PhD scholarship in High-Contrast Neutron Imaging for Visualising Flows in Porous Materials

Updated: about 1 month ago

Join our team to develop new advanced high-contrast neutron imaging methods to visualize flows of liquids and gasses in porous structures for applications in sustainable energy technologies. You will be involved in high profile research at the forefront of materials science in collaboration with international large scale research facilities.

We have an available PhD position in the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy), Technical University of Denmark (DTU). The PhD project will be conducted as a collaboration between the Section for Imaging and Structural Analysis, Biological and Bioinspired Materials Group, iNano (Aarhus University), and European Spallation Source (ESS Data Management & Software Center).

The PhD position is part of a new Center of Excellence within hard materials in 3D (ESS Lighthouse SOLID ) with the vision to visualize the internal structure of materials, their creation and change in use – in 3D and on all the relevant length and time scales. Hard materials are essential ingredients in the solution for many of society’s most outstanding issues within e.g. energy, production and CO2 storage. They are ubiquitous in nature in the form of e.g. bones, wood, soil and rocks. SOLID is a cross-disciplinary center that seeks to exploit the strong synergy in methods and science across materials science, geoscience, bone research, forensics and archeology. To enable the 3D visualization SOLID is engaged in building instruments at the World’s most powerful neutron and X-ray sources, ESS in Lund and ESRF in Grenoble, and is in charge of two national X-ray infrastructures, DanMAX at MAX IV and DANFIX at DTU. SOLID also serves a Danish competence center for neutron and X-ray imaging in general, with extensive collaboration with industry.

You will work with the research project together with an international project team. You will be responsible for designing a suitable system for applying the high-contrast (phase contrast) neutron imaging for visualizing flows in porous materials with application in sustainable energy technologies. This can be the porous structure of the electrodes in a rechargeable battery or a fuel/electrolyzer cell for efficient energy storage and conversion. You will be characterizing the structural properties and their relation to the functional properties of the energy device. You will be testing the lifetime and performance under operating conditions. You will apply and help improve the advanced technique of neutron phase contrast at a large-scale international research facility and in this way be able to analyze the micro porous structure and the flow of electrolyte or gas. You will explore the advantages of combining phase-contrast with so-called energy resolved (or time-of-flight) neutron imaging in order to push the resolution limit of what is today possible to visualize with this technique. You will compare your experimental findings with computational models from colleagues in SOLID. The flow of electrolytes in these materials has direct analogues in biological materials such as bone and these analogies will be explored in the project. In addition, you will be collaborating with researchers at large-scale facilities. A total of 6 months external stay at international research facilities is included in the project.

You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

The following qualifications are required:

  • Strong competences within solid state physics or solid state chemistry.
  • Experience with programming and data analysis by Matlab, python or similar.
  • Experience with experimental setups and lab-work.
  • Preferably experience with diffraction and/or imaging with neutrons and/or X-rays and/or electrons.
  • Personal drive and being self-motivated.
  • Good communication skills in English.
  • Being able to work independently and in a team.

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 made by Head of Section Luise Theil Kuhn ( ), Professor Henrik Birkedal ( ), and Senior Scientist Søren Schmidt ( ).

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here .

Further information
For further information, please contact Head of Section Luise Theil Kuhn ( ).

Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

You can read more about DTU Energy at and the Section for Imaging and Structural Analysis at .

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

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 28 February 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 )

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

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

DTU Energy is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity and thermoelectrics. Additional information about the department can be found on

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 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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