PhD Position LES of a Hybrid Power Generation System for Ultra-low NOx Emissions with Water Injection

PhD Position LES of a Hybrid Power Generation System for Ultra-low NOx Emissions with Water Injection

Published Deadline Location
15 Jan 15 Feb Delft

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A new and exciting opportunity for PhD research has just become available at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering of TU Delft within the context of the EU HORIZON project TRIATHLON

Job description

We are racing against time to find a clean, yet abundant, energy source able to arrest global warming. Hydrogen has all the characteristics to address this challenge: it can be produced cleanly from water; it is incredibly energetic; and more importantly, it is carbon-free. However, clean energy does not just imply low carbon, but also low levels of nitric oxides (NOx). While hydrogen-fuelled fuel cells (FCs) could be used as they do not emit NOx, their use in aviation as sole power generation system is very impractical due to their low power-to-weight ratio. As a solution, fuel cell and direct burning of hydrogen will be combined in TRIATHLON, where the water produced in the FC will be redirected to the combustion chamber and used as a mechanism to suppress NOx. The final objective of the project is to develop a hybrid power generation system that achieves high efficiency, power density, and ultra-low NOx emissions.

The present PhD concerns the use of high-fidelity large eddy simulations (LES) for the development of an innovative Rich-Quench-Lean (RQL) based combustion chamber, and the study of its limiting conditions in situations relevant for aviation. The optimal (liquid) water injection conditions will be determined iteratively from the analysis of the requirements of both combustion chamber, and that of fuel cell conducted by the project partners. Since water injection also affects flame reactivity, hydrogen conditioning will be used along with the WI to achieve improved control of the combustion process.

The PhD project at TU Delft will last 4 years, and will be based at the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering, Department of Flow Physics and Technology, in the Chair of Sustainable Aircraft Propulsion of the Flight Performance and Propulsion (FPP) section. As PhD candidate you will be a member of the TRIATHLON project, a Horizon Europe project that will facilitate foundational research needed to develop robust, low-maintenance, and low-emission hydrogen-electric powertrains for megawatt-class aircraft. TRIATHLON stands for Thermodynamics-dRIven control mAnagemenT of Hydrogen powered and electrified propuLsion for aviatiON. The project is run by a consortium from universities and SME's spread over six different countries. You will be one of five PhD candidates within the project. TRIATHLON will bring large-scale sustainable aviation one step closer to reality. The entry date is as soon as possible.

Consortium members:

  • Technical University of Delft (TU Delft)
  • Technische Universitaet Dresden
  • Sabanci University
  • Ergon Research SRL
  • Stichting Materials Innovation Institute (M2i)
  • Cryomotive GMBH
  • Lithoz GMBH
  • Amires SRO


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Candidates should possess a Master’s degree in a relevant academic field (Mechanical, Energy or Chemical Engineering, Physics, or closely related) or a degree that allows them to embark in a PhD; must have great interest and be willing to work in the field of multi-physics combustion, with a focus on zero-carbon fuels, gas-turbine technologies, and related disciplines, including physics or electrical engineering. In addition the candidate should show:

  • Excellent analytical skills and outstanding track record in the disciplines related to the research subject.
  • An aptitude for coding and software development. Preferably previous experience with one or more of the following: Matlab, Python, C++, Fortran.
  • An aptitude for team-work and effective communication in an international environment.

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

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 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 Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 270 PhD candidates and close to 3000 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD04900


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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