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PhD Scholarship in Atomic Scale Simulations of The Oxygen Reduction Reaction at The Solid-liquid Interface

Technical University of Denmark, Denmark has an opening PhD position in sustainable development. The funds for this fellowship are available for 3 years. This position is closed on April 14, 2020.

PhD scholarship in atomic scale simulations of the oxygen reduction reaction at the solid-liquid interface

The Section for Atomic Scale Materials Modelling at DTU Energy, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), invites applications for a PhD scholarship on atomic scale simulations of the oxygen reduction reaction at the solid-liquid interface in fuel cell cathodes.

Liquid electrolytes are important in several electrocatalytic reactions, where solvated ions in the electrolyte are known to affect reaction rates, thereby modifying catalyst activity and selectivity. Simultaneously, atomic scale simulations based on Density Functional Theory ( DFT) have provided key insights into reaction energetics and kinetics, usually employing simple models neglecting the dynamics of the solid liquid interface and/or solvated electrolyte ions. Therefore, accurate understanding and prediction of reaction activity and selectivity remains a challenge.

The successful candidate will use DFT and ab initio molecular dynamics simulations in combination with machine learning approaches to understand key properties of the liquid electrolyte that affect activity and selectivity for the electrochemical reduction of oxygen in fuel cells and metal air batteries. The project will be linked to other ongoing computational projects in the section working on electrocatalyst design and materials modelling.

Candidates should have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree. We favour candidates with a degree in physics, chemistry or materials science or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a master’s degree in engineering. Experience with computational/theoretical physics, chemistry or related areas are an advantage.

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by: Head of Section, Professor Tejs Vegge and Associate Professor Heine A. Hansen

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Heine A. Hansen at Please do not send applications to these e-mail addresses, instead apply online as described below. You can read more DTU Energy at www.energy.dtu.dk

Please submit your online application no later than 14 April 2020 (23:59 local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file.

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender,race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. The Department of Energy Conversion and Storage is focusing on functional materials and their application in sustainable energy technology. Our research areas include fuel cells, electrolysis, polymer solar cells, magnetic refrigeration, superconductivity, thermoelectrics, sustainable synthetic fuels, and batteries. The Department, which has more than 200 employees, was founded in 2012. Additional information about the department can be found on

DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN's 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian rsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.


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