Postdoc on Stabilizing Salt Hydrates for Thermochemical Energy Storage

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 30 Apr 2023


(Post-doctoral) Researcher

Irène Curie Fellowship



Applied Physics and Science Education

Institutes and others

EIRES - Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems

Reference number


Job description

Research project description

Are you inspired by making new complex hierarchically porous materials? And are you eager to understand how these materials can be charged and discharged with thermal energy? Are you passionate about contributing to the energy transition? Than you are the right person for developing new storage media for heat batteries.

Job description

Fifty percent of our daily energy usage is in the form of thermal energy.  In view of the energy challenges ahead of us, compact heat storage offers opportunities to bridge the mismatch between supply and demand of energy. Inorganic crystal hydrates have the potential to be used as storage media in heat batteries. Discharge happens via hydration reactions involving a phase transition of the crystal lattice due to water incorporation.  A heat battery consists of a packed bed of millimeter-sized salt hydrate tablets. The challenge is to stabilize beds of these particles as they undergo significant volume changes during (de)hydration cycles and agglomerate.

You will develop hierarchically porous silica (HPS) supports for stabilizing salt hydrates by sol-gel emulsion methods. You will study the structure and morphology of HPS by multiscale (in-situ) electron microscopy. To understand the impact of the stabilizer on the crystal hydrate, you will investigate the impregnation of the HPS particles and study the hydration/dehydration reactions of these composite particle: the cyclic stability and the (de)hydration kinetics with TGA-DSC and XRD. These newly developed composite particles will be tested in a particle bed representative for a real heat battery. 

You will work at the Applied Physics department in the labs of TPM (Transport in Permeable Media, ) and at the Chemical Engineering & Chemistry department in the labs of the group PC (Physical Chemistry, ), where you have access to state-of-the-art experimental equipment including electron microscopy. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with the spin-off company Cellcius, that aims to bring heat battery technology to the market.

This position and research project are made possible by the BEHeaT program initiated by the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES ). EIRES facilitates the collaborative development and swift deployment of new technologies and devices by bringing together TU/e researchers working on materials, systems, and processes for energy storage and conversion.
EIRES consists of collaborating research groups within TUe. These include over 140 researchers and more than 450 PhDs. EIRES brings these researchers together and creates new network connections between researchers and industry.

Within the focus area of energy transition in the built environment, a large-scale research program was recently launched. This program, BEHeaT, stands for Built Environment HeaTransition. The program is funded with TUe's own resources as well as contributions from industry. The research program has a pragmatic approach.

Within the BEHeaT program, research is conducted into the (further) development of various (new) materials, components and/or systems in relation to intelligent buildings, heat storage, heat networks and/or electricity grids. The focus is not only on physical materials, components and systems, but also on dynamic (predictive) models. We believe that in order to have impact, any research must take systems integration as its starting point. In addition, we believe that technology does not stand alone and should always be seen in relation to the (end) user. In this way, the impact of research results is increased.   

Job requirements
  • Motivated researcher, with a PhD in physical-chemistry, material science or physics.
  • The ideal candidate would have experience in research on materials and/or experience with synthesis of (in)organic materials.
  • Ability to conduct high quality academic research, reflected in demonstratable outputs.
  • A team player who enjoys coaching PhD and Master's students and working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary team.
  • A proven ability to manage complex projects to completion on schedule.
  • Excellent (written and verbal) proficiency in English, good communication skills.
  • Independent and responsible.
  • Can-do mentality

Conditions of employment
  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for 2 years.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association  that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact contact dr. Henk Huinink, Associate Professor at the AP&SE department, h.p.huinink[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process  or the conditions of employment.  You can also contact HR Services at HRServices.Flux[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page .


We invite you to submit a complete application using the apply-button.
The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • List of five self-selected ‘best publications’.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled

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