PhD student position in materials science – materials for fuel cells at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is the largest department at Chalmers with research ranging from the most fundamental level to a level close to application in industry and society. The research activities reach from DNA-research and biomaterials to high temperature corrosion, catalysis and recycling. The Department is also committed to teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, as well as postgraduate level in these areas. 
Health, natural resources, sustainable energy and materials are some of our lead words and our vision is “Through curiosity and knowledge towards a sustainable world”. We have approximately 300 employees, divided into four research and one administrative division. We are situated at campus Johanneberg in the middle of Gothenburg.

Information about the division
To meet the challenges of tomorrow’s energy demands, the research at the division of Energy & Materials at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering focuses on solving materials science problems that currently impede the use of new environmentally friendly technologies. We also host the High Temperature Corrosion center, a national center of excellence jointly sponsored by the Swedish Energy Agency, Chalmers University of Technology and around 20 member companies. HTC is known in the field as one of the leading labs worldwide.

Information about the research area
Material performance is one of the key barriers inhibiting the transition towards a more sustainable energy system. Material related problems limit lifetimes and reduce efficiencies, adversely affecting plant economy and consequently the spread of green energy. For our research on metallic materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) we have an open position for PhD a student.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) are high-temperature (>600°C) electrochemical energy conversion devices that can operate on a broad range of fuels while achieving efficiencies exceeding that of state of the art heat engines. The advancement of the technology has however been hindered by several technical and economic barriers. Many of those barriers are related to the metallic interconnects that connect individual cells. The interconnect must withstand the harsh environment at SOFC operating conditions, possess good electrical conductivity and show good compatibility with other cell components. We investigate the relevant degradation mechanism and work on coatings to increase the lifetime of the interconnects.

Central to our work is the link between well controlled laboratory experiments, advanced microstructural investigations and experience from the field gathered by our industry partners. We work with state of the art analytical electron and ion microscopy such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) equipped with Energy Dispersive X-ray (EDX) and Electron Backscattered Diffraction (EBSD) detectors. Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Focused Ion Beam (FIB) milling can also be employed to analyze the specimens in more detail.

Major responsibilities
The research strategy of your project will be defined within the project team consisting of you and your supervisors as well as, presumably, industry partners. Apart from hands-on laboratory work aimed at data collection your tasks might include optimization of experimental setups in collaboration with our mechanical workshop as well as coordination of post-analysis with our analysis experts. A solid knowledge of chemistry or materials science allows you to perform these tasks efficiently. As a PhD student you are expected to present your findings in scientific journals, international conferences and at project meetings with industry partners. Furthermore, the position includes up to 20% departmental work, which mostly implies the teaching of undergraduate students in labs or exercises.

You have a master’s degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or related subjects like materials science, physics or mechanical engineering. 

As a person, you show curiosity and feel comfortable to work as part of a team, yet always taking responsibility for your assigned tasks. If you describe yourself as someone who enjoys lab work but also finds pleasure in putting your data into a greater context than you are an excellent candidate in our team. All PhD projects are performed in collaboration with our partner companies, other departments at Chalmers as well as research groups at other universities. This requires a combination of well-developed collaboration skills, the ability to work independently and high analytical capabilities.

The undergraduate courses are normally taught in Swedish, although the graduate level teaching is in English. Thus, applicants who do not have Swedish as their native language should learn Swedish to a level where you can teach students during your PhD employment, free language courses are available.

Our offer to youChalmers offers a competitive and international research environment in the dynamic city of Gothenburglocated in the heart of Scandinavia. Here, you find a friendly work environment with all the benefits of a Swedish university. We offer an employment with a competitive salary including benefits such as 28 days of financed vacation, parental leave and health insurance. The employment is limited to a maximum of five years. Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

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

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20180733 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

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 and present your qualifications.
• Previous research fields and main research results.
• Possibly future goals and research focus.

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

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

Application deadline: 20 January, 2019

For questions, please contact:
Jan-Erik Svensson, Chemistry and chemical engineering,, +46 31 772 2863
Jan Froitzheim, Chemistry and chemical engineering,, +46 31-772 28 58 

*** 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 eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, 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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