PhD scholarship in Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells

Thursday 20 May 21

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Apply no later than 30 June 2021
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Do you want to contribute to a sustainable future based on solid oxide electrolysis cell technology? At the Department of Energy Conversion and Storage (DTU Energy) at the Technical University of Denmark our research is targeting exactly this, and we are looking for a new PhD student.

Displacement of fossil fuels by renewable energy (RE) is a global issue with inherent challenges of balancing electricity supply and demand. Solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs) can convert electricity from RE sources into hydrogen, CO or methane and hence contribute to an excess electricity offtake. The produced gas can be converted into liquid hydrocarbon fuels for the transportation sector, sold to other high value markets, or converted back to electricity at peak demand and hereby reduce the carbon footprint.

At DTU Energy we have been carrying out R&D in sustainable energy conversion technologies and especially solid oxide electrolysis cells for many years and we are among the world’s leaders in research and development in this area. We have excellent facilities and competences for fabrication, modeling, testing and characterization of devices.

In this specific project, which is part of the Next Generation Power2X for Renewable Energy Conversion and Storage funded by the Innovation Fund Denmark, we aim to develop a highly efficient and cost competitive SOEC-based Power2X (P2X) technology to facilitate integration of fluctuating RE into the future energy system and thus provide sustainable solutions for future urban transport and chemical industry. We aim in NEXP2X to develop low cost and high performing SOEC, by lowering the operating temperature with >100C thus allowing for usage of cheap components, leading to a cost reduction by 50%. As a PhD-student you will help us with this by researching how to optimize SOEC cells with regard to microstructure and composition, exploring different electro-catalysts, developing protective coatings for cheap stainless steels, and finally performance and durability testing of your developed SOEC cells. You will be working in a team with experts in electrolysis technologies and energy storage, with industry, and other university departments.

Qualified applicants must 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.
  • a master's degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science, physics or similar
  • Be excellent in establishing an overview and take responsibility
  • Ability to work independently, to plan and carry out complicated tasks.
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and spoken.
  • Knowledge/experience on the subjects of electrochemical characterization of solid oxide cells, electrode infiltration, and interconnect corrosion is further advantageous.

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 MSO Ming Chen and Head of Section, Professor Rasmus Bjørk.

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.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information about the project may be obtained from Professor Ming Chen tel.: +45 46 77 57 57.

You can read more about DTU Energy on

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

Please submit your online application no later than 30 June 2021 (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 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 Energy
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, solar cells, electromechanical converters, 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

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 12,900 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.