PhD scholarship in Digital Transformation of Catalyst Manufacturing powered by AI

torsdag 18 jun 20

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Frist 10. juli 2020
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The Department of Mechanical Engineering (DTU Mechanical Engineering) of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) has an open PhD position in the field of “IN Digital transformation of catalyst manufacturing powered by AI”.

The PhD will be working in the framework of the national project MADE FAST funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark. The MADE FAST project is a major national initiative comprising a network of 50 companies, 5 universities and 3 research institutes in Denmark pursuing the goals of Industry4.0. The PhD scholarship is placed in the context of the Work Stream 4 “Digitalization of Manufacturing Processes” which includes 11 PhD students working on related projects and offers unique opportunities with respect to high level training in a multinational and multicultural environment. The PhD project will be carried out in an exciting combination of academic and industrial environments. The main industrial collaboration partners are Topsøe and LEGO. 

Responsibilities and tasks
The overall theme of the PhD project is to promote the digital transformation of the process chain in catalysts manufacturing. This chain entails several steps including mixing of reacting ingredients into a slurry (paste) as well as a subsequent extrusion process from which catalysts extrudates are produced. The PhD project evolves around three themes regarding this chain: (i) Collecting and handling data from real catalyst production lines, (ii) performing data analytics on this data with proper methods including machine learning, deep learning and process simulation models based on first-principles (iii) deploying the models in production line and coupling with control strategies  to support implementation. The ultimate goal is to develop AI-models that will be used to optimize the production process via on-line monitoring as well as feed-back and control, thus paving the way for data-based decision making. 

The PhD project will be carried out in close collaboration with Topsøe. 

The position encompasses both experimental work on sensor selection, implementation and data acquisition as well as theoretical work including machine learning and model development.

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. 

Candidates with a relevant master's degree in mechanical, chemical or manufacturing engineering, physics or applied mathematics as well as computer science are encouraged to apply. Good knowledge of production engineering technologies, instrumentation, automation, rheology, process simulation or machine learning is considered an advantage. Moreover, the candidate should have good mathematical/analytical skills as well as good communication skills. 

Approval and Enrolment
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 Professor Jesper Hattel and Associate Professor Jon Spangenberg according to the qualification requirements stated above.

We offer
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.

Salary and appointment terms
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. 

The position is funded on the Danish national project MADE FAST funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark. 

You can read more about
career paths at DTU here.   

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Jesper Hattel,

You can read more about Department of Mechanical Engineering at

Please submit your online application no later than 10 July 2020 (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. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it. 

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered. 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
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 Ørsted 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.