PDEng position-Printing of a Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell (SOEC)

PDEng position-Printing of a Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell (SOEC)

Published Deadline Location
18 Jan 15 Feb Enschede

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Job description

Are you passionate about high-end technological design? Do you want to continue developing your skills with a combination of education and work?

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme Energy & Process Technology (EPT) offers you a 2-year position combining post-MSc education and industrial research experience. 

The educational programme, carried out at the University of Twente (UT), will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development. The course programme will be tailored to the research project. In collaboration with the ECN part of TNO and Admatec Europe you will work on designing the next generation of Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cells (SOEC).

The Project - Printing of a Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cell


Solid Oxide Electrolyzer (SOE) is mainly seen as technology for industrial hydrogen production, because of the high efficiency and the potential for heat integration within industrial processes to produce bulk chemicals such as ammonia and methanol. It offers possibilities for process integration with chemical processes leading to efficiency benefits. In addition to hydrogen production, the technology offers the possibility of reducing CO2 to carbon monoxide and tuning the composition of syngas by means of co-electrolysis to required C-H-O ratios for subsequent conversions towards products such as methanol, DME and methane. The main technological challenges in the development of SOE are the cost reduction of the SOE system to < 1000 € / kW and the upscaling of SOE towards multi-MW systems to be able to apply the technology on a large industrial scale. Most of the SOE technologies currently developed, are based on the use of planar single cells with a size of 10x10 cm2 . The manufacture of SOE single cells with larger active surface area is therefore needed.


In the R&D activities of ECN part of TNO (ECN) on Solid Oxide Electrolyzer Cells (SOEC), planar fuel-electrode supported cells (figure 1a) are currently the cell design under development to deliver high electrochemical performance (low resistance, high energy density) for SOE applications. To enhance the electrolyte/electrode interface per m2, the present project proposes to develop a new cell concept design, based on the same manufacturing electrodes and electrolyte materials, with a surface profile (figure 1b).

figure 1a figure 1b

 Figure: Conventional (a) and new concept (b) cell designs for fuel-electrode supported SOEC – layers thickness: fuel electrode support = 400-450 ㎛, active layer fuel electrode = 10-15 , electrolyte = 1-2㎛, ceria layer = 1-3㎛, cathode layer = 20-30㎛

The development of a surface profile SOEC can only be achieved by use of new manufacturing techniques like pressed tape-casting (fuel electrode support) and 3D-printing (other layers), to have a well-defined control of the dimensions and morphology of the different active layers of the SOEC.

Admatec Europe BV (Admatec) is developing DLP 3D printing technology for combinations of materials. Admatec will contribute to this assignment by making its knowledge and infrastructure available.


The research activities in the present project will focus on:

  • Design of a preferred cell configuration (profile dimensions) by design/modeling activity
  • Identify the possibilities of DPL 3D-printing techniques to deliver relevant composition, morphology and thickness for every SOEC layers, at lower cost.
  • Actual printing of a cell on 5x5 cm dimensions and cell design characterization (e.g. SEM, EDX)
  • Electrochemical testing of the profiled cell (I-V curves, impedance)The PDEng candidate will perform the assignment at the location of ECN at Petten and at the location of Admatec at Alkmaar. 


University of Twente (UT)


  • You hold a MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, Applied Physics/Mathematics, Computer Science, or a related discipline;
  • You have demonstrated affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments;
  • You have a passion for finding solutions for complex technological issues;
  • You have excellent collaboration and communication skills;
  • You are self-motivating, willing to take initiatives and feel the responsibility for your own project
  • Candidates with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English need to provide a minimum IELTS-test score of 6.5, internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

Please send the following documents before 15-02-2019 through the link below:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List with grades of courses attended
  • References and, if applicable, a list of publications.
Contact information

If you have any further questions about this vacancy, please contact Thomas Weinhart:

Conditions of employment

We offer a very challenging position for two years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. In this time we will provide you with a tailor made post-master design programme that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%).

  • A salary of € 1.913 gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment.
  • On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree PDEng and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET)
is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.


  • PhD positions
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week, temporary
  • max. €1913 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 1023985


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB, Enschede

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