PhD Position to Pioneer the Future of Sustainable Heating: Integrating Fuel Cell and Heat Pump

University of Twente
March 28, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The challenge

The key challenge we all privately face on our way to a sustainable future is the provision of domestic heating during winter and efficiently using the high solar energy gains received during the summer period.

In collaboration with industry partners and the Technical University of Darmstadt, we push forward the development of new heat exchanges that efficiently utilize the otherwise wasted thermal energy of fuel cells. The cogeneration of electricity and heat can make our homes independent from the electric grid, also solving grid constraint problems.

Your participation in this Ph.D. project is more than just an academic pursuit — it is a chance to contribute to a pivotal shift towards energy independence and sustainability, shaping the future of our society.

During your Ph.D. journey, you will, as a first step, work on a one- dimensional model for a domestic heating solution, including the combination of an air-source heat pump and a fuel cell. Therein, the focus lies on the efficient utilization of the fuel cell's waste heat. In the second step, you will design and numerically evaluate the components that thermally connect the heat pump and fuel cell. In the last stage of your Ph.D. thesis, you will be working on a prototype system installed at the University of Twente.

You will work in close collaboration with international research institutions and companies, defining design requirements and working on a numerical model for flow path optimization. The goal is to develop a prototype demonstrating the potential for hot water production directly from the fuel cell above the typical temperature ranges, opening new avenues for decentralized power generation and heating systems. The knowledge and experience gained from this position will place you at the forefront of sustainable energy research and technology.

Your role

  • Collaborate closely with esteemed international partners, defining design requirements and pushing the boundaries of sustainable energy solutions
  • Pioneer the development of an avant-garde numerical model for flow path optimization, driving the transformation of fuel cell technology
  • Embark on the thrilling challenge of creating a groundbreaking prototype that showcases the potential for hot water production directly from the fuel cell, surpassing typical temperature ranges
  • Empower the world with decentralized power generation and heating systems, charting a path towards a more sustainable and self-reliant future.
  • If you are a talented and motivated individual looking to make a real difference in the world, then apply for this Ph.D. research position today and join our team. Together, we can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase energy efficiency in the built environment and create a sustainable future for generations to come.

    Your profile
  • You are highly ambitious and motivated with a Master's degree in Engineering, Physics, or a related field;
  • You are passionate about sustainable energy systems, such as fuel cells and heat pumps, with a passion for heat transfer and fluid mechanics;
  • You are proficient in numerical modeling and simulation software;
  • You have visionary problem-solving skills, coupled with the ability to thrive both independently and as a collaborative team member;
  • You have exceptional written and verbal communication skills in English, with a drive to communicate your discoveries to the world;
  • You are eager to shape a greener and more sustainable future for generations.
  • Our offer
  • A full-time, 4-year Ph.D. position;
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating international research environment with excellent facilities;
  • A professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente;
  • A starting salary of € 2.770 in the first year and a salary of € 3.539 in the fourth year 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;
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • A dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance;
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits;
  • Excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a lively green campus.
  • Information and application

    To apply for this Ph.D. research position, you can apply by March 28th, 2024 , by clicking the ‘apply now' button below. Please include:

  • A cover letter of at most 1 page A4 explaining specific interests, the motivation for the application, and why you qualify for this position
  • Your updated CV, including contact information for at least two academic references
  • Copies of your academic transcripts from your Bachelor's and Master's degrees
  • Title and abstract of your Master's project/thesis
  • A one-page proposal outlining your approach to optimizing the cooling of a fuel cell electrode, including the foreseen methodology.
  • Any additional supporting documents, such as publications or research experience
  • Note: The applications that do not include all required materials will not be considered.

    Note: We reserve the right to close the application process early should we identify a suitable candidate before the deadline

    Please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. The first round of interviews is scheduled between April 2nd and April 12th. A possible second round of interviews will be scheduled when needed.

    About the department

    In the Department of Thermal and Fluid Engineering, we are committed to driving the transition to sustainable energy systems. As one of the most pressing issues of our time, we are dedicated to developing reliable, efficient, and low-emission power and heating solutions. Our focus lies in harnessing the potential of green solutions, such as hydrogen, and optimizing heat recovery in fuel cell systems. By doing so, we aim to contribute to a better and more sustainable future for future generations.

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research of Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. We enable society and industry to innovate and create value using efficient, solid and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading center for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to about 2,900 Bachelor's and Master's students, 550 employees and 150 PhD candidates. Our educational and research programmes are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more Acar, C. (Canan)

    Associate Professor

    Acar, C. (Canan)

    Associate Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Canan for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Hulscher, S.J.M.H. (Suzanne)
  • Personal page

  • Boogaard, A.H. van den (Ton)
  • Personal page

  • Munnink, K.J.H. (Karen)
  • Personal page

  • Our mission Human Touch
  • At the UT it's all about people, in line with our university's High Tech Human Touch philosophy. In everything we do, the well-being and future of our students and staff are paramount. From research and teaching to personnel management, campus management and the use of new technologies.

  • Our mission We are a university of technology
  • Our university is a public institution that serves society. We are accountable to society for the ways in which we use our academic freedom. We are responsible for ensuring that the power of science and technology is harnessed to achieve the best possible impact in a changing world. We cherish our rich tradition of combining technical and social sciences in our five profiling themes: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

  • Our mission We help to strengthen society
  • We help society meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. But we are also transparent about what science and technology can and cannot do in finding sustainable solutions. And help translate these solutions into everyday life.

  • Our mission We are sustainable
  • We want our communities to flourish and show resilience, so we seize opportunities for innovation. We are knowledgeable and have an eye for what society needs. Our students and staff receive all the guidance they need in their quest for ecological, social and economic sustainability. “The University of Twente is all about people. Our sustainable technologies help to strengthen society.”

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