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Postdoctoral Position in Water Management for Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells

Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden has an opening postdoctoral fellowship position in mechanical engineering. The funding allows successful candidates to work for two years in the first instance. The deadline for applying is November 14, 2018.

The department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences (M2) conducts fundamental and applied research in all modes of transport to achieve sustainable technological solutions. M2 holds one of Sweden's most extensive simulator centre for navigation and propulsion of ships, as well as world class laboratories within combustion engineering and wind tunnels. The department also offers and contributes to bachelor and master programs in areas such as Shipping, Automotive and Mechanical Engineering to mention a few. In addition, professional education is performed on both a national and international level, with specific designed mission training for different social actors, within our ambition for a lifelong learning. The department continuously strives to establish a cooperation between academia, industry, and society, with a great focus on utilization. M2 is characterized by an international environment with employees and students from around the world, as well as outstanding research and world class education. M2 consists of seven different divisions within the areas of engineering and maritime sciences, and one division of administration and support.

Information about the research

We are offering a position as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Multiphase Flow group, in a project related to mathematical modeling, numerical simulations, and mechanic/thermodynamic analysis of multiphase flows in porous media. In particular, the project will focus on the design and optimization of porous microstructure for the improvement of water management in Anion Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (AEMFCs).

Fuel cells are a key technology in the development of a more sustainable society, especially in relation to the green mobility sector. The urge to find new solutions for a sustainable mobility makes fuel cells increasingly attractive. Nevertheless, many technological issues still must be addressed in order to improve their technological and economic competitiveness in the mobility sector. In this perspective, AEMFCs represent an innovative and promising solution. AEMFCs, in contrast to standard fuel cells can dramatically reduce the cost per kilowatt of power in fuel cell devices, given the possibility to use non-platinum-group metal catalysts. However, to close the remaining performance gaps, innovative approaches to effective water management are required in AEMFCs, where water issues are more problematic than in standard fuel cells. To pursue this task, the present mechanic and thermodynamic knowledge about multiphase flows in porous structures composing the cells diffusion media is still not sufficient. In particular, the influence of porous microstructure on the two-phase flow behavior must be further investigated in order to optimize the design of the AEMFCs diffusion media.

In this project, an advanced numerical model – the Lattice-Boltzmann Model (LBM) – will be used to perform simulations of multiphase flows in porous microstructure. The two-phase LBM code is already present and available at the Division of Fluid Dynamics in an open-source platform, optimized for software-team developing and for state-of-the-art improvements of the model. Results will be used to compose guidelines for conceptual design of innovative porous media in AEMFCs, as well as for better understanding the main design parameter affecting water management (wetting, porosity and other porous microstructure characteristics).

As a Postdoctoral Researcher in this project, you will be working at the Division of Fluid Dynamics at Chalmers University of Technology. The project will be carried out in close collaboration with the European Marie Skodowska-Curie action HyPoStruct (A key breakthrough in hydrogen fuel cells: enhancing macroscopic mass transport properties by tailoring the porous microstructure), driven by the multiphase research group at the Fluid Dynamic Division. The project will be also carried out in cooperation with the Division of Chemical Physics, where new catalyst material for AEMFCs are experimentally tested. The experimental campaign will ensure access to high-quality experimental data to be combined with the numerical simulations. Working as a Postdoctoral Researcher requires a great deal of creativity and ability to think “outside the box”. Furthermore, as the current project involves close cooperation with different partners, collaborative and communicative skills will be essential.

The fundamental scientific questions that need to be addressed are primarily related to the description of the physical mechanisms governing multiphase flows at different operating conditions of the cell, and how these can be influenced by the design and control of the porous microstructure. A wide and keen scientific investigation, by means of LBM simulations, is needed to obtain insight at the microscopic level and to be able to optimize the system on a macroscopic level. The project will thus offer possibilities to contribute both to the development of state-of-the-art of numerical models for multiphase flows in porous media, to widen the scientific knowledge related to these challenging physical phenomena, as well as to help address technical challenges of significant societal, environmental and economic impact.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibility will be to pursue the research and development within the project. You are expected to develop your own scientific ideas and concepts, and to communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. You will be guided by the senior researchers involved in the project and have ample opportunities to develop an extended network in the fields of flows in porous media, multiphase flows and energy-related technologies.

The position is a full-time temporary employment with a competitive salary and with social benefits. The position is limited to a maximum of two years.

Qualifications

To qualify as a Postdoctoral Researcher in the current project, you must have a PhD degree in a relevant field (Mechanical Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Energy Technology, Engineering Physics, Engineering Mathematics or similar). The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in English, as well as an ability to plan and organize the work involved.

You like to work independently and you plan and think strategically. You are creative and like to put new ideas into practice. You are greatly interested in physical phenomena involving fluid flows. Also, you have a solid interest in scientific computing, and you understand and are able to handle numerical codes and data quickly and correctly. You like to work in interdisciplinary projects and you have the ability to discuss and communicate your work with people of different backgrounds. We also believe that you are a motivated person, with a strong curiosity and a genuine wish to learn more and develop your skills and knowledge further in the fields of research, research communication and project management.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the dynamic city ofGothenburg.

Read more aboutworking at Chalmersand ourbenefitsfor employees.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180539 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document as: CV, Surname, Ref. number) including:

CV, include complete list of publications

Previous teaching and pedagogical experiences

Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter:(Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)including:

1-3 pages where you introduce yourselfand present your qualifications.

Previous research fields and main research results.

Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:

Attested copies of completed education, grades and other certificates.

Application deadline: 14 November 2018

For questions, please contact:

Dr. Dario Maggiolo,

Fluid Dynamics, maggiolo@chalmers.se,

+46 790449474


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