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PhD position: Continuous sensing and flow with bubbles

The organization The MCS group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology. The group offers a multidisciplinary and enthusiastic research environment. More information on the group and its research program can be found on
The Netherlands Center for Multiscale Catalytic Energy Conversion (MCEC) is a multidisciplinary research program. Within this program chemists, physicists and engineers from Utrecht University (UU; commissioner of the MCEC-program), Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and University of Twente (UT) join forces in order to address one of the grand challenges that our society faces today: sustainable energy conversion.

Job description

MCEC is looking for a highly motivated and creative PhD candidate. The production of solar fuels, among which hydrogen gas, has gained much attention in the last decade. However, the promised ideal of powering disparate devices using sunlight with zero-emissions still faces scientific and technological challenges. Even with the recent development of new materials and device architectures, there is a knowledge gap that needs to be covered on the role of H2 (and O2) bubble generation and transport, specifically in continuous flow systems.

To achieve an efficient fuel production, it is not sufficient to locally control where gas bubbles are formed in stationary conditions. Hence, this project is aimed at gaining new fundamental insight in two challenging directions: (i) the processes and parameters associated with hydrogen bubble generation and transport under continuous flow conditions in novel and smart electrode designs, (ii) uncover new analytical concepts to measure dynamic physicochemical changes in the vicinity of bubble evolution sites. Both challenges have in common an unprecedented temporal and spatial resolution that is in high demand for designing and testing the solar fuel generators of the future.


  • Bubble
  • Electrolysis
  • Photocatalysis
  • Mass transfer

Your profile

We are looking for highly motivated and excellent researchers with a MSc degree in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, nanotechnology, electrical engineering, applied physics, or related topic. You should be an enthusiastic person with well-developed communication skills, especially in written and spoken English. You should be capable of working independently as well as in a multidisciplinary team. Innovative and creative thinking are other requirements. Note that we are specifically looking for international students, although national students are also welcome to apply.

Information and application
Please contact dr. David Fernandez Rivas (email: d.fernandezrivas@utwente.n; phone +31534893531 for more information.

To apply please follow the link to the MCEC website here: Only complete applications will be considered, consisting out of 4 documents:

(1) the Application Form, (2) a motivation letter, (3) a curriculum vitae, (4) copies of relevant diplomas and grade lists. Additionally (5) a video pitch is required. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents. Deadline for applying is 31 May 2019.

(You will be redirected to Utrecht University).

Our offer

We offer a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. As a PhD candidate you will be offered a full-time (38 hours/week) position for four years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, the gross monthly salary for a PhD increases from € 2325,-- in the first year to € 2972,-- in the final year plus a holiday allowance (8%), an end-year bonus (8.3% of the annual salary) and a number of additional benefits. The University of Twente provides excellent campus facilities, and actively supports professional and personal development.

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 drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

PhD position: Continuous sensing and flow with bubbles
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