Two Research Fellows in Smart Cities at University of Stavanger

Published at: 23 April 2019

The University of Stavanger invites applications for two research fellowships in
1) 'Smart Densification’,
2) ‘Smart Security’, at the Department of Safety, Economics and Planning (ISØP).

• The deadline is 07.05.2019.
• These are two trainee positions that will give promising researchers an opportunity for academic development leading to a doctoral degree.
• The appointment is for three years with research duties exclusively.
• The position is vacant from May 2019.
• The position is funded by Ministry of Education and Research.

Smart Densification (1 Position) Urban density has been one the foci of attention in planning for more sustainable cities since the early 1990s because denser cities offer key advantages. From an environmental perspective, denser urban areas facilitate the operation of urban transport systems with less CO₂ emission per capita (more public transport, cycling and walking). From a social perspective, denser cities are seen as vibrant environments for human interaction enabling the exchange of ideas and fostering creativity and innovation. From the economic view, a more compact urban area allows the use of existing infrastructure more intensely, reducing costs of operation and maintenance.

However, denser cites have several shortcomings. Concentrations of people and activities expose larger segments of population to pollution and noise. The amount of green areas is reduced and people have to travel longer to enjoy contact with nature. Green areas are not only important for the enjoyment of people. They provide environmental services such as enhancing local biodiversity, temperature regulation in warm periods, capture of dust from the air, retention of rainwater filtering pollutants and averting flooding. Certain high-density building typologies can significantly diminish spatial quality by reducing openness to natural light and ventilation, and blocking the possibility of views.

The question is then how emerging technologies such as sensor networks, tracking and decision-making algorithms, real-time communications systems, and big-data analytics can contribute to balance the positive and the negative aspects of urban intensification to achieve an optimal urban density in a smart low carbon society.

This overarching question can be tackled in different ways using sub-questions such as: • How new technologies can contribute to intensify urban land usage overcoming traditional pitfalls such as congestion and pollution? • How greenery can be intensified in denser urban areas with the help of new technologies? • How to use big data to determine the optimal density of the Nordic cities? For example, through the design of multicriteria indicators that allow establishing equilibrium thresholds between population concentration and quality of different services such as transport, schools, and grocery shops

Please see:

Smart Security (1 Position) The project, named 'Smart Security and System Adaptation, Interoperability and Flexibility', is interested in how features of the 'smart city', i.e. features that connect people, objects, and infrastructure, can adapt to an increased threat of terrorism (targeting society, the economy, or infrastructure), thus enabling cities to respond more rapidly, timely and extensively. It seeks to understand if we can make 'smart security' “smarter” by using both security and non-security related features together coherently and efficiently.

There is a lack of dedicated literature of how the smart city is vulnerable to combined physical and cyber-attacks. Likewise, very little research has been dedicated to how ‘smart technology’ can enable local authorities and private companies to adapt to new threats. The question is, can 'smart' features enable security interoperability in times of crisis? Can the smart city agenda surpass our expectations of what technology can do to protect cities in times of heightened crises?

Please see:

Qualification requirements We are looking for applicants with a strong academic background who have completed a five-year master degree (3+2) within engineering or social sciences, preferably acquired recently; or possess corresponding qualifications that could provide a basis for successfully completing a doctorate. To be eligible for admission to the doctoral programmes at the Univeristy of Stavanger both the grade for your master’s thesis and the weighted average grade of your master’s degree must individually be equivalent to or better than a B grade. If you finish your education (masters degree) in the spring of 2019 you are also welcome to apply.

Applicants with an education from an institution with a different grade scale than A-F should attach a confirmed conversion scale that shows how the grades can be compared with the Norwegian A-F scale.

Emphasis is also placed on your:
• motivation and potential for research within the field
• ability to work independently and in a team, be innovative and creative
• ability to work structured and handle a heavy workload
• having a good command of both oral and written English

The applicant should ideally have interdisciplinary competence and/or demonstrated interest in more than one of the following topics: smart cities, smart security, crisis management, ICT, town planning, criminology, counter terrorism, and/or social sciences more broadly. The applicant should ideally demonstrate that they have sufficient academic and/or industry background to enable them to take ownership of their work and work independently. The applicant should have demonstrated knowledge/capacity to learn about the interrelationships between smart security and smart cities.