PhD on Microkinetic Modeling for Water Splitting

PhD on Microkinetic Modeling for Water Splitting

Published Deadline Location
20 Dec 14 Feb Eindhoven

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DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) and Technical University of Eindhoven, the Netherlands, are looking for a

Job description

Description and scientific aim

Electrochemical materials and interfaces are present in many energy systems, such as fuel cells, batteries, or water splitting devices. The performance of such devices is strongly related to the materials and interface properties. Therefore, understanding and tuning of these properties are crucial in order to reach highest performance and to supply alternative, sustainable energy solutions for the future.

In this frame, we recently received a grant for two PhD students, one on experiments and one on modeling. The scientific aim of this grant is to identify the limitations at photo-electrochemical water splitting interfaces by intertwining operando spectroscopy with microkinetic modeling.

The current vacancy is for the modeling PhD. You will work on microkinetic modeling using methods of control. Close collaboration with the experimental PhD student who focuses on operando spectroscopy, is planned.

You will be hired at TU/e and will be embedded both in the group 'Control Systems (CS)' of the Department of Electrical Engineering at TU/e as well as in the group 'Electrochemical Materials and Interfaces (EMI)' at DIFFER. You will have a working places in both groups, both located on the campus of Tu/e. In the CS group, we focus on dynamic modeling and model-based control of complex dynamic systems. The vision is to apply and develop novel techniques and methods for the modeling, automated control and optimization of dynamical systems so as to influence their behavior towards desired specification of performance, safety, efficiency, product quality and improved environmental conditions. In the EMI group, we focus on microkinetic modeling and operando spectroscopy of (photo-)electrochemical systems.

For more detailed information on the activities of the CS group please check

Responsibilities and tasks: 
  • build microkinetic models for water splitting including (non)linear optimization schemes to translate impedance spectra in physico-chemical quantities
  • simulate electrochemical data and validate models using system identification techniques
  • extend your models to estimate experimental data
  • identify the limiting processes at the interface in collaboration together with the experimental PhD student in the project
  • collaborate with researchers from the CS group and/or other scientific groups to discuss your research and to broaden and deepen your knowledge and expertise
  • connect your data to ML and AI databases
  • involve students in your project and supervise them (Master, Bachelor, interns)
  • disseminate your research output at conferences and with scientific papers
  • contribute actively to a vivid research environment at TU/e and at DIFFER


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We seek an enthusiastic and talented control or system identification engineer with experience or at least affinity to chemistry. Alternatively, you can also have a background in chemical modeling, microkinetic modeling, or (theoretical) physical chemistry / electrochemistry with affinity to modeling and simulations; knowledge in electrochemical methods is desired. You are expected to work closely together with the experimental PhD student of the project which will be hired at DIFFER. We therefore look for an excellent team player with superb communication skills and motivation to discuss science in a highly multidisciplinary field. Good verbal and written communication skills in English is a prerequisite in our international and interdisciplinary team.

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, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • 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.
  • Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V36.7154


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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