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Advertising division: IEK-11 - Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy
Reference number: 2020-196


Would you like to contribute to the energy transition in Germany through your work? Then the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg for Renewable Energy (HI ERN) is the right place for you! The HI ERN is as IEK-11 part of Forschungszentrum Jülich and forms the core of the partnership with Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg and Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. The collaboration relates to the areas of innovative materials and processes for photovoltaic energy systems and hydrogen as a storage and carrier medium for CO2-neutral energy. Support us researching and developing solutions for the climate-neutral, sustainable, and cost-effective utilization of renewable energies.

The successful candidate will be part of the Electrochemical Energy Conversion Team led by Dr. Serhiy Cherevko as part of the Electrocatalysis department of HI ERN. Our aim is to significantly contribute to the development of electrochemical energy conversion as a future key player for electromobility and the energy policy in general. Further information can be found here: https://www.hi-ern.de/hi-ern/eec

We are offering a

PhD Position – Electrocatalyst Development for LOHC Fuel Cells

Your Job:

This position is related to our activities within an interdisciplinary research project on liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC) fuel cells. Active and selective electrocatalysts are required to increase the overall energy efficiency of the LOHC fuel cells, which is currently the bottleneck of creating industrially relevant systems. Our part in this multidisciplinary research project is to develop novel electrocatalysts, which can efficiently (active, selective and stable) catalyze the electrooxidation of secondary alcohols to ketones. To do so, high-throughput methods will be used to synthesize and characterize material libraries consist of large number of samples with varying compositions.

Your tasks include:

  • High-throughput synthesis of model electrocatalyst libraries for LOHC fuel cells
  • Investigation of the synthesized libraries using physico-chemical characterization tools (laser profilometry, SEM, TEM, XPS, etc.)
  • High-throughput electrochemical measurements using our unique tools based on scanning electrochemical flow cells
  • Close collaboration with partners within HI ERN and outside
  • Analysis and communication of the obtained experimental data
  • Writing papers and presenting the results at conferences
  • Writing progress reports
  • Representing of the institute at internal and external project meetings

Project details can be found in a recent publication https://doi.org/10.1039/C9EE01324E

Your Profile:

  • Excellent university degree in Chemistry, Chemical engineering, Material science or a relevant discipline
  • Previous experience in fundamental and/or applied electrochemistry and one (or more) of the following is desirable: electrocatalysis; high-throughput methods; fuel cells; development of new methods, programming (Python, LabView)
  • Strong interest in pursuing research in a multidisciplinary project related to the optimization of electrocatalysts for alcohol fuel cells
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Ability to show initiative and work independently
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English
  • High motivation for pursuing a PhD within 3 years

Our Offer:

  • A lively scientific environment within the institute and possibilities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and numerous partners in Germany and abroad
  • An excellent international environment to perform sound, high-quality research at the international level and daily, hands-on experience in worldwide-unique electrochemical characterization techniques
  • Active participation in project meetings, as well as on national and international conferences to present the results and to develop further competences
  • Interaction and cooperation with world-leading industrial partners and strong support and mentoring for setting up a future career in science and/or the industry
  • A comprehensive further training programme
  • Various opportunities to reconcile work and private life
  • A part-time job with 29,25 hours per week
  • Limited for 3 years with possible longer-term prospects
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Civil Service (TVöD). Depending on the applicant`s qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks, salary grade EG 13 TVöD-Bund.

Place of employment: Erlangen

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations. We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

Additional Information

We look forward to receiving your application until 28.07.2020 via our

Questions about the vacancy?
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Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via email.