PhD Scholarship in Fuel Cell Process Design, Max-Planck-Institute, Germany

Max Planck / Fraunhofer Joint Research Initiative PROBIO

The Department of Physical and Chemical Process Engineering (Prof. Dr.-Ing. K. Sundmacher, at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems in Magdeburg, Germany, is inviting applications for

PhD or Postdoc Position (TVöD E13, former BAT IIa): Modelling and optimisation of biomass-fed fuel cell systems.

within the joint research initiative PROBIO of the Max Planck Institute together with two departments of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The project is designed to develop an efficient technology for converting solid biomass into gases which after multi-step cleaning can be transformed into electricity and high-valued heat using fuel cells.

A special focus of our research activities is on model-based process synthesis. The project includes the completion of an already existing library of short-cut models for unit operations, the development of a suitable process superstructure, and its optimisation with numerical MINLP methods. Further tasks in this project are the system optimisation with respect to partial load behaviour, varying power demand and robustness against variation of biomass composition. The candidate will work in an inter­disciplinary research team and will be advised by experienced senior scientists.

Suitable PhD candidates hold a Diploma degree (Dipl.-Ing.) or a Master degree (M.Sc.) or a Doctoral degree (Dr.-Ing. / PhD.) in chemical engineering or process engineering. Marks should be clearly above the average. Good knowledge of process modelling and of simulation using numerical tools (e.g. Matlab) is required. Additional knowledge of process optimisation tools is highly welcome. Good communication and team skills are indispensable.

Applications should include a cover letter outlining your specific interest in the described project and your skills, your CV, and all academic certificates. Applications should be addressed to: Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Administration, Sandtorstr. 1, 39106 Magdeburg, Germany.

The MPI seeks to increase the proportion of employed women in those areas where they are underrepresented and explicitly encourages women to apply for this position. The Max Planck Society also seeks to employ more severely disabled persons. Applications from severely disabled persons are explicitly encouraged.

Enquiries or applications can be send by e-mail to: Dr.-Ing. P. Heidebrecht, E-mail: heidebrecht[ at ], phone: +49-391-6110-285, fax: +49-391-6110-353.