PhD position in Molecular Modelling of Mineral Wool (Insulation) Dissolution

torsdag 16 maj 19

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Frist 30. juni 2019
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The CHEC research center at the department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering invites applicants for a PhD position in density functional theory modelling of mineral wool dissolution properties.

The PhD position is part of a project sponsored by ROCKWOOL International A/S, where the overall goal is to develop a predictive model for how mineral wool fiber material performs in contact with solution as a function of fiber composition, solution composition, pH and temperature. One of the challenges in a sustainable energy future is to produce insulation that is effective, robust and long lasting, environmentally friendly and safe. The model will contribute to understanding product stability in various situations as well as the biosolubility characteristics of mineral wool fibers. The contribution from molecular modelling is to provide key parameters from fundamental surface processes that contribute to the overall dissolution behavior, which are not easily available through experiments.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD student will use density functional theory with the COSMO-RS implicit solvent model to set up models for mineral wool material and calculate and predict the equilibrium surface chemistry as a function of e.g. 

  • pH in solution
  • solution composition
  • fiber composition
Besides this PhD position, the team will consist of a postdoc performing molecular dynamics simulations, a postdoc collecting surface spectroscopy data to support the modelling and a PhD student based in Australia, who will also use molecular dynamics to model dissolution processes at fiber surfaces. Other researchers, working in project with some overlapping interests will also contribute to discussions. Personnel from the ROCKWOOL Group will be deeply involved in the project, both via complementary experiments and general scientific interactions. The project requires close collaboration within the research group and monthly meetings with the ROCKWOOL colleagues. Strong interpersonal skills and English proficiency are important. Motivation, creativity as well as willingness and ability to collaborate with both experimentalists and theoreticians is important.

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. 

A first degree in physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, glass science, materials science or similar quantitative discipline and/or experience and a strong interest in quantum chemical calculations is important.

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

Applications will be assessed by a committee formed from those most actively involved in the project. Applicants on the short list will be interviewed by skype and the most interesting candidate(s) will potentially be invited for an on-site visit and further discussion. We expect the successful candidate to begin in September but the start date can be adjusted, considering individual circumstances.  Please indicate your preferred start date in your cover letter.

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.

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Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Martin Andersson, tel.: +45 4525 2957, e-mail:

You can read more about the DTU Chemical Engineering at

Please submit your online application no later than 30 June 2019 (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 of motivation for applying (cover letter), including a short statement (no more than 1 page total) explaining why you think you are perfect for the position and a very short statement (no more than 1/2 page total) describing your research interests.
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Course lists and grade transcripts for the BSc/MSc studies
  • 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. An indication of expected completion date can be included in the cover letter.

Incomplete applications and applications or 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 is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent university collaborating globally with business, industry, government and public agencies.