This PhD position is within a EU Horizon 2020 project called FASTWATER. The project focuses on methanol, as a clean fuel for shipping. Methanol is available in large quantities in most ports today and offers a pathway to a climate-neutral synthetic fuel produced from renewables. As a liquid fuel, it is easily stored on board, which is advantageous to ship design, and enables relatively simple retrofitting. FASTWATER aims to start a fast transitionary path to move waterborne transport away from fossil fuels, and reduce its pollutant emissions to minimal impact, through the use of methanol fuel. The FASTWATER consortium has a strong track record with methanol projects (particularly for waterborne transport) and includes shipyards, a ship owner, engine manufacturers, an equipment supplier, a classification society, a methanol producer, a major port and research institutes. Specifically, FASTWATER will develop and demonstrate an evolutionary pathway for methanol technology, including retrofit solutions as well as next generation systems. Universal, scalable retrofit kits, medium speed and high speed methanol engines will be developed, demonstrated and commercialized. The demos include a harbour tug, a pilot boat and a coast guard vessel. A complete design for a methanol-powered river cruiser is also included.
The Sustainable Thermo-Fluids Energy Systems research group at Ghent University is part of EnerGhentIC, the interdisciplinary community of Ghent University researchers working on the energy challenge, a cluster of 18 groups and over 100 researchers. One of the research topics in the research group is internal combustion engines, with a focus on alternative fuels.
Ghent University’s tasks in the project focus on the development of the next generation of spark ignition methanol engines, that fully exploit methanol’s beneficial properties as an engine fuel, for increased efficiency and even lower emissions. The UGent objectives are to 1) numerically investigate the potential of medium speed spark ignition (SI) operation on pure methanol and 2) to compare port fuel injection (PFI) to direct injection (DI). Your job will be to build and validate a 1D SI engine model (starting from UGent in-house models), determine the SI concept’s load range and performance; and then to optimize the SI concept and provide design recommendations. Finally, you will support the engine team in evaluating the alternative methanol engine concepts and providing recommendations on which methanol engine concepts to invest in for market introduction.
Profile of the candidate
You have a Master of Science degree in mechanical engineering, electromechanical engineering or a degree in engineering physics, science or other similar competence;
preferably with a second cycle degree project in the field of combustion engine and alternative fuels;
preferably with experience in 1D engine simulation;
You have very good oral and written proficiency in English.
The selection will be based on the judged ability for you to successfully finish a PhD. The assessment is based on results of studies at undergraduate and graduate levels, and for example on your ability to present, explain and defend your thesis in an interview:
1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis work and education topic.
2. Ability to work independently and ability to formulate and solve scientific problems.
3. Skills in written and oral communication.
4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.
Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how you, through your experience and skills, are deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme. Ghent University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.
How to apply
Apply for the position by e-mail to [email protected] , at the latest on April 19th 2020, with “FASTWATER PhD vacancy” in the subject line. Applications shall be written in English, and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).
If you pass the pre-selection, you will receive further instructions on the selection process and will be invited for an interview, possibly via Skype. The starting date can be as early as June 1st 2020 and should be no later than September 1st 2020.
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