PhD Position Hydrogen Bubble Experiments

PhD Position Hydrogen Bubble Experiments

Published Deadline Location
25 Apr 5 Jun Delft

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Understand hydrogen bubbles to make green hydrogen more affordable.

Job description

Hydrogen can be made in a sustainable way in electrolysers, using green electricity. In this process hydrogen and oxygen bubbles form on electrodes inside a liquid electrolyte. These bubbles are insulating, so cause additional resistance. Bubbles are however also beneficial since they locally remove the dissolved gas that could otherwise cross-over to the other electrode and cause explosive gas mixtures. Therefore it will be beneficial to have a good understanding of the behaviour of both hydrogen and oxygen bubbles.

There are still many open questions that you are herewith invited to help answer. What exactly causes the difference between hydrogen and oxygen bubble size, and what is the influence of electric fields, surface properties, and coalescence? How does the electrode geometry influence the bubble size and energy efficiency and can electrolysers perhaps be built with such large flow velocities that bubbles do not get a chance to be formed inside the cell?

You will design, build, and use several transparent electrolysis cells, to investigate the behaviour of bubbles and optimize the electrode shape and arrangement. Various experimental techniques, including optical, ultrasound, electrochemical, and X-ray diagnostics can be used. In direct collaboration with several Dutch companies you will work on the development, characterization, of optimal electrodes. Within the same ‘Vidi’ grant awarded to Willem Haverkort ( there is also an ongoing computational PhD project, allowing the experiments to be extremely useful as validation and at the same time the simulations will be used to aid the design.

If you are an enthusiastic aspiring PhD candidate, we look forward to meet you and work with you on this exciting research. 


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • We seek a self-motivated conscientious candidate with good communication and self-management skills.
  • An MSc degree in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, aerospace engineering, applied mathematics, computational science, applied physics, or similar will be required.
  • Knowledge of fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, and/or electrochemistry will be very beneficial.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541,- per month in the first year to € 3247,- in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • University graduate
  • TUD03846


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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