JP Fuel Cells and Hydrogen researcher mobility platform

The Joint Programme (JP) on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen aims to generate and mobilize scientific excellence in Europe on all aspects covered by the JP. Below is a list of positions that are made available by the JP Members for exchange and placement of both young and experienced researchers, aiming to improve their skills and increase their network, serving the cause of improving FCH technologies for a low-carbon Europe.

Promote a research opportunity in your organisation

To promote a research opportunity in your organisation, please prepare the assignment and send it to stephen.mcphail@enea.it and secretariat@eera-set.eu.

You should specify:

  • Title of the assignment
  • Description of the assignment (5 sentences max.)
  • Host institution
  • Name and email of the supervisor(s)
  • Duration of the assignment
  • Skills required
  • Target group
  • Available facilities
  • Funding available

All of the JP FCH members can send assignments and any student from a European organisation can apply. If the position is no longer available or has been filled, please let us know in order to remove it from the plateform.

For each of the positions below, get in touch with the contact person provided to apply or for more information on opportunities.

List of assignments

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) operate at high temperatures and the heat generated in SOFCs can be used for power production in Gas Turbines. Optimal efficiencies are achieved in such systems when entropy production is minimised at different stages. Thermodynamic analysis and optimization of such systems is necessary for the same. Fixed bed updraft gasifiers produce low temperature but high tar content gas streams. As the performance of SOFC-GT systems are affected significantly by the gas streams flowing through it, this assignment targets at the development of thermodynamic models for integrated updraft fixed bed gasifier-SOFC-GT systems in order to come up with optimized, high efficiency system concepts.

  • Supervisor (department/institute): PV Aravind and Th Woudstra, Department of Process and Energy, TU Delft
  • Contact: p.v.aravind@tudelft.nl
  • Period: Open (until filled)
  • Duration: 6-9 months
  • Skills required: Knowledge in engineering thermodynamics at MSc level
  • Target group: MSc students or PhD students
  • Available facilities and resources: Software tools for thermodynamic analysis of energy systems (Cycle-Tempo, Aspen)
  • Funding available: No funding
  • Bench fee required: No bench fee

The research mission will focus on the systemic aspects of the MATPRO group’s activities linked to the hydrogen sector. This includes among other things studies carried out on: i) PEMFC-type low-temperature fuel cells for all types of application (transport, stationary, etc.), stacks and auxiliaries (recirculation of hydrogen, cooling, etc.), ii) electrochemical compression/purification, and iii) reforming and storage of hydrogen, and possibly iv) direct FC/battery hybridization. Given projections, activities are likely to rapidly integrate hydrogen production systems using electrolysis (or even plasma technologies) and coupling with renewable energy sources.

The chosen candidate will be expected to develop his or her own creative research program based on these themes, participate in teaching different courses aimed at students and engineers, supervise PhD students, and publish in high IF journals and international conferences.

  • Host institution: MINES ParisTech, PERSEE research center – Sophia Antipolis, France
  • Supervisor: Christian Beauger, christian.beauger@mines-paristech.fr
  • Duration: Permanent position
  • Skills required: Energetics, process engineering, electrochemistry
  • Target group: Senior scientist (PhD), with 5-10 years experience in Fuel Cell Systems
  • Available facilities and resources: Fuel Cell laboratory (single cell and stacks test bench), Analysis and Characterization
  • Funding available: MINES ParisTech permanent position

The assignment involves the experimental testing of short PEM stacks (7 cells, <500W) and single cells with conventional and novel bipolar plate designs, in order to investigate the BP influence on the cell performance. Ideally, CFD models will be developed for the items tested, and a validation process will be carried out with the experimental results available.

  • Host institution: University of Sevilla, Energy Engineering Department
  • Supervisor: Dr. Alfredo Iranzo (airanzo@us.es), Dr. Felipe Rosa (rosaif@us.es)
  • Duration: 6-12 months
  • Skills required: Experience in PEM fuel cell testing. Ideally, experience in PEMFC CFD modelling.
  • Target group: MSc students, PhD students, PostDocs.
  • Available facilities and resources: Fuel cell test bench. Hardware and CFD software.
  • Funding available: No funding available

If you are looking for sophisticated smart grid infrastructure based on hydrogen energy storage for conducting your own experimental research, then HYLAB laboratory offers an invaluable opportunity for you. For the activities, you will be assisted by our staff for the follow-up of the experiments. Researchers will have the choice to be involved in on-going projects to investigate the impact of control strategies in microgrid by performing experiments and developing control algorithms. Matlab interface and component models are provided to implement your own controller.

