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PhD or Postdoc Positions in Computational Engineering, Plasma Science – Oct 2021

Maastricht University (UM)

The Netherlands

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Oct 27, 2021 23:59 (GMT +2)

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Maastricht University invites applications for the positions of Ph.D. Student/Postdoctoral Researcher to work on methane conversion using plasma, Faculty of Science Engineering, Department Circular Chemical Engineering, the Netherlands – Oct 2021

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General Info

Position: PhD/ Postdoc Job
No. of Positions: 1
Research Field: , , ,
Deadline to Apply: October 27, 2021(GMT +2)
Joining Date: ASAP
Contract Period: 1 Year
Salary: 2.395 EURO/Month

Faculty of Science Engineering
Department Circular Chemical Engineering
Maastricht University (UM)

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Qualification Details

For the PhD position:

We seek motivated and highly talented candidates with a Master degree (or an equivalent diploma giving access to doctoral studies) in Physics or Chemistry. The applicant should have:

  • General knowledge of low temperature plasmas
  • Knowledge of computational modelling
  • Good programming skills (e.g. Fortran, C, C++) are essential as just like
  • Good communication skills in English (both written and spoken).

For the postdoc position:

The applicant should have a PhD in physics or chemistry or computational science and experience in low temperature plasma modeling preferably with a focus on plasma chemistry. Preference will be given to candidates with demonstrated experience in the development and use of computer simulation codes and who have qualifying experience in a scientific research institute. Very good programming skills (e.g. Fortran, C, C++) are essential as well as good verbal and written communication skills in English are mandatory.

Responsibilities/Job Description

The successful candidate is expected to perform numerical simulations to evaluate chemical and physical processes occurring in methane plasma discharges. You will work independently to develop code, collect, analyze, and evaluate results and compare them with experimental measurements. Code validation and characterization with respect to numerical and physical parameters is also an essential part of the job.

You will join a small team working on experiments and numerical models. We expect that you will regularly discuss, share, and present your work with fellow team members, colleagues, and wider audiences at international conferences. We expect you will write a number of high-quality scientific articles. For the PhD position, such articles shall ultimately culminate in your PhD thesis.

How to Apply?

Send an email through the "Apply Now" button from this page

Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2021.378 in your letter.

Reference Number: AT2021.378
(If any, use it in the necessary place)

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Documents Required

In case you are interested you can apply by electronically submitting an application letter and a full curriculum vitae (including names and e-mail addresses of maximum 3 persons who could act as your references), a grade list and possibly copies of papers to  Please use the following format for your documents:

  • lastname_applicationletter.pdf
  • lastname_cv.pdf
  • lastname_gradelist.pdf
  • lastname_papers.pdf


Maastricht University is an international organization, embracing a diverse student and staff population. We strongly believe that diversity is our advantage and creating an inclusive working climate in which students and staff feel a valued member of the UM community is therefore a top strategic priority. UM values diversity within its community and encourages you to apply.

About the Project

The chemical industry urgently needs to cut its CO2 emissions. Electrification will reduce emissions from processes by powering them with renewable electricity in place of fossil fuels. Circular processes will reuse valuable resources (e.g. plastics), and in doing so will cut end-of-life emissions and reduce resource depletion rates. We research novel plasma technologies to facilitate both electrification and circular processes for the chemical industry. In future, industry expects to have an environmentally sustainable source of methane, which can be most effectively valorized via upgrading to ethylene; a crucial feedstock in the production of plastics. However, methane-to-ethylene conversion is notoriously difficult, as it a strongly endothermic reaction with highly complex chemistry. Thermal plasma technology is a promising approach for methane to ethylene conversion as it allows the possibility for high efficiency, excellent reactant conversion, and refined product selectivity.

Plasma chemistry modelling is extremely challenging. This is due to the high number of species (electron, ions, radicals, molecules) and their reactions and dynamics, which occur over multiple time and length scales. Gas heating, transport, and electromagnetic power coupling also need to be incorporated. Additionally, consideration of the non-equilibrium between electrons and other species is critical; requiring specific methodologies to describe electron kinetics. The project aim is to develop a plasma model to simulate plasma driven reforming of methane.

About the Department

Circular Chemical Engineering

Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is home to several outstanding departments and institutions covering education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as the liberal arts and sciences.

Circular Chemical Engineering

We are part of the newly created Department of Circular Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Maastricht University. Our research group is uniquely situated in the heart of the Dutch chemical industry at the Brightlands Chemelot campus, 20 km north of Maastricht. Our strong links with industry give excellent opportunity to build collaborations and partnerships, giving good prospects for a future career in industry. Our group has a strong expertise in plasma science, with each of our respective members having an established international reputation for high quality scientific output in the fields of plasma chemistry, plasma modelling, spectroscopy, and laser diagnostics. We have excellent international connections with esteemed laboratories, and we therefore expect the applicant will have the opportunity to work abroad during their PhD.

About the Employer: Maastricht University (UM)

Conditions of Employment

  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO-NU), supplemented with local UM provisions. For more  information on terms of employment, please visit our website >  Support > UM employees;
  • For the PhD position we offer a full-time employment contract for a period of 1 year, which will be extended for another 3 years after positive evaluation. Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD candidates starting with a salary of € 2.395,- with a yearly growth to € 3.061,- gross a month (based on a full-time appointment of 38 hours per week). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the yearly gross income.
  • For the postdoc position we offer a 3-year full-time fixed-term employment. Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels, depending on education and relevant work experience, in salary scale 10 or 11 in accordance with the CAO-NU (between €  2836,- and € 5211,- gross per month, based on a full-time appointment of 38 hours per week). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of year bonus of 8,3%;
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, optional model for designing a personalised benefits package and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad.

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Contact details

More information on this vacancy can be obtained from Dr. Paola Diomede (

Advertisement Details: PhD/postdoc position: Numerical modeling of plasmas for methane conversion at the Faculty of Science Engineering, Department Circular Chemical Engineering

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