15 PhD positions – Plasma Catalysis for CO2 recycling – PIONEER (MSCA ITN EJD)


PIONEER hosts 15 PhD positions (“Early Stage Researchers”) funded by the Marie-Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) of the European Union H2020 programme.

PIONEER – Plasma catalysis for CO2 recycling and green chemistry- is aEuropean Joint Doctorate programme aimed to train a new generation of research leaders for a successful implementation of plasma-catalytic CO2valorization technologies in Europe.

PIONEER is a consortium of 15 Universities and Institutes together with 6 industrial partners, based in Belgium, France, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, The Netherlands and United Kingdom.

Each of the 15 ESRs will be working towards a double PhD degree awarded by two of the 12 European Universities involved. Each academic institution will host the ESR 18 months and receive an ESR from abroad for 18 months as well. In addition, short secondments of 1 or 2 months will be completed either at an industrial or academic partner.

Each ESR will be advised by a supervisory team that maximizes both scientific excellence as well as interdisciplinary and inter-sectoral collaboration. The 15 PIONEER ESRs will not only receive state-of-the-art science/technology training but will also benefit from a unique soft-skills training programme (Project management, Business development and marketing, Scientific Communication).

Project tasks and objectives

Recycling waste CO2 is a major environmental, economic and societal priority. In fact, CO2 could become a raw material for a “green” organic chemistry or fuel production.

The use of plasma-catalysis to achieve efficient CO2 conversion is an innovative and ambitious approach, requiring multidisciplinary expertise.

The PIONEER network join together world experts of plasma physics, catalysis, chemical engineering and numerical modeling to provide the most complete environment to educate a new generation of plasma-catalysis experts, capable of conceiving and realizing innovative processes based on CO2 recycling. Please visit the website of the project: www.co2pioneer.eu

3 research work packages within PIONEER:

– To gain deeper knowledge on the fundamentals and mechanisms of CO2plasmas interacting with surfaces and the physicochemical phenomena involved, including CO2 dissociation

– To develop advanced, active, selective and robust catalytic systemsspecially formulated for plasma-catalytic coupling to optimize COvalorization

– To explore innovative routes for plasma-catalyst interaction, study novel reactor designs involving various types of exposure of the catalytic materials to different kinds of plasmas of diverse energy density

Project partners :

France: Sorbonne Université

The Netherlands: Eindhoven University of Technology

United Kingdom: University of York

The Netherlands: Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research – NWO-I (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Portugal : Instituto Superior Tecnico

France : CNRS- LCS ; Normandie Université

Poland: AGH University of Science Technology

Spain: Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC); University of Zaragoza

Romania: University of Bucharest

Italy: University of Trento

Belgium: University of Antwerp

United Kingdom: University of Liverpool

France: Ecole Polytechnique ; Université Paris-Saclay

The full description of each position is available at the Pioneer website: www.co2pioneer.eu

ESR 1: Electric fields on catalyst covered dielectric surfaces under plasma exposure

Host institution: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e – EPG)

Joint institution: Ecole Polytechnique, Université Paris-Saclay (CNRS-LPP),

ESR 2: CO2 dissociation for value-added products at atmospheric pressure using tailored radio-frequency and nanosecond pulsed power input

Host institution: University of York

Joint institution: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e – EPG)

ESR 3: Improving the energy efficiency of CO2 conversion and activation in a microwave plasma by a combination of experiments and modeling

Host institution: University of Antwerp

Joint institution: Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (Eindhoven University of Technology)

ESR 4: Energy input and relaxation in atmospheric pressure CO2 plasmas

Host institution: Instituto Superior Tecnico -IPFN (Técnico Lisboa)

Joint institution: University of York

ESR 5: Valorization and optimization of plasma assisted CO2 catalytic reduction of CO2 methanation

Host institution: Instituto Superior Tecnico – CATHPRO (Técnico Lisboa)

Joint institution: CNRS-LCS, Normandie Université

ESR 6: Efficient catalysts preparation for plasma-assisted CO2methanation

Host institution: CNRS-LCS, Normandie Université

Joint institution: AGH University of Science Technology

ESR 7: Novel catalysts for plasma-assisted tri-reforming of methane

Host institution: AGH University of Science Technology

Joint institution: University of Trento

ESR 8: Nanostructured catalysts for plasma assisted CO2 methanation

Host institution: CSIC- ICB (University of Zaragoza)

Joint institution: Sorbonne Université

ESR 9: Tayloring selectivity with different plasma sources

Host institution: Sorbonne Université

Joint institution: Instituto Superior Tecnico – CATHPRO (Técnico Lisboa)

ESR 10: Plasma-catalytic CO2 hydrogenation for the production of molecules for green chemistry

Host institution: University of Liverpool

Joint institution: University of Antwerp

ESR 11: Time-resolved detection of transient species in nanosecond repetitively pulsed discharges for CO2 conversion

Host institution: University of Trento

Joint institution: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e –PMP)

ESR 12: Bending and stretching to promote catalysis

Host institution: DIFFER, NWO-I (Eindhoven University of Technology)

Joint institution: University of Liverpool

ESR 13: Investigating methods to vibrationally excite CO2 with plasma

Host institution: Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e –PMP)

Joint institution: Instituto Superior Tecnico -IPFN (Técnico Lisboa)

ESR 14: Plasma-assisted production of organic acids by reacting CO2with water

Host institution: University of Bucarest

Joint institution: CSIC – ICB (University of Zaragoza)

ESR15: Role of vibrationally excited molecules on catalytic surfaces

Host institution: Ecole Polytechnique, Université Paris-Saclay (CNRS-LPP)

Joint institution: University of Bucarest

How to apply:

Applicants must first prepare all requested documents and complete the on-line application on the Pioneer website : www.co2pioneer.eu/applications/

The applicants must select two ESR positions in order of preference. If the applicant is selected for more than one position, the order of preference in the application will be taken into account.

The deadline to submit the required documentation on-line is June 3rd, 2019.


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