  • Host institution: University of Sevilla, Energy Engineering Department
  • Supervisor: Dr. Luis Valverde (lvalverde@us.es), Dr. Felipe Rosa (rosaif@us.es)
  • Duration: 6-12 months
  • Skills required: Experience in lab environment. Knowledge of hydrogen technology (electrolyser, hydrogen storage and fuel cells). Ideally, hands-on experience in microgrid test-bench.
  • Target group: MSc students, PhD students, PostDocs.
  • Available facilities and resources: PV generators (4 kW), Hardware-in-the-Loop PV and wind turbine (6 kW), controllable loads (5 kW) and storage systems with different technologies: electrolyser (3.1 kW), PEMFC (1.2 kW), lead-acid (360 Ah) and li-ion batteries (100 Ah)
  • Funding available: No funding available

The researcher will carry out process simulation studies with Aspen PLUS® software. Some unconventional unit operations (gasifier, membrane module) have been already implemented by LRGP in this software.…) If necessary, other unconventional operations may be developed by the chosen candidate.
The final goal is to assess some innovative solutions to produce hydrogen from biomass & waste gasification. These solutions will be compared with conventional technologies. The performance criteria will be energetic (H2 energetic yield, global energetic yield), environmental (fossil CO2 emissions), economic (Net Present Value, H2 cost).

  • Host institution: LERMAB and LRGP, University of Lorraine, Epinal and Nancy, France
  • Supervisor: Yann Rogaume (yann.rogaume@univ-lorraine.fr) and Guillain Mauviel (guillain.mauviel@univ-lorraine.fr)
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Skills required: Chemical engineering, process simulation
  • Target group: M.Sc. or Ph.D. in chemical engineering by beginning date of appointment
  • Available facilities and resources: LERMAB is a lab dedicated to wood valorisation, whereas LRGP is a chemical engineering lab. They are both hosted by Université de Lorraine, which has been recently ranked #48 for Chemical Engineering in the Shanghai Academic Ranking.
  • Funding available: IMPACT project from LUE: ULHyS

The objectives of the project are in chronological order:

  1. Understand the self-humidifying mechanism of PEM-FC operating under no external humidification: observation and characterization using segmented cells, modeling and determination of the stability region in terms of temperature, pressure, gas flow and average current density.
  2. Improve the self-humidification by geometry design of the diffusion layers and the feed channels whilst avoiding penalizing excessively the transport of oxygen.
  3. Test new materials that are more hydrophilic and better protonic conductors with low humidity. The type of carbon will be tweaked to optimize the performances, with the use of nanocarbons such as nanotubes or graphene. Also, grafting of functional groups can be performed to modify the hydrophobicity and/or the ability to conduct protons. Characterization will be performed using routinely TEM and TGA/mass spectrometry.
  4. Investigate the impact of dry operation on the durability of optimized membrane-electrode assemblies.
  • Host institution: LEMTA and IJL, University of Lorraine, Nancy France
  • Supervisor: Gaël Maranzana (Gael.Maranzana@univ-lorraine.fr)
  • Duration: 18 months
  • Skills required: Electrochemistry, transport phenomenon, material science
  • Target group: Post-doc (PhD)
  • Available facilities and resources: Fuel Cell laboratory (instrumented cells & test bench), Carbon Materials Laboratory (characterization & synthesis of catalysts)
  • Funding available: IMPACT project from LUE: ULHyS

The research project focuses on the development of bio-inspired (biomimetic) flow fields for optimizing water management in PEM Fuel Cells. The developments will be based on CFD modelling and prototype experimental testing (fuel cell test bench with EIS/FRA and Current Density Mapping).

  • Host institution: ENEA (Italian National Agency for New technologies, energy and sustainable economic development), Rome, Italy
  • Supervisor: Stephen McPhail (stephen.mcphail@enea.it)
  • Duration: 3 years starting 1st January 2020
  • Skills required: Master in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry or Material Science. Knowledge of fuel cell and electrolyser electrochemistry
  • Target group: Students with a master degree, enthusiastic and curious researchers
  • Available facilities and resources: Fully equipped fuel cell laboratory and materials characterization equipment, a young team of 6 researchers and 4 technicians
  • Funding available: 3-year grant co-financed by ENEA and the University of Le Marche

    Application procedure is online and currently open: deadline 26 September 2019.

    The position to apply for is in Industrial Engineering, Energy Engineering.

    For direction on how to register and apply, you can consult the following documents:

    Online_Application_Guide.35.cycle
    Registration_Guide_esse3

Contact

Stephen McPhail Coordinator JP Fuel Cells and Hydrogen
ENEA