PhD Position – Mechanical Long-Term Behavior of PEM Water Electrolyzers

Jülich Research Centre (FZJ)

Jülich, Germany

Work group:

IEK-14 – Elektrochemische Verfahrenstechnik

Area of research:

PHD Thesis

Job description:

Our society`s transition to a sustainable energy system is an urgent and challenging task. It requires the deployment of new, efficient technologies for the conversion of greenhouse-gas-free secondary energy carriers such as hydrogen produced from renewable energy sources. At the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Electrochemical Process Engineering (IEK-14), we are at the forefront of these efforts. PEM water electrolysis is a promising technology for hydrogen production. Due to its scalability and ability for transient operation it is predestinated for a coupling with fluctuating sources like wind or solar power. In our low-temperature electrolysis groups, we work on new materials, components, cells, stack design and electrolysis systems to develop highly efficient and duable electrolyzers for the future energy system.

Your Job:

The project you will be working on is a collaboration with several industry and scientific partners who work on topics towards the industrialization of water electrolysis. After identifying the status quo of the actual stack technology you will analyse the influence of mechanical properties on the performance and failure tolerance as a function of operational time. On the basis of this information you will develop new concepts for redesigning or optimizing stack components and stack assembly. Your tasks include:

  • Analyzing dimensional tolerances, surface profiles and other mechanical properties
  • Development of a mechanical stack model using FEM tools
  • Time dependent ex-situ tests of components and stack testing
  • Mentoring students
  • Presentation of results in project meetings, scientific journals and at (international) conferences

Your Profile:

  • Master’s degree in mechanical engineering, process engineering, or comparable, with an overall grade of at least “gut” (or equivalent)
  • Strong interest in design and construction
  • Experience in FEM
  • High degree of independence and commitment
  • Excellent ability to cooperate and work in a team
  • Fluent skills in German and English
  • Experience in lab work is desirable

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:

  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure
  • Opportunity to participate in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Ideal conditions for balancing work and private life, as well as a family-friendly corporate policy
  • Extensive company health management
  • A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work
  • 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:

  • Continuous scientific mentoring by your scientific advisor
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

The position is initially for a fixed term of 3 years. Pay in line with 75% 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: 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-103