Postdoctoral position in the mechanical testing of solid oxide electrolysis cell and stack components

DTU Energy

Do you want to engage in cutting-edge research on the development of solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOCEs)? Are you a motivated scientist with strong background in mechanics of materials? Then, we have the right position for you.

Electrolysis is a key part of Power-to-X, to produce green fuels and facilitate the transition to a sustainable energy future. Solid oxide electrolysis is a promising technology that offers the highest efficiency among different electrolysis technologies. Nonetheless, the SOEC technology requires further improvement in the performance and robustness.

Mechanical robustness and stability of SOEC cells and stacks are essential for the successful commercialization of the SOEC technology. SOECs are high temperature devices operating typically in the range of 600 to 850 °C. Thus, the mechanical behavior of the complex SOEC materials must be described at different temperatures, from room to operating temperatures. Various material parameters such as the strength, fracture toughness of cells, interfacial fracture energy of sealants and contact layers, as well as creep behavior of interconnects show abnormal variation with temperature. At DTU Energy, we have developed advanced equipment to study all these properties and we constantly work on improving our equipment and testing methods. We apply these techniques in our continuous effort to improve mechanical robustness of SOEC components and better the understanding of their mechanical behavior under technologically relevant conditions.

We are looking for a new colleague to study the mechanical behavior of SOEC cells and SOEC stack materials. It is a great opportunity for you to develop your competencies within mechanical testing of materials, from ceramics to metals, as well as other advanced characterization techniques.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will study the mechanical behavior of SOEC cell and stack components at technologically relevant conditions. Other tasks include development, commissioning, modification and maintenance of the testing equipment and collaborating with other colleagues focusing on component manufacture. In addition, you will be responsible for post-test- microstructural characterization and fractography analyses when required.

You should hold a PhD or equivalent degree in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, materials science or related disciplines. You should have a strong background on mechanics of materials and hands-on experience in mechanical testing.

The successful candidate likely has;

  • an educational background including courses on the theoretical description of mechanics of solids  or work experience in the area.
  • a strong interest in the research subject
  • excellent communication skills in English, both written and spoken
  • ability to work independently as well as within a team.
  • a wish to share thoughts and receive feedback from other team members and the ability to carry out tasks in parallel

In addition, it is further preferable if the candidate:

  • Has experience in materials characterization techniques, e.g. SEM/EDX and XRD
  • Has prior experience with SOEC

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 position is for a fixed duration of 2 years. The expected starting date is 1st of September 2022 or soon thereafter.

Assessment
The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Henrik Lund Frandsen, Assistant Professor Peyman Khajavi and Head of Section, Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen.

Further information
For further information regarding this position please contact Professor Henrik Lund Frandsen (+45 93 51 16 18, hlfr@dtu.dk), or Head of Section, Professor Peter Vang Hendriksen (+45 46 77 57 25, pvhe@dtu.dk).

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 15 August 2022 (Danish 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 in 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
  • BSc/MSc/PhD diploma
  • List of publications

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

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 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.