PhD Student in Energy Engineering with special emphasis on thermochemical valorization of fast-growing trees

Lulea University
November 16, 2022
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Contract Type:fixed-term full-time
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Luleå University of Technology experiences rapid growth with world-leading expertise within several research domains. We shape the future through innovative education and groundbreaking research results and drawing on our location in the Arctic region, we create global societal benefit. Our scientific and artistic research and education are carried out in close collaboration with international, national and regional companies, public actors and leading universities. Luleå University of Technology has an annual turnover of SEK 1.9 billion. Today, we have 1,815 staff and 19,155 students.

In the coming years, multi-billion investments will be made in large projects in Northern Sweden to create a fossil-free society both nationally and globally. Luleå University of Technology is involved in several of these cutting-edge research projects and in the societal transformation that they entail. We offer a broad range of courses and study programmes to match the skills in demand. We hope that you will help us to build the sustainable companies and societies of the future.

Do you want to develop science-based, innovative solutions for a new sustainable forest biomass supply system? Do you want to show how the new biomass supply system will affect the processes for the delivery of high-value materials and energy products? If your answer is yes, take the opportunity to carry out PhD research in a dynamic, international research environment. The Division of Energy Science at Luleå University of Technology seeks a Ph.D. student within Energy Engineering, to work in the new Centre of Excellence TREES FOR ME.

Subject description Energy engineering includes the development of technologies and processes for a sustainable energy supply. The research focuses on bioenergy technologies and efficient energy use in industry and society, with close collaboration with companies/industries. Our research has high international standards, and we collaborate with researchers around the world.

Project description Climate change puts our forests at risk, and current forest biomass production is neither secure, sustainable, nor sufficient to meet future demands for energy and materials or societal goals for biodiversity, recreation, and aesthetics. TREES FOR ME is a centre of excellence on fast- growing broadleaves (poplar, aspen, hybrid aspen, birch) for sustainable forests, materials, and energy. Fifty partner organizations representing academic and research institutes, the enterprise, and public sectors will collaborate to find solutions to meet future demands, and mitigate risks to forest health. The centre's goal is to develop science-based, innovative solutions for a new sustainable forest biomass supply system for the delivery of high-value materials and energy products, and build future competence within the relevant fields. In total, 13 PhD students will be recruited to the centre, who will collaborate with stakeholders representing the whole forest- based value chain to build research excellence and knowledge for the Swedish energy and forest sectors, and society in general.

The overall aim of your research is to propose efficient and sustainable thermochemical conversion (TCC) processes for fast-growing broadleaved species (FGBs). You will investigate how plant species, forest management, and feedstock handling influence biomass composition and thermophysical properties.Then, you will investigate such differences affect reactions behaviour of biomass and the properties of material and energy products. You will mainly handle combustion, gasification and pyrolysis technologies. Based on the results of your research, you will suggest suitable processes and process conditions for different assortments of FGBs.

Your work will be carried out in close collaboration with forest researchers from the Swedish Agricultural University within TREES FOR ME and with the Ph.D. students for the sister project at Energy Engineering (ash formation processes and value chain analyses). You will participate in the selection of the feedstock and field trips to collect feedstock, and carry out detailed fuel characterization and TCC experiments. You will also join industrial trials at full-scale energy plants at a few companies.

You will participate in joint courses, seminars, etc. within TREES FOR ME, of which some will take place in other parts of Sweden than Luleå.

Duties As a PhD student, most of your working time will be devoted to your own research project. You work independently with your research, and communicate your results in scientific journals and participation at national and international conferences. You also study third-cycle courses. In addition, you can have the opportunity to try the teacher role. As a researcher, you work as a neutral party in many contexts, which provides a great opportunity to be involved in challenging development projects. You will have two or three supervisors who support you in your work.

Qualifications We are looking for an enthusiastic candidate with the ability to work both independently and as a member of a team. You have a master's degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, process engineering, energy engineering, or equivalent.

Additional requirements

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Knowledge or experiences in thermochemical conversion technologies.
  • Good skills in academic writing.
  • Ability to work independently and take own initiatives as well as being able to penetrate new research areas on your own.
  • The following competencies and knowledge are meritorious

  • Biomass fuel and material characterization.
  • Reaction kinetics.
  • Chemical engineering process modelling skills.
  • Heat and mass transfer.
  • See also the general curriculum for education at post-graduate level in Energy Engineering. Most employees at the subject of Energy Engineering are currently men, therefore we welcome female applicants.

    Further information The PhD position includes a fixed-term full-time employment for 4 years, teaching and other department duties may be added with up to 20%. You will be employed at Luleå University of Technology, and be located in Luleå, Sweden.

    For further information about the position, please contact Professor Kentaro Umeki, +46 (0)920-49 2484, kentaro.umeki@ltu.se Professor Marcus Öhman, Head of Division, +46 (0)920-49 1977, marcus.ohman@ltu.se Associated Professor Henrik Böhlenius, +46 (0)40-415178, henrik.bohlenius@slu.se, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp

    Union representatives: SACO-S Kjell Johansson (+46)920-49 1529 kjell.johansson@ltu.se or OFR-S Lars Frisk, (+46)920-49 1792 lars.frisk@ltu.se In case of different interpretations of the English and Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

    Application Your application should include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

    Your application, including diplomas, must be written in English or Swedish. Send in your application via the apply button below. Mark your application with the reference number.

    Reference number: 4011-2022 Last day of application : 3 of November

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