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ETH Zurich PhD position in Chemical engineering, Mechanical engineering, Process engineering

ETH Zurich, Switzerland

The Energy and Process Systems Engineering (EPSE) Group at ETH Zürich is looking for a doctoral student working on the integrated design of process and refrigerant for industrial high-temperature heat pumps.

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General Info

Position: PhD position
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , ,
Joining Date: Apr 01, 2022
Contract Period: -
Salary: According to Standard Norms

Energy and Process Systems Engineering (EPSE) Group
ETH Zürich
ETH Zurich, Switzerland
Zürich, Switzerland

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Qualification Details

We are looking for a proactive and motivated candidate who meets the requirements for a doctoral program at ETH Zurich and has an excellent Master's or diploma degree in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, process engineering, physical chemistry, or energy science & technology from a recognized University. You have a strong background in thermodynamics and ideally already experience in property prediction. You have strong expertise in modeling and programming. You are highly motivated to learn and apply modern simulation and optimization techniques and work in a dynamic environment with other doctoral students and postdocs. The ability to work independently and excellent communication skills in English (both written and spoken) complete your profile.

Responsibilities/Job Description

As part of the project team, you will develop thermodynamic models for property prediction of zeotropic and azeotropic refrigerant mixtures. The models will cover standard thermodynamic properties, such as vapor-liquid-equilibrium, caloric and transport properties, as well as non-conventional properties, such as oil solubility and flammability. Starting from state-of-the-art approaches, you will develop novel models, e.g., based on data-driven methods. The developed models will be an essential part of the framework to optimize refrigerant mixtures and high-temperature heat pump processes. You will work in close collaboration with a further PhD student who will focus on the implementation of the design framework. Later in the project, you will apply your knowledge in mixture behavior to develop practical methods for employing refrigerant mixtures in industry. For this part of the project, you will collaborate with our project partner to evaluate and validate your methods experimentally. During your PhD, you will get a deep understanding of modeling thermodynamic properties, computer-aided molecular design, and industrial high-temperature heat pumps.

We offer you a full-time position for the duration of your doctoral studies, starting upon agreement with the earliest starting of  01 April 2022. You will work in an interdisciplinary team of researchers with in-depth experience in process design, energy system optimization, and life cycle assessment. As an integral part of your work, you will publish your results in peer-reviewed journals and present them at international conferences.

How to Apply?

Online Application through "Apply Now" Button from this page

Reference Number: -
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • Curriculum Vitae, max. 2 pages
  • Motivational Letter, max. 2 pages
  • Transcript of records
  • Contact details of 2 referees

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal before 31 January 2022. We will not consider applications sent via email or postal services. We will get in touch with you after 2-3 weeks following the submission deadline.

About the Project

High-temperature heat pumps are a key technology to decarbonize industrial heat generation. Replacing current fossil-based heating with industrial heat pumps can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% in the short term and offers to reach carbon neutrality in the long term by using green electricity. However, heat pumps have penetrated industry slowly so far. In particular, maximum temperature are currently limited to about 150 °C, investment costs are higher, and efficiencies only moderate, hampering the adoption of heat pumps in industry. Since existing industrial heat pumps evolved mainly from household applications, the potential for customization to industrial applications has not been exploited yet.

This project aims to overcome the challenges of industrial heat pumps by introducing refrigerants and process designs with temperature glide, e.g., realized by refrigerant mixtures. Heat pumps with temperature glide can optimally meet the specific requirements of industrial applications, significantly increasing flexibility and efficiency. To tailor high-efficient high-temperature heat pumps to industrial applications, we will combine modeling and experiments. Refrigerants will be optimized for industrial applications by an integrated refrigerant and process design framework. An experimental high-temperature test stand and a heat pump breadboard system will be developed to enable validation and demonstration. The modeling is mainly assigned to our group while our project partner will conduct the experimental research. Both groups will work in close collaboration to establish high-temperature heat pumps for industry.

About the Employer: ETH Zurich, Switzerland

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Contact details

For further information about the Energy and Process Systems Engineering (EPSE) Group, please visit our website, Questions regarding the position should be directed to Prof. Dr. André Bardow,, or Dr. Dennis Roskosch, (no e-mail applications).

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