PhD in materials chemistry

Updated: 25 days ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 17 Oct 2021

The Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC – DTU), Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applicants for a PhD position in materials chemistry. DHRTC was established by the Danish Underground Consortium and DTU. The research centre has a targeted effort to reduce the environmental impact of oil and gas production from the Danish North Sea during the green transition.

The position is within the program on produced water management. Produced water (PW) is a by-product of oil extraction and contains a mixture of dispersed and dissolved oil. Reinjection of PW into the reservoir is an important tool to reduce the discharge of potentially harmful substances. The PW is mixed with seawater containing high levels of dissolved oxygen which causes corrosion and bacterial growth. Currently, the removal of oxygen relies on the excessive use of chemical additives.

To mitigate this, the project aims to develop new types of metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) tailored for oxygen adsorption. MOFs are porous coordination polymers that form via the self-assembly of inorganic nodes and organic linkers. The surface area and chemical functionality can be tuned by careful choice of building blocks. This makes MOFs attractive materials for use as selective adsorbents. Specifically, the project aims to prepare MOFs based on linkers that integrate accessible secondary metal sites. Such sites can bind molecular oxygen via partial electron transfer similar to biological oxygen-transport proteins.

Responsibilities and qualifications

We are looking for a chemist to join a project at the interface of fundamental and applied research. You will join a newly established research group working with various aspects of functional materials and analytical chemistry (adsorption, separations, sensors). The group is part of a larger cross-disciplinary team of researchers, and collaboration is expected both with internal and external partners.

The PhD candidate will carry out 1) the synthesis of organic linkers and 2) the preparation and characterization of their corresponding MOFs. A strong emphasis will be put on understanding how chemical structure influences molecular-level interactions and adsorption kinetics. Characterization of the materials will be done by spectroscopic and crystallographic techniques. Furthermore, the chemical stability of the materials will be evaluated in degradation studies.

Dissemination of the obtained results, in scientific articles and through participation in national and international conferences, is an integral part of the job. Furthermore, participation in the supervision of M.Sc. students is expected.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree in chemistry (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. The ideal candidate has a background in synthetic inorganic or organic chemistry. This includes a broad understanding of chemical and materials characterization (e.g. X-ray diffraction, mass spectrometry and spectroscopy). Good communication skills in both written and spoken English are expected.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .


The assessment of the applicants will be carried out by researcher Jonas Sundberg, researcher Ali A. Eftekhari and professor (MSO) Simon I. Andersen. Applicants will be reviewed continuously. Interviews are expected to be held in week 42.

We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 3 years with an expected starting date of 1st  of Mars 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Jonas Sundberg, e-mail:

You can read more about the scientific basis for the centre’s activities here:

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .


Please submit your online application no later than the 17  October 2021 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre

DHRTC is a partnership between five of Denmark's leading research institutions: Aalborg University, Aarhus University, University of Copenhagen, National Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Technical University of Denmark. We gather teams across the network and utilize the cutting-edge expertise of each partner institution. In addition, we are in constant dialogue with industry partners and researchers outside DHRTC. We see this network approach as the most optimal approach to pioneering research that makes a difference in the field.

Technology for people

DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

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