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About the Institute
In 1996 the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems was established. The institute in Magdeburg is the first institute of the Max Planck Society dedicated to the engineering sciences and is intended to bridge the gap between basic research and industrial applications.
At present 240 employees are working at the institute in Magdeburg. Their main research activities are focused on the analysis and optimization of highly complex processes in chemical and biological engineering, on questions of systems biology and systems theory, and their mathematical foundations, as well as on modern methods of computer simulation for the above mentioned challenges.
Reference number PEMWE PhD application
The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Department of Process Systems Engineering (Head: Prof. Dr.-Ing. Kai Sundmacher), invites applications for
1 PhD position
The position is to be filled as soon as possible.
The successful candidate will be integrated into our activities on low temperature water electrolysis, a very promising technology within the power to gas energy conversion scheme utilizing renewable energy sources. Two basic technologies are currently of special interest and are discriminated based on the electrolyte, i.e. polymer electrolyte membrane (PEMEL) and alkaline water electrolysis (AEL). The former is particularly suitable for integrating the intermittent energy supply from renewables, while the latter is a well mature commercially available technology. However, both have their pros and cons; the highly acidic environment of the PEMEL process requires the use of expensive noble metal based catalysts with high loadings and corrosion resistant peripheral components, while the AEL process shows low efficiency due to increased losses originating from the liquid electrolyte resistance and the bubble effects. The latter drives the interest on replacing the liquid electrolyte with anion exchange membranes, while the former signifies the necessity for significant reductions in the noble metal loadings. Both targets to be fulfilled require understanding and optimization of the electrode/electrolyte interface architectures.
The focus of the group in Magdeburg is the realization of technical electrode structures and their study in realistic electrolysis cells using the basic electrochemical techniques, such as polarization measurements, cyclic voltammetry and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, complemented by ex-situ physico-chemical characterisations.
Requirements: Suitable candidates hold a Diploma degree or a Master degree in the chemical or process engineering, or related disciplines. Marks should be clearly above average. Good knowledge of reaction engineering and chemical kinetics is expected. The experience in electrochemistry is an advantage. Skills on mathematical modeling will be an asset. The task requires a high level of experimental and theoretical skills and creativity. The willingness and competence to work and publish scientifically in an interdisciplinary and international environment is expected.
We offer the support for further scientific qualification, integration into young and dynamic team and close scientific exchange between the national and international research teams.
The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. Furthermore, the Max-Planck society is committed to increase the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.
Please, send your application documents, including curriculum vitae and references, before 31.10.2016, by e-mail (preferred, with the subject “PEMWE PhD application”) or by post to the following address:
Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems
Department of Process Systems Engineering
Dr. Georgios Papakonstantinou