PhD Position - Chemical mechanism development of atmospheric VOC degradation aided by pattern analysis of high-resolution mass spectrometric data

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IEK-8 – Troposphäre


Area of research:

PHD Thesis


Job description:

Your Job:

The PhD work will maximize the use of such mass spectrometric information in a model-based prediction-comparison-refinement approach, which comprises:

  • Generating chemical mechanisms applying structure activity relationships (SARs) for organic radical chemistry based on an established approach (GeckoA).
  • Running model simulations based on that explicit mechanism for the conditions of our experiments in the simulation chambers SAPHIR and SAPHIRSTAR (further information on the atmospheric simulation chambers can be found here: go.fzj.de/SAPHIR_IEK-8 and go.fzj.de/SAPHIRSTAR_IEK-8 )
  • Categorizing the products/intermediates in the model, to visualize their correspondence to the mass spectrometric measures
  • Identifying the important pathways and pruning the unimportant pathways
  • Optimization of the GeckoA/SAR input and reruns to improve the predictive capability of the mechanism relative to its agreement with the mass spectrometric data.
  • Support of SAPHIR and SAPHIRSTAR experiments by model predictions from existing operational chamber models



The PhD work will be done within a three-year program of the Graduate School HITEC. Goal of the thesis work is an up-to-date description of the atmospheric formation of (highly) oxygenated organic molecules for improved atmospheric SOA predictions.

Your Profile:

  • Master’s degree in physics, chemistry, environmental sciences, or a related field
  • Experience in programming, numerical modelling or knowledge about atmospheric chemistry and mass spectrometry are advantageous
  • Good skills in the spoken and written English language
  • Outstanding organizational skills and the ability to work independently
  • Very good cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of a team in an international and interdisciplinary environment
  • High interest in the field of high-resolution mass spectrometry


Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • An exciting inter-disciplinary team
  • Excellent scientific environment and technical facilities
  • Broad spectrum of training in the Graduate School HITEC ( www.hitec-graduate-school.de ) and at Forschungszentrum Jülich
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors: www.fz-juelich.de/judocs
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service


The PhD work will be done within a three-year program of the Graduate School HITEC. Pay in line with 67,5% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60 % of a monthly salary as special payment („Christmas bonus“). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at: www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs

Forschungszentrum Jülich promotes equal opportunities and diversity in its employment relations.

We also welcome applications from disabled persons.

This research center is part of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers. With more than 42,000 employees and an annual budget of over € 5 billion, the Helmholtz Association is Germany’s largest scientific organisation.

Please apply via recruiter’s website.

Quote Reference: 2021D-149