PhD position in Applied Physics with focus on laser-based combustion diagnostics

Updated: about 1 month ago

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The Department of Applied Physics and Electronics currently has around 100 employees and conducts research in fields such as energy technology, applied physics, laser spectroscopy and applied electronics. For more information see

The Applied Optics group ( at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics is recruiting a PhD student to study and characterize oxy-fuel combustion of solid biomass using advanced analytical techniques. You will be part of a project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency that will be conducted in close collaboration with researchers at RISE Piteå ( and the Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory (TEC-Lab). TEC-Lab is part of the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics and the Chemical Biological Centre (KBC) at Umeå University (

Combustion of solid biomass together with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) has the potential to drastically reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from renewable heat and electricity production. The most promising way to achieve this is to implement oxy-fuel biomass combustion and CCS in existing plants for heat and power generation and waste incineration. Oxy-fuel combustion produces a flue gas that consists of highly concentrated CO2, which can be directly compressed at low cost for permanent storage. However, systematic experimental studies of solid biomass oxy-fuel combustion, and studies on larger scale are scarce. The objective of this project is to acquire essential knowledge to implement BECCS in the energy system. Laboratory and pilot-scale experiments will be conducted and analysed using advanced methods for real-time in situ diagnostics to address key issues, such as process stability and control, and the gas- and solid-phase combustion chemistry in a CO2-rich atmosphere. The work also includes development of laser-based techniques for combustion diagnostics.

Prerequisites to be admitted to the postgraduate education include 240 ECTS credits of higher education studies, of which 60 ECTS credits should be on an advanced (master) level. Applicants who in some other system either within Sweden or abroad have acquired largely equivalent skills are also eligible. The requirements must be fulfilled at the time of admission to postgraduate education and need not be met at the time of application.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for studies at third-cycle level in applied physics, the applicant is required to have completed course requirements of at least 120 credits within the field of physics, closely related areas of application or other subject areas considered to be directly relevant for third-cycle studies.

Very good knowledge of the English language, both in speech and in writing, is required, and has to be demonstrated during the interview process

Experience and expertise in experimental laboratory work with lasers, laser spectroscopy, microscopy, optics and electronics is meriting. This also applies to programming in Matlab and LabVIEW. Experience with combustion processes, thermochemical biomass conversion and numerical modelling will be considered beneficial. Regardless of the background, the candidate should have a strong interest in applying physical and chemical analysis methods in energy technology and thermal process chemistry.

The candidate should be highly motivated, goal-oriented, and have the ability to work with mainly experimental tasks both independently and in collaboration with an interdisciplinary research team. The project includes handling of chemicals, high-power lasers and combustion processes, which means that carefulness and high security awareness are important..

Terms of employment
The employment is expected to result in a dissertation and a doctoral degree. The main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be active in research, attend doctoral courses, and possibly participate in teaching of courses at undergraduate level. The employment is limited to four years at full time studies or up to five years if teaching or other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students at Umeå University.

Your application should preferably be written in English and must include:

  • a cover letter with a brief description of your qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying, and your contact details (max. 2 pages)
  • a curriculum vitae (CV),
  • authenticated copies of relevant degree diplomas and other certificates
  • a list of academic courses with grades
  • copies of your master thesis and any publications you authored or co-authored (if applicable)

The application should be submitted via the e-recruitment system Varbi, latest 2022-10-28. 

The employment is full-time for 48 months.

Starting date: preferably end of 2022 or according to agreement.

For more information contact Dr. Florian Schmidt (Associate professor), phone +46-(0)90-786 7611,

Union information is available from SACO phone +46-(0)90-786 53 65, SEKO +46-(0)90-786 52 96 and ST +46-(0)90-786 54 31.

 We are looking forward to receiving your application!

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