Postdoctoral Researcher on “Gas phase ELEctrocatalysis for methane VAlorizaTION”

University of Twente


February 5, 2022


Job description

This postdoc project is part of a cross-border initiative between the Netherlands and Germany in the field of ElectroChemical Conversion and Materials (ECCM) and involves researchers from the University of Twente (UT), the Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER), RWTH Aachen, and FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, and industrial partners VSparticle and Fumatech.

The project, on “Gas phase ELEctrocatalysis for methane VAlorizaTION” (ELEVATION), will explore the conversion of methane towards C2+-products or methanol using gas-phase electrocatalysis. The main goal is to uncover the role of water vapor as precursor to anodically generate active oxygen species for tuning the efficiency and selectivity of methane conversion. This will be studied via gas-phase polymeric electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolysis, using humid methane as feedstock.

As a postdoctoral researcher, you will fabricate membrane-electrode assemblies based on polymeric electrolyte membranes and earth abundant transition metal oxides. You will utilize them in a gas-phase electrolyzer. You will investigate the effect of the proton exchange membrane ionomer, with focus on operational parameters such as relative humidity and temperature. You will perform kinetic studies using time-resolved FT-IR spectro-electrochemistry


  • Fabricate porous metal oxides & membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs)
  • Characterize MEAs (XRD, XPS, SEM)
  • Investigate the reaction kinetics by in-situ FT-IR
  • Work closely with the consortium via short research stays to utilize SECM at RWTH Aachen and TPD techniques at FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
  • Study the performance of MEAs via product analysis (GC, MS)
  • Update the consortium on the scientific results and project progress on a regular basis and represent the team at conferences
  • Your profile

    Minimum Qualifications:

  • PhD in chemistry, material science, physics, engineering or equivalent field
  • Experience in electrocatalysis
  • Experience in infra-red spectroscopy
  • Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise with one or more relevant domains of: materials synthesis, heterogeneous catalysis, structural characterization techniques, time- resolved spectroscopy, mechanistic/kinetic studie
  • Experience with taking projects from “0 to 1”
  • Strong English communication skills
  • Passion for sustainable energy technologies
  • Our offer

    You will be appointed on a fulltime position for 12 months with possible extension. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment. The post-doc salary is between € 3.420,- and € 4.490,- gross per month depending on experience and qualifications. The offer further involves: 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-day holidays, and numerous professional and personal development programs.

    Information and application

    Application material should include CV (2-page max), cover letter (1-page max) and list of publications and conference talks. Applicants should also be prepared to provide at least two letters of recommendation upon request.

    This is a temporary, twelve-month appointment at University of Twente, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB Enschede, Netherlands. A larger follow-up project is planned, to give continuity to our German-Dutch collaboration in the ECCM research areas.

    For further information on the group and related projects, please feel free contact the project PIs, Dr. Marco Altomare ( and Dr. Georgios Katsoukis (

    Please submit your application via the button "Apply now".

    About the department

    You will perform research within the Photocatalytic Synthesis group (PCS), which is part of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. The PCS group has a dynamic, multidisciplinary and international character, and outstanding infrastructure. The focus of the research program is on the conversion of solar or electrical energy into chemical energy to drive thermodynamically uphill reactions such as water splitting or reduction of carbon dioxide.

    About the organization

    TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

    Our faculty focuses on three domains, namely Chemistry, Health, and Physics. We are the home base for the research institutes TechMed, MESA+, the Techno Centre for Education and Research (TCO), and the Twente Graduate School (TGS). TNW offers six Bachelor's and seven Master's programs in Health Sciences, Nanotechnology, (Applied) Physics, Chemistry, and Technical Medicine. Over 850 colleagues and 2,700 students are active within the faculty of Science & Technology.

    University of Twente (UT)

    University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

    As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

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