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Post Doctoral position: Thermoelectrics for energy recovery in aircrafts

Job description

Energy harvesting devices at minimum weight can significantly reduce fuel and CO2 emissions in many applications, like transport or industrial processes, contributing to the development of a more resilient and sustainable world. Thermoelectric materials can contribute as a renewable solution to this goal. We will develop a technology that will enable the aeronautical application of thermoelectric materials to convert thermal energy into electrical energy, establishing the foundations to export this technology to other sectors.


Figure 1. a) Schematic drawing of a thermoelectric module (n-type and p-type semiconductor pellets connected electrically in series and thermally in parallel) to harvest energy from temperature differences. b) Finite Element Modelling of a thermoelectric generator (TEG) made of bismuth telluride pellets.


We want to develop a proof of concept (PoC) showing that thermoelectric materials can convert 15-20% of the airplane’s heat waste into electricity. The PoC will define the technical challenges and provide solutions to overcome potential limitation such as parasitic thermal paths and material compatibility avoiding thermal stress. We will investigate solutions for design and operability, e.g., weight limitation, industrial production of components and ease of maintenance. Furthermore, this research will consider non-trivial technical challenges such as material stability under vibration in flight and (accidental) shocks.

We are looking for a talented Postdoctoral Researcher with experience in fabrication and thermal and electrical characterization of thermoelectric materials, ranging from the nano- to the macroscale. Additionally, the candidate must also have previous experience in the integration of these thermoelectric materials in systems, i.e. electrical engineering level (integration of these thermoelectric generators in circuits or combination of these thermoelectric generators with other type of technology, etc).

Your profile

  • A strong interest and established experience in thermoelectricity as well as experience in using this technology in practical applications.
  • A BSc and/or MSc degree in Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics.
  • Excellent knowledge on electrical circuits, heat transfer, electrical and thermal metrology.
  • Experiences with experimental laboratory work and having experience at a circuit level will be highly desired.
  • Analytical skills for modelling of these processes (Matlab, Finite Element Modelling (COMSOL), …). 


  • Critical and creative approach to the research, as well as sharp analytical skills
  • Pro-active and result-oriented team worker in an academic environment
  • Capability to solve problems independently, but also be able to work with interdisciplinary teams
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills to organize research with both academics and professionals
  • Good communication (verbal and writing) skills in English.
  • Interested in getting involved in educational tasks Information about the departments is available at: More information about this position can be obtained from Dr. Muñoz Rojo (  - A motivation letter why you would be a suitable candidate
  • Please send the following documents through the link below
  • Your application should be submitted before 1-9-2019
  • Information about the research line is available at:


  • CV
  • BSc and MSc grade lists and PhD degree
  • Documentation proving your English proficiency
  • Letters of recommendation, and names of possible references 
Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

Our offer

We offer a challenging one and a half year full postdoc position, starting from June 2019 in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment.

  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You will be given the opportunity to acquire teaching experience;
  • The gross monthly salary will range from € 3.255,- to € 4.274,- and will depend on experience and qualifications;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.
Post Doctoral position: Thermoelectrics for energy recovery in aircrafts
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