PhD scholarship in Performance and Durability of Electrolyte Supported Solid Oxide Cells and Stacks

fredag 19 nov 21

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Frist 10. december 2021
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Electrolysis and power-to-X are becoming key energy technologies in the green transition, as they will be essential for us in replacing fossil fuels. The solid oxide electrolysis technology is a very promising electrolysis technology because of the high efficiency and hereby lower operational cost. However, the lifetime of the solid oxide electrolysis technology still needs to be improved; and demonstration and operation of mega-watt scale solid oxide electrolysis plants is required now and in the coming years.

Several degradation mechanisms have been identified, and while some have a physical background, e.g. migration of electro-catalyst in the fuel electrode and detachment of the oxygen electrode, other degradation mechanisms relate to chemical stability or build-up of impurities in the cell and stacks. These challenges needs to be tackled with multiple approaches; and to keep the degradation of the electrolysis cells and stacks low, degradation mitigation strategies and safe operating conditions need to be explored and developed.

This PhD project will a part of an international research project focusing. The PhD project will focus on the performance and durability of electrolyte supported solid oxide electrolysis cells and stacks; and be in corporation with industrial stakeholders. The project will be will include – but not limited to - advanced electrochemical characterization and microstructural/compositional characterization of electrolysis cells and stacks with subsequent development of degradation mitigation strategies.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be working with a team of technicians, postdocs and other master and PhD students and in close corporation with international partners to achieve the goals in the project. The work will take its starting point in your experimental work on electrochemical and microstructural characterization of performance and durability of the electrolyte supported solid oxide cells and stacks, but also include advance data analysis and modeling of recorded test data (e.g. impedance spectroscopy data).

You should thus preferably be:

  • Experienced with lab-work
  • Experienced with recording and analysis of electrochemical data
  • Experienced with microstructural/compositional characterization tools (e.g. electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, x-ray diffraction etc.)
  • Be a good team-worker - be happy to share thoughts and receive feedback from others
  • Have a MSc background in technical sciences or engineering, i.e. chemistry, material science, physics, nano-technology, energy technology or other relevant background

Youmust 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.

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 Anne Hauch, Senior Development Engineer Xiufu Sun and Professor Anke Hagen.

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.

Preferred starting date is February 1st 2022 (or according to mutual agreement)

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from professor Anne Hauch ( or Senior Development Engineer Xiufu Sun (

You can read more about DTU Energy at

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 10 December 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)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Interviews are expected to be conducted 14 to 21 December 2021

Applications 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. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.