PhD student in Energy Technology with specialisation in Thermal Process Chemistry

PhD student in Energy Technology with specialisation in Thermal Process Chemistry

Umeå University, Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory (TEC-Lab)

Umeå, Sweden

TEC-lab (Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory at the Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Umeå University) is looking for a PhD student in Energy Technology with specialization in Thermal Process Chemistry for a project on fundamental studies of chemical speciation in ash fractions from thermal conversion of biomass and waste. Application deadline is March 29th 2019.
The position will open in 6 May 2019 (exact start date can be negotiated).

Project Description
The focus of the Ph.D. project is phosphorus and its adjacent cationic neighbours in residual streams from thermal conversion of biomass and waste. The candidate will participate in the research project “Fundamental studies of chemical speciation in ash fractions from thermal conversion of biomass and waste” funded by the Swedish Research Council. The expected outcome is to determine if potentially toxic elements such as, but not limited to, Zn and Cu are bonded in phosphates from ash fractions and how this may affect their solubility if ashes are directly applied as fertilizers.

The selected candidate will work with synthesis of complex phosphates found in ash fractions from thermal conversion of biomass and waste, structure determination, X-ray analytical techniques such as powder X-ray diffraction, and participate in beamtime atsynchrotron facilities. Further, the selected candidate is expected to collaborate in national and international research projects.

The project provides an excellent opportunity for researcher education concerning in-depth structural analysis that addresses research questions closely related to global challenges in the interface of energy supply and a sustainable society.

Competence requirements
The applicant should have a Master of Science degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, energy technology, or equivalent qualifications.

Prerequisites to be admitted to the doctoral education include 240 ECTS credits of higher education studies, of which 60 ECTS credits should be on an advanced (master) level.

To fulfil the specific entry requirements to be admitted for doctoral studies in energy technology with specialisation in thermal process chemistry, the applicant is required to have completed course requirements of at least 120 ECTS credits within the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, energy technology, closely related areas of application or other subject areas considered to be directly relevant for doctoral studies. Applicants who in some other system either within Sweden or abroad have acquired largely equivalent skills are also eligible.

The requirements must be fulfilled at the time of admission to postgraduate education and need not be met at the time of application.

The applicant should be highly motivated, goal-oriented, and have the ability to work with mainly experimental tasks both independently, as well as in collaboration with a research team. The successful applicant must have a strong interest in development of directly useful knowledge within the subject of the project. The project includes handling of chemicals and experiments at high temperatures, which means that carefulness and high safety awareness are important. Very good knowledge of the English language, spoken as well as in writing, is required.

Other desirable qualifications
It is considered beneficial if the applicant’s degree has a specialization in high temperature processes or high temperature inorganic chemistry. Experience from experimental studies on residues from combustion and/or gasification processes is qualifying, as well as skills in relevant analytical methods (especially powder X-ray diffraction, synchrotron-based methods, and/or SEM-EDS). Good communication skills in Swedish are qualifying but not required at the time of admission.

Terms of employment
The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be active in research, study doctoral courses, and possibly participate in teaching of courses at undergraduate level. Financing time is limited to four years full time (48 months). Teaching and other departmental work (up to a maximum of 20%) may be included. The employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching and other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students at Umeå University.

Your application should include the following:
1. A cover letter with a brief description of your qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying, and your contact details (max. 2 pages)
2. Curriculum vitae.
3. Copies of relevant degree diploma(s) and certificates.
4. A list of university courses with grades. Note that for international applicants the grading system should be explained in brief.
5. A copy of master thesis and publications (if any).
6. Contact information of two academic reference persons.

The application, including attached documents, must be written in English or Swedish. Applications must be submitted via e-recruitment system Varbi, no later than 2019-03-29.

For more information, contact Dr. Nils Skoglund, tel: +46 90 786 68 01 email:, or the head of the department Dr. Per Hallberg, tel. +46 90 786 80 62

We look forward to receiving your application!

About us
The Department of Applied Physics and Electronics currently has around 90 employees and conducts research majorly in the fields of energy technology and electronics and system engineering. A large part of the energy research is conducted within the research environment Thermochemical Energy Conversion Laboratory (TEC-Lab) that hosts the present project. Here, the strong and expanding research is mainly targeting thermochemical energy conversion processes. The overall goal is to contribute with new knowledge that is useful for the society and industries in increasing the use of new fuels and materials, developing and improving industrial processes, avoiding expensive operational problems, reusing finite resources, and minimizing harmful by-products and emissions.

TEC-Lab is a member of the Chemical Biological Center (in Swedish “Kemiskt Biologiskt Centrum”, KBC) – an interdisciplinary research centre for the natural sciences and medicine at Umeå University and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. The centre is unique in its collaborative structure and offers an excellent scientific infrastructure with several core facilities and technical platforms. Our goal is to promote a positive, creative, and interdisciplinary environment for research combined with an excellent graduate and undergraduate education. You can find more information here:

Umeå University is dedicated to providing creative environments for learning and work. We offer a wide variety of courses and programs, world leading research, and excellent innovation and collaboration opportunities. 4 000 employees and nearly 34 000 students have already chosen Umeå University. We welcome your application!

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