Postdoc in Molecular Simulation of Ils/dess at Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology, Netherlands is inviting applicants to apply for a postdoc position in mechanical engineering. Applications should be sumbmitted as soon as possible.

Research in the Process & Energy (P&E) department focuses on process and energy technology within a mechanical engineering context. This means that a process or energy conversion is part of an apparatus. Continuum fluids are the common denominator, either as a process material, carrier, or solvent, or as a medium through which a transport process, separation process, or chemical conversion is carried out. Research covers the range from full equipment scale, down to the molecular scale. Our laboratories have several large-scale experimental facilities that are unique on a world level.

It is a major challenge for engineers to provide the world with an increasing standard of living, while significantly reducing the resulting ecological footprint. Engineering thermodynamics is a crucial tool for meeting this challenge, as it is indispensable for the development of energy efficient processes. Our mission is to apply and develop methods, tools, and processes which lead to more energy efficient processes. Molecular thermodynamics and simulation are important research areas in our group as it is often very difficult to access the required small length scales experimentally.

Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) and Ionic Liquids (ILs) are attracting increasing interest due to their excellent solvent properties, low vapor pressure, and non-flammability. They are often qualified as green solvents and are considered as a replacement for conventional organic solvents. Widespread application is currently impeded by high viscosities and low mass transfer rates. As it is impossible to experimentally investigate all possible ILs and DESs, obtaining a detailed molecular understanding is absolutely crucial for the selection of the optimal IL or DES for a given application. Compared to conventional solvents, property predictions are seriously hindered by the existence of structural heterogeneities, which are due to the interplay between hydrogen bonding and electrostatic and hydrophobic interactions. These heterogeneities have a very large influence on thermophysical properties but systematic knowledge is currently not available. Molecular simulation and theory will be used to obtain a solid fundamental understanding of the relation between microscopic structural heterogeneities of ILs and DESs, their thermophysical properties, and their chemical composition. Using advanced Monte Carlo and Molecular Dynamics algorithms, we investigate the structure of DESs and ILs and how this affects thermodynamic properties. Ultimately, this approach will lead to better design criteria for ILs and DESs as novel green solvents.

We are looking for a postdoc with a strong background in physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, mathematics, computer science, or related discipline. Prior experience with molecular simulation is required. Good communication skills are essential for the completion of the project.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

For more information about this position, please contact Prof. Thijs J.H. Vlugt, email:

To apply, please email an application letter, CV, publication list, and contact information of at least 2 references by November 1st, 2018 using the vacancy title as subject.

All required documents should be combined to a single pdf file. The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e. once a suitable candidate is found). This means that the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.


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