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PhD position Direct Numerical Simulation of Electrochemical Bubbles

Posted 17 Jul 2024
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Work experience
1 to 3 years
Full-time / part-time
Full-time
Job function
Degree level
Required languages
English (Fluent)
Dutch (Fluent)
Deadline
15 Aug 2024 00:00

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Fundamental Insights in Bubble Detachment Mechanics to Develop Micro-Structured Electrodes

Challenge: Improve the efficiency of hydrogen production.

Change: Develop advanced numerical techniques to simulate bubbles in water electrolysis.

Impact: Develop numerical tools for electrodes design.

Job description

In the transition to a green economy, hydrogen is called to play a central role to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors. To this aim, water electrolysis is the key technology enabling the conversion of (green) electricity into hydrogen. However, this pivotal process still suffers from low conversion efficiencies. One of the chief causes of such inefficiencies is the sub-optimal bubble release from the electrodes, which block the reaction sites. In this project we want to develop new numerical techniques that allow advancing our understanding on the fundamental physics ruling bubble detachment in gas-evolving electrodes. In particular, we want to gain insight in how fluid mechanics, mass, heat and charge transfer impact the overall process performance. The ultimate goal is laying the foundations to design advanced electrode geometries that optimize performance and lower costs.

You will work with Dr. Nicolas Valle within the faculty of Mechanical Engineering. The tasks of your project will be split in three main blocks:

You will develop and implement new numerical methods for bubble detachment dynamics on top of an existing, parallel, hybrid (CPU/GPU), computational physics code. The physical phenomena include contact angle, mass transport, phase change and chemical kinetics. You will get extra support from the Dutch supercomputer centre for the computational aspects.

You will perform high fidelity simulations of bubble detachment. After validation, you will perform a flow topology analysis to characterize the influence of the physical parameters into this process and to assess the impact of bubble detachment in electrodes performance.

Finally, you will extend the analysis to patterned geometries. Starting from simplified cases, you will perform an a priory design and assessment of the most promising patterns for gas-evolving electrodes.

Requirements

  • A Master’s degree in Mechanical, Maritime, Aerospace or Chemical Engineering, Physics, Applied Mathematics, or a related discipline.
  • A bottom-up approach and a passion for research.
  • Demonstrably affinity and strong interest in numerical methods and (parallel) programming.
  • Excellent communication skills in English, both written and oral.
  • Programming skills in C/C++/Fortran and in parallel computing (MPI) is a plus.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Mechanical Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the ME faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

ME is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in ME’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

De fascinatie voor science, design en engineering is wat ruim 13000 bachelor & masterstudenten en 5000 medewerkers van de TU Delft drijft. De Technische Universiteit Delft is niet alleen de oudste, maar ook de grootste technische universiteit van Nederland: een universiteit die continu op zoek is naar jou als (inter)nationaal talent om het onderzoek en onderwijs van deze unieke instelling…


De fascinatie voor science, design en engineering is wat ruim 13000 bachelor & masterstudenten en 5000 medewerkers van de TU Delft drijft. De Technische Universiteit Delft is niet alleen de oudste, maar ook de grootste technische universiteit van Nederland: een universiteit die continu op zoek is naar jou als (inter)nationaal talent om het onderzoek en onderwijs van deze unieke instelling op topniveau te houden. Met ongeveer 5.000 medewerkers is de Technische Universiteit Delft de grootste werkgever in Delft. De acht faculteiten, de unieke laboratoria, onderzoeksinstituten, onderzoeksscholen en de ondersteunende universiteitsdienst bieden de meest uiteenlopende functies en werkplekken aan. De diversiteit bij de TU Delft biedt voor iedereen mogelijkheden. Van Hoogleraar tot Promovendus. Van Beleidsmedewerker tot ICT'er.

Engineering
Delft
5,000 employees