PhD Student

Last application date
Jul 15, 2019 11:01
Department
TW17 - Department of Applied physics
Employment category
Doctoral fellow
Contract
Limited duration
Degree
An excellent master’s degree of an international equivalent in the relevant fields of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Engineering Physics, Physical Chemistry or a related field.
Occupancy rate
100%
Vacancy Type
Research staff

Job description

1 PhD position in the topic: “Towards molecular control of electrophilic aromatic substitution reactions in homogeneous and heterogeneous environments through a combined ab initio molecular dynamics and conceptual density functional theory approach.”

Main host institution: Center for molecular Modeling (CMM), UGent with Prof. Van Speybroeck (https://molmod.ugent.be/members/veronique-van-speybroeck) This is a position within the framework of a joint project with Prof. Frank De Proft (VUB- ALGC) (http://we.vub.ac.be/~algc/algc_new/deproft.html) and Prof. Bert Weckhuysen (Utrecht University) (https://www.uu.nl/staff/BMWeckhuysen)

The electrophilic aromatic substitution (SEAr) is a cornerstone reaction discovered by Friedel and Crafts in the 19th century. Despite its industrial importance for ethylbenzene production, the reaction mechanism is still debated. The proposed mechanistic pathway, relying on the formation of arenium ion intermediates, was recently challenged on experimental and theoretical grounds. Within this project, we aim to study the electrophilic aromatic substitution using a multidisciplinary modeling approach in collaboration with the VUB-ALGC group (Prof. Frank De Proft). The theoretical work will be performed in close synergy with the group of Prof. Bert Weckhuysen, who recently spectroscopically identified important intermediates for the benzene ethylation in zeolites. The outcome of the project will provide a general approach to unravel chemical reactivity in complex reaction environments.

Profile of the candidate

We are looking for a highly motivated and creative PhD candidate who has :

• an excellent master’s degree of an international equivalent in the relevant fields of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Engineering Physics, Physical Chemistry or a related field.

• a strong interest in sustainable energy conversion;

• excellent research and scientific writing skills;

• perseverance and an independent, pro-active working style;

• the willingness to look beyond the borders of his or her own discipline and strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary team;

• excellent collaboration and communication skills (written and verbally) in English.

How to apply

It is the intention to fill this position as soon as possible. Students who will obtain their Master degree in June/July are also eligible.

Interested candidates are requested to follow the application procedure as described on the website of the Center for Molecular Modeling: https://molmod.ugent.be/news/vacancies-field-operando-modeling-zeolite-catalyzed-reactions