PhD in Metal Production via Electrochemical Deposition

PhD in Metal Production via Electrochemical Deposition

Published Deadline Location
12 Dec 30 Jan Eindhoven

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The PhD vacancy is available in the section Power and Flow (P&F) of the Mechanical Engineering department and is funded within the TU/e EuroTech PhD program and co-funded by Shell and EIRES. The EuroTech partner university is the Technical University of Munich.

Job description

The PhD vacancy is available in the section Power and Flow (P&F) of the Mechanical Engineering department and is funded within the TU/e EuroTech PhD program and co-funded by Shell and EIRES. The EuroTech partner university is the Technical University of Munich.

At Power and Flow, we focus on clean and efficient process technology, to cater for fast-growing energy demands. Our mission is to perform world-class scientific research and education on multiphase and reactive flows in the areas of energy conversion and process technology. Among various research themes, one is metal powder as dense CO2-free energy carrier. For instance, energy is released by combustion of iron powder, whilst the solid product -iron oxide- can be reduced to metallic iron by using renewable energy, forming a recyclable iron fuel cycle. Regeneration of metallic iron powder (i.e., reduction of iron oxide) is the key to close the cycle. This project promotes direct iron powder production/regeneration via dendritic electrodeposition using an electrolysis cell containing suspensions of combusted iron powder in aqueous alkaline solution. This novel approach is attractive because of aspects including low energy consumption, low temperature and direct usage of renewable energy (compared to thermochemical reduction methods).

The project has two objectives:
  1. [fundamentals] To clarify and control the dendritic formation and the growth process of the deposited metal, as well as the morphology of the deposited product.
  2. [design] To make a prototype of a novel electrochemical cell for continuous metal powder production.
A combined experimental and numerical modelling approach will be used for the study on electrochemical performance and deposition behavior. The electrochemical performance is evaluated via cyclic voltammetry and chronopotentiometry measurement, whereas the deposition behavior is quantified using Faradaic efficiency and characteristics (composition, morphology, microstructure) of the deposited product. Measurement techniques including Electrochemical Quartz Crystal Microbalance (EQCM), Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and X-ray Powder Diffraction (XRD) will be utilized. Simulations of metal electrodeposition will be performed by using a comprehensive computational approach,  based on multiscale and stabilized finite element methods (FEM).

Project team

You will work in a collaborative team which include dr. Yali Tang, dr. Giulia Finotello, prof. Niels Deen and prof. John van der Schaaf from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and prof. Wolfgang Wall from the Technical University of Munich (TUM). You will be employed at TU/e, however this collaboration requires from you to pay short-term visits to the group of Prof. Wall at TUM to learn and perform the FEM simulations.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


Talented, enthusiastic candidates with excellent analytical and communication skills holding a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering or related fields are encouraged to apply. The following skillsets are preferred:
  • Proven knowledge or hands-on experience in electrochemistry.
  • Strong experimental and design background.
  • Experience with CFD simulation tools.
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary team.
  • Excellent communication skills and written/verbal knowledge of English.
  • Comfortable to travel for short stays at TUM.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V35.6158


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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