The transition to a renewable energy economy will necessitate the deployment of a massive amount of energy storage to integrate renewables and balance demand and supply. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop battery technologies that can be scaled-up to fulfill the stringent requirements of the grid, and most important, store electricity at very low cost. FAIR-RFB (Engineered Porous Electrodes to Unlock Ultra-low Cost Fe-air Redox Flow Batteries) is an ambitious research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant) and we are currently building a team of talented and enthusiastic researchers to tackle this challenging research program. The main aim is to develop a low cost and long-duration energy storage system (e.g. a “giant battery”) for large scale energy storage. In this project, we will focus on the fundamental science of porous electrodes, which are the core of next-generation battery technologies and determine their performance, durability and cost.
In this project, the PhD student will work on developing new porous electrodes by using polymer phase separation. The researcher shall develop a deep understanding of polymer dynamics and phase separation thermodynamics to be able to predict the resulting polymer structures and their relationship to the final battery performance. Our ultimate goal is to build an experimental pipeline, supported by theory, to synthesize porous electrodes with controlled three-dimension structures and composition for metal-air redox flow batteries. This multidisciplinary project will leverage principles of polymer chemistry and physics, electrochemical engineering, and transport phenomena.
- A master’s degree (or an equivalent university degree) in Materials Science, Physics, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or related disciplines.
- We are looking for a talented, motivated and enthusiastic researcher. Analytical skills, initiative and creativity are highly desired.
- You are a naturally curious person who is eager to learn more and has a strong interest in research.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are a prerequisite.
- We prefer candidates with a good team spirit, who like to work in an internationally oriented, social environment.
An interview, a scientific presentation and a writing assignment are part of the selection procedure.
Conditions of employment
- A meaningful job in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world en part of the European technology hotspot ‘Brainport Eindhoven’; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!
- A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation after one year.
- To support you during your PhD, as an excellent addition to your scientific education and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
- A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
- Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
- A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
- Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
Information and application
The PhD student will work in the Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory, which is part of the Membrane Materials and Processes chair.
We anticipate close collaboration with the Physical Chemistry group (https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/physical-chemistry/) to acquire a deeper theoretical understanding of phase separation.
Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory
The Electrochemical Materials and Systems Laboratory is led by dr. Forner-Cuenca (www.fornercuencaresearch.com). We aim to accelerate the deployment of transformative energy technologies in the real world. To do so, we employ fundamental principles at the convergence of materials science, electrochemical engineering, and surface science to synthesize, characterize, simulate, and implement novel materials into next-generation electrochemical devices. Areas of application include large-scale energy storage with flow batteries, energy conversion through hydrogen fuel cell, and sustainable manufacturing with electrolysis.
Membrane Materials and Processes at Eindhoven University of Technology
The chair Membrane Materials and Processes (www.tue.nl/mmp) at the department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology (www.tue.nl) focuses on the design and development of polymer membranes and porous electrodes to control mass transport in sustainable processes. The chair combines and integrates materials chemistry, electrochemical engineering, and process technology. Application areas are water and energy, with a strong focus on the recovery and reuse of resources, the valorization of waste streams and energy efficiency. ‘Closing cycles’ and ‘value from waste’ are leading themes in the research program. Next to fundamental academic research, application-oriented research in close collaboration with the industry is stimulated.
Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)
The TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. We combine scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.
Candidates possessing both suitable experience and qualifications are invited to apply.
For information about this Ph.D. position, please contact Dr. Antoni Forner-Cuenca (e-mail: a.forner.cuenca[at]tue.nl, phone: +31 40 247 6258).
For information concerning employment conditions, click here or contact ms. P.J. van de Weijer (Sandra), HR-advisor, p.j.v.d.weijer[at]tue.nl.
Please send your application via the apply-now button and upload the following documents:
- a motivation letter.
- a curriculum vitae (including contact details of at least two references).
- a list of BSc and MSc courses and grades.