PhD student and/or Postdoc positions - Energy-efficient transformation of industrial processes

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 16 May 2021

The Division of Energy Technology at Chalmers currently has several openings for PhD students or post-docs in the area of energy-efficient transformation of industrial processes, in particular in the chemical, oil and gas, and pulp and paper sectors. These sectors are facing major challenges to implement rapid and complete transformation of their operations so as to become climate-neutral by 2045 and contribute to net negative CO2 emissions thereafter, whilst remaining cost-competitive. There is thus a clear need for research that can provide industrial decision-makers with the knowledge required to implement this transformation.

Information about the research projects
The research will be conducted within the following projects: (1) "Transformative change towards net negative emissions in Swedish refinery and petrochemical industries", funded by the Swedish Energy Agency with co-funding from industry; (2) "Providing access to cost-efficient, replicable, safe and flexible CCUS", funded by the European Commission with co-funding from multiple industrial partners.

Project (1) will explore possible development paths that can contribute to transformative change of refineries and petrochemical industries so as to be net negative emitters of greenhouse gases by 2045 and beyond, in alignment with the Swedish climate targets. The pathways to be assessed will include electrification, Carbon Capture and Storage and/or re-Use (CCS/U), renewable and recycled feedstocks and fuels, as well as energy efficiency measures. The focus of the project will be to identify cost-effective and competitive solutions for achieving stringent long-term emission targets. The research activities will involve development of generic reference case process models which can be used as benchmarks for assessing more detailed process modifications defined together with the industrial project partners. All potential development pathways will be assessed with respect to techno-economic performance for different assumptions regarding future development of parameters such as fuel and electricity prices, carbon pricing in different sectors and cost for transport and storage of captured CO2 .

Project (2) aims to identify optimal integration options for post-combustion CO2 capture technology in pulp and paper plants. The research tasks will build upon case studies of representative mills operated by one of the project partners in Sweden, including at least one large chemical pulp mill with virgin fibre feedstock and one paper mill with market pulp and/or recycled fibre feedstock, from which process data will be obtained. Detailed process analyses will be carried out for these plants and the results will be generalized to other Pulp and paper plants. The research will involve process modelling, definition of CO2 capture scenarios, as well as techno-economic analysis for a range of possible future energy market conditions.

Major responsibilities
As a PhD student, your major responsibilities are to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research orally and in writing. You will also be expected to establish active collaboration with the industrial and academic research partners in your project. The majority of your time will be devoted to the research. PhD student positions generally also include teaching at the undergraduate level and performing other departmental duties, corresponding in total to a maximum of 20 % of the working time. You are expected to write a mid-term licentiate thesis and defend your doctoral thesis within 5 years. In addition, the PhD program includes taking advanced level courses corresponding to 60 ECTS credits.

As a postdoc you are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. You are also expected to contribute to the project and take active part and in building and maintaining collaborative links with relevant members of the department, research project members and stakeholders.

For PhD positions: MSc degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education (ECTS) credits in any of the following fields of engineering: mechanical, chemical, thermal or energy engineering, or similar.

For post-doc positions: PhD degree in chemical process engineering design.

In-depth knowledge regarding process operations in the refinery, chemical or pulp and paper process sectors is meritorious for the position.

Excellent writing and communication skills in English are required.

Position summary
The PhD positions are limited to a period of five years, and the post-doc positions are limited to two years. Both types of position are on a full-time, temporary employment basis.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Our offer to you
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburg .
Read more about working at Chalmers  and our benefits  for employees.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20210186 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

For PhD student position
CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

For Post-doc
 (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including:
• CV, include complete list of publications.
• Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:  (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous research fields and main research results
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 16 May, 2021

For questions, please contact:
Professor Simon Harvey, Division of Energy Technology
Phone: +46 31 7728531

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!

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