Phd A Surface-science Model for Operando Nap-xps Studies of Co2 Hydrogenation..

Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands is inviting applicants to apply for a PhD position in sustainable energy. The funds for this position are available for four years. Applications should be submitted as soon as possible.

PhD position – A surface-science model for operando NAP-XPS studies of CO hydrogenation on dispersed oxides on a zirconia film

The Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) is a multidisciplinary research program. Within this program chemists, physicists and engineers from Utrecht University (UU; commissioner of the MCEC-program), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the University of Twente (UT) join forces in order to address one of the grand challenges that our society faces today: sustainable energy conversion. Different research teams work together to develop efficient processes for the conversion of renewable raw materials, such as non-edible biomass, waste and solar energy, fuels and chemical building blocks. MCEC gives academics the opportunity to work on important scientific topics in not previously existing partnerships, and thus creates the conditions for innovative, groundbreaking and multidisciplinary research, including both experimental and theoretical approaches.

MCEC is a so-called Gravitation Program, funded by the Dutch Ministry of education, Culture and Science (OCW). The program is cofounded with a grant that has been awarded by Marie Skodowska-Curie COFUND program.

What we are searching for

For the second phase of the MCEC research program, MCEC is looking for a PhD candidate for the research project "A surface-science model for operando NAP-XPS studies of CO hydrogenation on dispersed oxides on a zirconia film"

Renewable electricity will rapidly become cheap and abundant and is therefore expected to play an essential role to displace fossil resources for covering our primary energy demand. However, due to a mismatch between production and demand, there is a growing need to store renewable energy. Doing so in chemical bonds is not only very efficient but also offers opportunities to convert CO waste into building blocks for the chemical industry, thereby contributing to a circular economy. Methanol is a promising storage chemical for renewable H .

In this project, the researchers will conduct atomic-scale investigations of a novel catalyst system for efficient methanol synthesis from CO , consisting of thin layers of reducible metal oxides on zirconia. For this purpose, a surface science approach will be followed in which a thin oxide film of zirconia will be synthesized and loaded with indium oxide or other catalytically active phases. With this model, we will be able to investigate in detail the reactions occurring at the catalytic surface, contributing to the development of better catalytic processes for renewable energy storage.

We offer a challenging job for four years in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. You will work with innovative analytic equipment and you will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world en part of the European technology hotspot 'Brainport Eindhoven'; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!

The gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), starts with 2.325,- in the first year to 2.972,- in the fourth year. Besides this the TU/e has holiday- and end-of the year allowances, an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees and a modern sports complex. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given. Especially for PhD students the TU/e also offers opportunities for personal development. We do this by offering every PhD student a series of courses that are part of the Proof program as an excellent addition to your scientific education.

More information is available on the website of Eindhoven University of Technology:

Additional practical information about the MCEC program can be obtained from dr. Nina Versteeg (science.mcecoffice(at), more information about this vacancy can be obtained with E.J.M. Hensen (e.j.m.hensen(at) As part of the selection procedure, the candidate is expected to give an outline of his/her research plans in a written report and an oral presentation.

More information about the Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) can be found here:

This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skodowska-Curie grant agreement No 801359.

Candidates are asked to submit an application package consisting of (1) an application form, (2) a motivation letter, (3) a curriculum vitae, (4) copies of relevant diplomas and grade lists and (5) a video pitch (more information about this can be found in the application form. Please upload your complete application package by using the vacancy portal of Utrecht University

Candidates who are invited for an interview will be asked to prepare a short presentation, either in person or via videoconference.


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