project (Research Council of Norway, NFR) and allows a possible extension of up to one year. It is a requirement that the candidate shall not previously have completed a postdoc funded through NFR.

MET Norway forecasts weather, monitors the climate and conducts research. Since the institute was established in 1866, Norwegian meteorologists have figured prominently in the development of the discipline.

Our main goal is to help protect life and property. To achieve this we run a suite of forecast models for the atmosphere, the ocean and the oceanic wave field as well as a number of downstream services based on these forecasts. One such important downstream service is the modelling of the drift and fate of oil spilled in the ocean. This includes modelling the entrainment of surface oil into the ocean due to breaking waves, with associated turbulent mixing, counteracting the buoyancy depending on the resulting oil droplet radii. This is a complex problem which requires both analytical, numerical and experimental effort in order to make progress.


The successful applicant will contribute to our increased understanding of the entrainment problem, and implement parameterisations of this into an oil spill model used operationally at MET Norway.

The work consists of several sub-tasks:

  • collect and compare existing parameterisations of whitecapping based on output from operational wave models
  • compare these parameterisations with:
  • in situ measurements, e.g., from stereo cameras mounted on a platform at the Ekofisk oil field
  • output from the Breaking Wave Analysis (BWA) CFD model
  • test if other output parameters from wave models (e.g., the dissipation rate) can improve the parameterisations
  • perform oil drift simulations based on output from a high resolution hydrodynamic model
  • measurements of submerged bubbles from the LoVe observatory echosounder data may also be used to study the entrainment and subsequent vertical turbulent mixing.
  • contribute to the planning and conduction of relevant field measurements during future oil-on-water exercises in the North Sea

The candidate may pay shorter visits to the SINTEF laboratory in Trondheim, where complementary wave tank studies of oil entrainment will be conducted. Scientific stays with other project partners will also be possible.

The work place will be Bergen in the Division for Marine Meteorology and Operational Oceanography, and the preferred start date is 1 August 2022.

Qualifications ● PhD in meteorology, oceanography, physics, applied mathematics, or computer science ● Documented skill in scientific programming, particularly Python ● Experience with air-sea interaction processes (waves, currents, ocean turbulence) ● Familiarity with UNIX/LINUX environments ● The candidate must have the ability to work independently while also collaborating in teams. Experience from scientific collaboration is important ● The working language at MET Norway is Norwegian. Foreign candidates must be willing to learn basic Norwegian ● Candidates must be able to work effectively in English and demonstrate fluency, written and oral. Experience with the following is an advantage: ● Lagrangian (drift) ocean modelling ● Wave modelling ● Oil chemistry and weathering ● Experience with high-performance computing environments, parallelization and optimization of model code ● Standardized data formats such as NetCDF/CF, HDF5 ● The Fortran programming language ● Distribution of model data through THREDDS and OPeNDAP In addition, the candidate must have good communication skills, both for program documentation and/or scientific writing and presentations. Personal skills ● Strong motivation ● Ability to take responsibility, work independently and within a team ● Creative and analytical skills ● Ability to work in a result-oriented, accurate and structured way Conditions ● A demanding but meaningful job in a modern technological environment ● Flexible working conditions ● Salary on the Norwegian government salary scales dependent on qualifications and experience (NOK 468,300 – 604,500 per year). A higher salary can be negotiated in case the selected applicant has excellent qualifications and extensive work experience ● Membership in the governmental pension fund, SPK (2% deducted from gross salary), one of the best pension funds in Norway ● Insurances and mortgage through SPK ● A pleasant working environment ● The first 6 months is a mutual trial period

We emphasize diversity and therefore encourage all those who are qualified to apply

  • regardless of age, gender, functional capacity, ethnic background or gaps in the resume. The Norwegian government invites a joint effort for inclusion and has set the target that 5% of all new government employees should have impaired functional capacity or gaps in their resumes. The working conditions will be facilitated for employees with disabilities. Applicants who inform that they have reduced functional capacity will be invited to an interview if they are qualified.

If in any case an applicant does not wish to be registered on the public application list, the applicant will need to give a reasonably argued justification. Information about the applicant can still be published. If the wish to not be registered on the public application list is denied, the applicant will be informed prior to the disclosure. For more details about the positions, please contact Prof Øyvind Breivik, Head of Division for Marine Meteorology and Operational Oceanography (tel +47 911 02 707,

Deadline for application: 15 March 2022.

The application must be submitted electronically, see “Vacant positions”. Please attach CV, list of publications and the names of two references.

Learn more and apply:

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