PhD student on Process Development of Green Steel Production

University of Twente
April 26, 2024
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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The iron and steel industry are confronted with pressing challenges. Historically, the industry has heavily relied on carbon-intensive blast furnaces for iron-ore reduction, contributing significantly to greenhouse gas emissions. However, with global sustainability goals and stricter environmental regulations, there's a growing urgency for innovation. Tata Steel in the Netherlands is dedicated to revolutionizing iron manufacturing by transitioning from coal to gas-based direct reduction processes (DRI), utilizing hydrogen. This approach promises a substantial reduction in carbon emissions compared to traditional blast furnace methods, aligning with the industry's commitment to environmental responsibility.

To achieve these goals, it is imperative to understand the intricate chemical reactions occurring on the iron surfaces during the direct reduction process. This understanding is crucial for ensuring controlled product quality and throughput. Inconsistencies can lead to inefficiencies, increased energy consumption, and lower product quality, which the steel industry can ill afford.

Our project focuses on developing accurate particle models, validated through experiments, and scaling it up to a comprehensive process model. This model will simulate industrial direct reduction shaft furnace processes under various operating conditions, including temperature, pressure, pellet chemistry, and gas composition when transitioning from natural gas to hydrogen based DRI production.

Your profile
  • You have a Master's degree in Chemical Engineering with a solid background in reaction engineering, chemical processes, and separation technologies
  • You have a high degree of responsibility and independence, while being able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers, and other staff members
  • You have experience with experimental laboratory systems
  • You have experience with modelling and simulation of (chemical) processes, ideally with the tools Aspen Plus, Aspen Custom Modeler, or equivalent
  • You are fluent in English
  • You have good communication skills and can collaborate with external partners in regular meetings and work visits
  • Our offer
  • You will be appointed on a fulltime position for four years.
  • The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
  • The PhD salary is € 2.770 in the first year and increases to € 3.539 in the fourth year.
  • The offer further involves a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8,3%, a solid pension scheme, a minimum of 29 holidays, and numerous professional and personal development programs.
  • You will have a training program as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision. Free access to sports facilities on the green campus is granted.
  • Information and application

    Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.

    Please apply via the provided button below.

    About the department

    The Sustainable Process Technology (SPT) group is part of the Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Twente. We conduct experimental and theoretical research in the areas of biomass conversion, affinity separations, plastic recycling, water, and CO2 capture and conversion. We combine our expertise in different disciplines (process design, chemistry, catalysis, modelling, engineering) to contribute to the development of sustainable chemical processes.

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more? Kersten, S.R.A. (Sascha)

    Full Professor

    Kersten, S.R.A. (Sascha)

    Full Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Sascha for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer. If applicable, we will sign you up for screening.

    Your Colleagues
  • Steenbergen, W. (Wiendelt)
  • Personal page

  • Pizzoccaro - Zilamy, M.D. (Marie-Alix)
  • Personal page

  • Vargas Llona, L.D. (Laura)
  • Personal page

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  • Our mission We are a university of technology
  • Our university is a public institution that serves society. We are accountable to society for the ways in which we use our academic freedom. We are responsible for ensuring that the power of science and technology is harnessed to achieve the best possible impact in a changing world. We cherish our rich tradition of combining technical and social sciences in our five profiling themes: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

  • Our mission We help to strengthen society
  • We help society meet the challenges of today and tomorrow. But we are also transparent about what science and technology can and cannot do in finding sustainable solutions. And help translate these solutions into everyday life.

  • Our mission We are sustainable
  • We want our communities to flourish and show resilience, so we seize opportunities for innovation. We are knowledgeable and have an eye for what society needs. Our students and staff receive all the guidance they need in their quest for ecological, social and economic sustainability. “The University of Twente is all about people. Our sustainable technologies help to strengthen society.”

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