Chalmers University of Technology
Two PhD student positions at the division of Energy and Materials
Chalmers University of Technology
Our goal is to focus on competence, knowledge and collaboration in order to play an important, demonstrable role in social development. Our role has a local, national and global perspective, and the overall goal is to contribute to a genuine conversion of society.
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Published: 12 days ago
Application deadline: May 06
Location: Göteborg, Sweden
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Two PhD student positions at the division of Energy and Materials

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is the largest department at Chalmers with research ranging from the most fundamental level to a level close to application in industry and society. The research activities reach from DNA-research and biomaterials to high temperature corrosion, catalysis and recycling. The Department is also heavily committed to teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, as well as postgraduate level in these areas. 

Health, natural resources, sustainable energy and materials are some of our lead words and our vision is “Through curiosity and knowledge towards a sustainable world”. 

We have approximately 300 employees, divided into four research and one administrative division. We are situated at campus Johanneberg in the middle of Gothenburg.

Information about the division
To meet the challenges of tomorrow’s energy demands, the research at the division of Energy & Materials at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is focused on materials improvements for increasingly aggressive process environments. We also host the High Temperature Corrosion center, a national center of excellence jointly sponsored by the Swedish Energy Agency, Chalmers University of Technology and around 20 member companies.

Information about the research area
Material performance is one of the key barriers inhibiting the transition towards a more sustainable energy system. Material related problems limit lifetimes and reduce efficiencies, adversely affecting plant economy and consequently the spread of green energy. Our research activities on concentrated solar power plants (CSP) and metallic materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) have currently open positions for PhD students.

Concentrated solar power (CSP) is one of the key technology to access our most sustainable energy source – the thermal energy of the sun. Collectors in form of several thousand mirrors focus sunlight into a receiver in which without any problem temperatures higher than 1000°C can be generated. However, material challenges do not allow to operate at such high temperatures at present, limiting the energy conversion yield of these plants significantly. The major reason for these limitations is the capability to suppress high temperature corrosion caused by a heat transport medium. Salts are commonly used nowadays up to 550°C. We want to extend on that boundary by addressing novel promising alloy systems.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) are high-temperature (>600°C) electrochemical energy conversion devices that can operate on a broad range of fuels while achieving efficiencies exceeding that of state of the art heat engines. The advancement of the technology has however been hindered by a number of technical and economic barriers, many of those hinders are related to the metallic bipolar plates or interconnects that connect individual cells. We investigate the relevant degradation mechanism and work on coatings to increase the lifetime of the interconnects

A keystone of our work is the link between well controlled laboratory exposures, thermodynamic calculations, advanced microstructural investigations and experience from the field from our industry partners. We work with state of the art analytical electron and ion microscopy such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) using high-resolution FEG-SEMs equipped with Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) and Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD) detectors. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling can be employed to analyze the specimens in more detail. 

Major responsibilities
The investigation approach and strategy will be explored together with the project team consisting of you, the supervisor and industry partners. Hands-on laboratory work and coordination in respect to e.g. optimization of experimental setups in collaboration with our workshop, coordinating post-analysis with our microscopists etc. are part of your work. A solid knowledge of inorganic chemistry or materials science allows you to arrange for a suitable post analysis program together with our experts.

During your PhD student time you are expected to communicate your findings both orally and in writing at scientific conferences, in scientific journals and at project meetings with industry partners. Furthermore, the position includes up to 20% departmental work, mostly teaching of undergraduate students in labs or exercises.

All PhD projects are performed in collaboration with our partner companies, other departments at Chalmers as well as research groups at other universities. This requires a combination of well-developed collaboration skills, the ability to work independently and high analytical capabilities.

Position summary
Chalmers offers a competitive and international research environment in the heart of Scandinavia. Here you find a friendly work environment with all the benefits of a Swedish university. We offer an employment with a competitive salary including benefits like 28 days of financed vacation, parental leave, health insurance etc. The employment is limited to a maximum of five years.

You have a master’s degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or material science, alternatively physics or mechanical engineering with a strong background in inorganic chemistry. 
As a person you show curiosity and feel comfortable to work as part of a team, yet always taking responsibility for your assigned tasks. If you describe yourself as someone who likes to express curiosity by hands-on creation of setups and results, making a point by creating facts and discover new challenges from there, than you are an excellent candidate in our team. 

The undergraduate courses are normally taught in Swedish, although the graduate level teaching is in English. Thus, applicants who do not have Swedish as their native language should have the goal to learn Swedish to a level where you can teach students during your PhD employment.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20180185 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)

  • CV
  • Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
  • Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)

  • 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
  • Previous research fields and main research results.
  • Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:

  • Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
  • Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 6 May, 2018

For questions, please contact:
Jan-Erik Svensson, Chemistry and chemical engineering,, +46 31 772 2863
Christine Geers, Chemistry and chemical engineering,, +46 31-772 8326
Jan Froitzheim, Chemistry and chemical engineering,, +46 31-772 28 58 

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