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PhD position in structure and ageing investigations of fuel cells and water electrolysers

Advertising institute: IEK-11 - Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg Renewable Energy Production
Reference number: 2018-018

The newly founded "Helmholtz-Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energies" (HI ERN) is part of Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and works in close collaboration with the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB). The research in HI ERN is focused on the areas of innovative materials and processes for hydrogen technologies, photovoltaic energy and solar fuels, therefore covering novel approaches for the conversion and storage of CO2-neutral energy. More information about HI-ERN can be found at www.hi-ern.de

We are offering a

PhD position in structure and ageing investigations of fuel cells and water electrolysers

Your Job:

The successful candidate will be part of the electrocatalytical interface engineering department of the HI ERN led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Simon Thiele. The department focuses on manufacturing, analysis and simulation of functional materials to find an optimum structure on small scales from the micrometer to the nanometer scale. The investigated materials and systems play an essential role in sustainable technologies like water- and CO2-electrolyzers, as well as in fuel cells. Furthermore their presence in nonaqueous electrochemical systems like electroorganic synthesis or batteries are decisive. We utilize internationally unique material and process characterization methods which are based on the sophisticated coupling of nano- and microtomographic techniques, additive manufacturing and advanced analysis methods. Thereby the aim is to significantly contribute to the development of electrochemical energy conversion as a future key player for electromobility and the energy policy in general.

The available PhD position ist related to the following topics:

  • Tomographic analysis of ageing effects and process influences of catalyst layer morphology
  • Simulation of transport parameters in tomographic reconstructions
  • Experimental validation of the transport paramters and cell characterisation

Your Profile:

  • Excellent university degree in Chemistry/Physics/Chemical Engineering/Material Science or a relevant discipline
  • Strong interest in pursuing research in tomographic analysis and / or electrochemical systems
  • Previous experience in electrochemistry and one (or more) of the following is desirable: tomography, microscopy, image analysis, simulation, programming knowledge, characterisation of electrochemical cells
  • Good analytical and experimental skills as well as enjoyment of the development of algorithms
  • High motivation for pursuing a PhD within 3 years
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to show initiative and work independently
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English

Our Offer:

  • An excellent environment to perform sound, high-quality research at the international level
  • Daily, hands-on experience in worldwide-unique electrochemical characterization techniques
  • Excellent training in electrochemistry, tomographic analysis, image processing, fuel cells and electrolysis technology
  • Possibility to participate on project meetings, as well as on national and international conferences to present the results and to develop further competences
  • A lively scientific environment within the institute and possibilities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and abroad
  • Interaction and cooperation with world-leading industrial partners
  • Strong support and mentoring for setting up a future career in science and/or the industry
  • Limited position for 3 years
  • Various opportunities to reconcile work and family life
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (75% EG 13 TVöD-Bund)


Place of employment: Erlangen

Forschungszentrum Jülich aims to employ more women in this area and therefore particulary welcomes applications from women.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

We look forward to receiving your application, preferably online via our online recruitment system on our career site until 27.02.2018, quoting the above-mentioned reference number.

Contact Human Resource Development and Recruiting
Alissa Aarts
Tel.:+49 2461 61 9700


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