research institute Research Institute: Centre for Environmental Sciences,
research group Environmental Economics of Hasselt University seeks a
PhD student Techno-Economic Analysis and environmental life-cycle
This vacancy is funded through the U Hasselt Grand Challenge project “CLEAN
H2”. CLEAN H2 will address the critical issue of making hydrogen production
via solar-driven water splitting efficient and affordable. Clean H2 is a
cooperative and interdisciplinary basic research project involving chemists,
physicists, engineers and economists with the common objective to contribute
greatly to a better fundamental understanding of how to improve the efficiency
and the stability of water splitting processes and to use this knowledge to
create major breakthroughs to convert sunlight into storable chemical energy
in the form of hydrogen. Clean H2 will address one of the biggest concerns of
our society: How can we marry ever increasing energy demands with dramatically
reducing carbon emissions?
CLEAN H2 is based on a powerful synergy among 1) chemists to design and
synthesise novel stable solar harvesters and earth-abundant catalysts, 2)
physicists to tackle theoretical problems in describing, understanding and
tailoring electron and transport phenomena, 3) engineers to measure and
benchmark parameters of interest of the different critical sub-components, and
to evaluate their jointly behaviour and, 4) economists for economic analysis
and environmental impact studies.
The position is embedded within the Research Group Environmental Economics of
U Hasselt's Centre for Environmental Sciences. The Environmental Economics
Research focuses on sustainability assessments of clean technologies and
valuation of ecosystem services, and is a visible source of robust science-
driven advice in these domains. There will be close collaboration with
researchers from U Hasselt's Institute for Materials Research (IMO).
You will develop and conduct engineering, environmental and economic analyses
for the full technology system.
You will develop a process model for the hydrogen generation process in
Software such as Aspen Plus or HYSYS which will be used to run simulations for
the sensitivity analyses, optimisation and cost analysis purposes. The model
will be parametrized and validated using the experimental data generated by
other PhDs during the project. Cost analyses and environmental impact analysis
will be conducted by means of an environmental techno-economic analysis.
Environmental impacts will be estimated for the lifecycle of hydrogen
production and use by coupling the data from the parametrized physics-based
model with state-of-the art lifecycle assessment tools such as SimaPro.
Costing analyses will be done first by coupling the data from parameterized
model with state of the art process costing tools such as Aspen Economic
Analyzer, with the resulting cost estimates secondly used within a peer-
reviewed in-house discounted-cash-flow-rate-of-return model to estimate
hydrogen minimum selling prices and return on investment. These analyses are
conducted to: 1) facilitate finding the optimal process conditions and
provide feedbacks to the other WPs for the optimal design of components 2)
estimate the environmental and economic impacts of the solar-driven water
splitting system to be developed in CLEAN H2.
You have obtained a degree as master in engineering, commercial
engineering, business economics, or equivalent, or you will obtain such a
degree by the end of October 2021.
You have experience in the design and modelling of chemical processes in
simulators such as Aspen HYSIS or ASPEN Plus.
You have experience in techno-economic analysis or environmental life-
You have excellent grades.
You are interested in or passionate about economic research on the
development of innovative clean technologies.
Your command of English (IELTS>=7 or equivalent) is excellent.
Experience in multi-disciplinary (research) project work is a plus.
You have good communication skills and are a team player.
You will be appointed and paid as PhD student.
We offer you a PhD scholarship for 2 + 2 years, with interim evaluation. It's
important that you are able tot start 01/01/2022 at the latest. Earlier start
dates can be negotiated.
You can only apply online up to and including 16 July 2021.
The selection procedure consists of a preselection based on application file
and an interview.
Prof. dr. Robert MALINA, +32-11-268687, firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof. dr. ir. Momo SAFARI, +32-11-292180, email@example.com
More about working at Hasselt University? Check www. uhasselt.be/vacancies for
our staff benefits.