PhD Student

Last application date
Jul 11, 2021 00:00
Department
TW17 - Department of Applied Physics
Contract
Limited duration
Degree
We are looking for candidates with an MSc degree in electrical engineering, chemical engineering, physics or applied physics.
Occupancy rate
100%
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

PHD POSITION IN THE CONTEXT OF A FLANDERS INNOVATION RESEARCH PROJECT “POWER-TO-OLEFINS: PLASMA BOOSTER”

We are looking for a PhD candidate to study a novel pathway in direct reforming of natural gas to olefins utilizing non-thermal high power plasma. The research will be performed as joint innovation project between Research Unit Plasma Technology and the Laboratory of Chemical Technology of the Ghent University (Belgium).

CONTEXT:
The production of light olefins via steam cracking of hydrocarbons is the backbone of the chemical industry. Current technology is fully based on natural gas combustion and is responsible for a very high level of CO2 emission. The main objective of the project is to drastically reduce CO2 emissions of olefin production by replacing the combustion furnaces, responsible for 90% of the CO2 emissions of this process, by new non-thermal plasma catalytical reactor concepts. Next to substantial CO2 reduction the project will demonstrate an increase in valuable light olefin yields with the use of non-thermal pulsed plasma. By combining all experience and knowledge obtained throughout this project, a techno-economic analysis of the plasma technology and plasma-based plant will be performed to develop a roadmap to describe the transition of the project from basic research into an industrial applied technology.

JOB DESCRIPTION:
The PhD position will mainly focus on engineering and studying high power short-pulsed plasmas by fast imaging methods, optical emission techniques and laser fluorescence spectroscopy. The student will work as a joint PhD student in close cooperation of two teams from Ghent University as well in cooperation with industry.

BENEFITS:
Work for an interdisciplinary project on cutting edge of science; international team; very competitive scholarship; access to the state of the art equipment

ABOUT THE RESEARCH UNIT PLASMA TECHNOLOGY
The Research Unit Plasma Technology (RUPT) has built up an internationally recognized expertise in the field of cold atmospheric pressure plasmas. The successful development of different plasma generation concepts has launched RUPT into numerous interdisciplinary collaborations exploring a wide range of applications in environmental technology and materials science. Natural gas reforming and green technology are considered a strategic extension for RUPT to explore new plasma physics. The different research tools, such as X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), atomic force microscope (AFM), plasma chambers, various power generators, optical imaging systems, laser platform and UV spectrometers are available at RUPT.

Job profile

We are looking for candidates with an MSc degree in electrical engineering, chemical engineering, physics or applied physics. A good background in plasma physics, spectroscopy, or good experimental skills with optics and electronics are desirable. The PhD student will be able to gain experience in the areas of chemical engineering, plasma physics, plasma diagnostics, and plasma technology. The PhD student is required to demonstrate English language proficiency at the latest upon enrolment at level B2.

How to apply

Send your CV & motivation letter to the contact person: Dr. Anton Nikiforov (Anton.Nikiforov@UGent.be)