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PhD studentship at the VILLUM Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals (V-SUSTAIN)

Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Roskilde (Dänemark), 02.11.2017

DTU Energy is focused on education, research, and development within functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technologies. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 11,000 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

PhD studentship at the VILLUM Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals (V-SUSTAIN) on "Electrochemical CO2 reduction at high temperature in Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells"

VILLUM FONDEN has provided a substantial grant over the next 7 years to "The Villum Center for the Science of Sustainable Fuels and Chemicals" (V-SUSTAIN). The clear aim of the center is to provide the science necessary to phase out fossil fuels and thereby alleviate the negative impact their continuous use has on the earth’s climate and environment. The center is a collaboration between DTU, Stanford University, University of Copenhagen, and University of Southern Denmark.

V-SUSTAIN consists of six subprojects, one of which deals with electrochemical CO2 reduction to fuels and base chemicals. These processes can become key for producing fuels and chemicals in a future sustainable society.

The work will take an experimental approach, but in line with the overall philosophy of V-Sustain, it will run in parallel with project activities taking a theoretical computational approach to the same topic. The aim of the project is to improve the electro catalysts applied and the understanding of the electrochemical reduction processes. The work will involve preparation of electro-catalysts in thin-film and nano-particulate form and detailed electrochemical performance characterisation with the aim to elucidate the reaction mechanisms and what limits performance. One specific material that will be studied is doped CeO2 which has shown very promising electro-catalytic properties. The project will aim to understand nano-size and shape effects in this material and will involve also investigation of surface orientation and strain effects by employing highly tailored thin-film hetero-structures prepared by pulsed laser deposition (PLD).

The project will be carried out at DTU Energy, one of the partnering departments in V-Sustain. You will be part of the section for Electrochemical Materials and Interfaces, but will also interact with colleagues in other sections of the Department, with external partners and with V-sustain partners in other DTU institutes. Particular emphasis will be on the collaboration with the theoreticians at DTU and at Stanford.

Candidates should have a master’s degree in Physics, Chemistry, Materials Science, Engineering or similar. An absolute demand is very good communication skills in English, both written and spoken. Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complex tasks, to perform complicated experiments, and to do theory based data analysis, are further necessary.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The workplace will be DTU Energy, DTU Risø Campus, Frederiksborgvej 399, Roskilde, Denmark.
We are currently present on both Risø Campus, close to the town of Roskilde, and Lyngby Campus, north of Copenhagen. In 2019, the entire department will be moving into new facilities at Lyngby Campus.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from the supervisors, Senior Researcher Christodoulos Chatzichristodoulou,, and Research Professor Mogens Bjerg Mogensen,

You can read more about the Department on

Please do not send applications to these e-mail addresses, instead apply online as described below.

Please submit your online application no later than 30 November 2017. Apply online at

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (an official translation into English)
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Bewerbungsschluss: 30.11.2017