PhD position in Spectroscopy-based diagnostics in non-equilibrium plasma ignition phenomena

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The Automotive Powertrain Technologies Laboratory develops innovative and inventive solutions for future mobility, and offers a

PhD position in Spectroscopy-based diagnostics in non-equilibrium plasma ignition phenomena


You will work on a dedicated spectroscopic setup for the investigation of the ignition processes for spark ignited combustion engines, especially gas-fueled engines.  The focus will be on advanced ignition approaches, such as non-thermal plasma ignition.Short duration, non-equilibrium plasmas are able to achieve ignition in ultra lean mixtures and with reduced ignition delay time, enhance flame propagation speed, extend the flammability limits, and improve flame stabilization. Stricter regulations on greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions and higher performance are nowadays driving the demand for significantly improved ignition systems for automotive and stationary applications, thus resulting in increased research effort also for this field. Further investigation is needed for achieving a better understanding and deriving models on how different discharges influence the combustion onset and development. In this framework, a major milestone is to deliver methods to detect the composition of inflammable gas mixtures at the moment of ignition by detailed spectral analysis of the light emission in the vicinity of the spark plug during the ignition event.

Your PhD will be embedded in a project between Empa and two laboratories of ETH and you will be able to cooperate in a multi-disciplinary team.


Your Profile

You are a highly-motivated experimentalist with a Master Degree in chemistry, physics or engineering, with experience in spectroscopy and knowledge on flow and combustion. You have practical skills, and you are able to develop and maintain an experimental setup, to investigate challenging processes and to draw theoretical conclusions. You are committed to prepare and present experimental findings in meetings, at scientific conferences, and in scientific publications. You are willing to closely cooperate in a multi-disciplinary international team. Skills with data processing, LabView programming and instrumentation design are particularly appreciated.

Fluent oral and written English is required, and knowledge of German is highly appreciated.

We offer a PhD student position at the research institution with excellent infrastructure and plenty of possibilities for personal and professional development. The position is for three years.Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until the position is filled. The tentative start date is September 2019 or upon mutual agreement.


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