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We are offering a

PhD Position - Catalyst Development in the Department Chemical Hydrogen Storage


Would you like to contribute to the energy transition in Germany through your work? Then the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg (for Renewable Energy) (HI ERN) is the right place for you! The HI ERN forms the core of the close partnership between Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy, and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg at the Erlangen site. The collaboration relates to the areas of innovative materials and processes for photovoltaic energy systems and hydrogen as a storage and carrier medium for CO2-neutral energy. Support us researching and developing solutions for the climate-neutral, sustainable, and cost-effective utilization of renewable energies. For more information on HI ERN and its main research areas, please visit

Institute issuing the offer
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Your Job:

You will be part of the top-class scientific department "Chemical Hydrogen Storage" at the renowned HI ERN. Under the direction of Prof. Dr. Peter Wasserscheid and Dr.-Ing. Michael Geißelbrecht, our department researches and develops a wide range of topics related to chemical hydrogen storage along the entire process chain. In particular, issues in the field of the LOHC technology are addressed across different scales. These topics include the development of tailor-made catalysts, the development and modeling of reactors, and the realization of demonstrators. The department is a world leader in the field of LOHC technology. Become part of this innovative research team!
In a team, you will take part in developing and optimizing catalysts for reactions to release hydrogen from LOHC molecules. In addition to conventional dehydrogenation, this can also be achieved by partial reforming. To research this new approach, you will synthesize and characterize catalysts, which you will then investigate for their activity and selectivity in reaction engineering setups. Through targeted variations of catalyst properties, you will try to derive structure-activity and structure-selectivity relationships and thus obtain customized materials for the reaction. Your tasks in detail:

  • Synthesize and characterize catalysts
  • Construct and operate experimental setups for tests regarding the activity and selectivity of catalysts
  • Develop analytical procedures for catalyst characterization and the determination of important performance indicators
  • Evaluate and present your results in scientific conferences and scientific journals

Your Profile:

  • You have an excellent Master`s degree in chemistry, engineering or a similar discipline
  • With your in-depth expertise in catalysis and catalyst development, you are ideally equipped for this complex position
  • Additional experience in areas such as hydrogen technologies, dehydrogenation partial reforming, characterization of catalysts and chemical reaction engineering is advantageous
  • With your intrinsic motivation, initiative, creativity and ability to work independently, you will be an asset to our team
  • Your excellent cooperation and communication skills as well as your ability to work in a team complete your profile
  • Excellent written and spoken English skills are essential for international cooperation

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • You will work in an inspiring environment that invites you to conduct high-quality research and successfully implement your own ideas
  • As part of a globally competitive institute, we offer you the best conditions to shape your career in a meaningful way and take it to the next level
  • You will benefit from excellent training in catalysis and reaction engineering to further expand your portfolio
  • In our open scientific environment, you will have the best opportunities for cooperation with first-class partners at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and in international collaborations
  • The development of our employees` potential is important to us
  • Individual further training measures are therefore a matter of course for us
  • Our family-conscious corporate policy and extensive offers to promote the compatibility of work and family life ensure that you can organize your professional and private life in the best possible way ( )
  • Attractive flexitime arrangements
  • The opportunity to work flexibly (in terms of location), e.g. in a home office on 1-2 days a week
  • 30 days of vacation and an arrangement for bridging days off (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

The position is for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“).

Place of employment: Erlangen

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

We look forward to receiving your application. The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible.

Apply now

Questions about the offer?

Please feel free to contact us via our contact form.
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications by e-mail.

Last Modified: 15.11.2023