PhD: Simulating Bubble Dynamics in Electrolysis (3me19-64)

Updated: about 1 year ago
Deadline: The position may have been removed or expired!

PhD: Simulating Bubble Dynamics in Electrolysis

Department/faculty: Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering
Level: University Graduate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: 4 year contract
Salary: 2325 - 2973 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

Research in the Process and Energy Department focusses on process and energy technology in a mechanical engineering context. We envision that a transition from fossil/conventional energy conversion towards full electrification will take place in society in the coming decades. Our objective is to develop processes supporting this transition, by making existing processes more efficient and developing novel green technologies that use electricity as primary energy source to produce heavy transportation fuels and bulk chemicals. Research activities within the department cover the range from full equipment scale down to the molecular scale. Our laboratories have several experimental facilities that are unique in the world.

Job description

Versatile alternative energy solutions are of paramount importance to counteract climate change in the benefit of future generations. Solar and wind energy play an important role in this goal, but their availability is intermittent. To mitigate this, electrical energy can be suitably converted and stored in energy carriers such as hydrogen. However, the efficiency of current electrolytic hydrogen production processes is hampered by the presence of bubbles blocking the electrode surface and lowering interfacial mass and heat transfer. In this project, we aim to better understand the nucleation, growth and detachment of gas bubbles in the pores and at the surface of porous electrodes.

To address this problem, we will develop a Lattice Boltzmann code to simulate multiphase flow (gas-liquid-solid), with reactive surfaces (modelling adsorption, reaction, desorption phenomena), multi-component diffusion (e.g. Maxwell-Stefan like) and including the effects of electric fields and charges. The simulation results will aid in the development of a predictive model for bubble nucleation rates at electrode surfaces. This model and the simulation results will support experiments and macroscopic simulations performed by our partners at TU Eindhoven and University of Twente. As such, this project will involve close interaction within a team of researchers.


We are looking for an excellent PhD candidate with a strong background in (applied) physics, chemical Engineering, or a related discipline. Ideally, you are familiar with electrochemical and transport phenomena and the statistical mechanics of charged particles (e.g. Poisson-Boltzmann), and proficient with coding in advanced languages like C++. Prior experience with Lattice Boltzmann simulations will be considered a great advantage. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential.

Conditions of employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. 

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit  for more information.  

Information and application

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact Remco Hartkamp, Assistant Professor, e-mail: , tel. +31 15 27 86674.

To apply, please send a motivation letter, transcripts, CV with a publication list, and contact information of at least two references to Remco Hartkamp, e-mail: .

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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