PhD in Impact of System Conditions in the Design and Upscaling of Electricity-Driven Biobased Concepts

Delft University of Technology



The Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management (TPM) develops robust models and designs, to solve the complex challenges of today’s networked society. TPM combines insights from the engineering sciences with insights from the humanities and the social sciences.

Job Description

Research focus: Assess the impact of system conditions in the design and upscaling of biobased concepts applied to e-refineries addressing the following three questions:

•         What are design constraints for the process configurations to become energy load-following?

•         What is the effect of difference levels of intermittency on the system design and its techno-economic and environmental performance?

•         How significant are system conditions such as type and availability of feedstocks, market constrains, infrastructure requirements for the upscaling of the configurations and where are potential hotspots?

To answer these questions the PhD student will integrate insights from several methodologies including conceptual process engineering, process modelling, economic and life cycle assessment.

This position is part of e-Refinery. Electrosynthesis is a promising approach to electrify the manufacturing of fuels, chemicals and materials and to contribute to large-scale energy storage. Given the Dutch strategic position in the international chemical, renewable energy and transport sectors, the e-Refinery programme at TU Delft aims to develop systems to convert electricity into molecular bonds, by bundling and leveraging its activities in the associated research and education fields. The Delft e-Refinery programme covers and connects all system layers, from the molecular scale to the industrial system scale. It involves faculty members at four faculties and a multitude of PhD candidates and postdocs. The e-Refinery programme features a diverse and up-to-date research infrastructure across campus, with electrochemical labs, material labs, equipment and devices labs, power labs and a system simulation suite. TOeLS: Towards Large-Scale electro-conversion systems, is one major project within e-Refinery. The TOeLS project is co-funded by Shell and the Topsectors Chemistry, HTSM and Energy (Urban Energy and Biobased Economy). TOeLS comprises 1 full professor position, 2 tenure track positions and 9 PhD positions. For all these positions we count on an active participation in project-transcending activities within TOeLS and the e-Refinery community to accelerate innovations across scales and across disciplines.

Relevant links:

Job Requirements

You have recently completed a master degree in Chemical Engineering or Process Engineering, preferably with a focus on biotechnology and or process design. You have excellent academic qualifications and a strong drive to investigate the performance of novel technologies in the larger context (e.g., economics, environment). Strong analytical skills as well as capabilities to work in an interdisciplinary group are essential for this project.

Terms of Employment

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Inform and Apply

For more information about this position, please contact Andrea Ramirez Ramirez, phone: +31 (0)15-2782727, e-mail: – (Herder)

 To apply, please e-mail

1) a one-page motivation letter,

2) a detailed CV,

3) a grade list,

4) contact information of at least two references to [name + e-mail].

Clearly indicate the desired position and vacancy number in the subject of your email. Put everything in one PDF-file. Although the positions will remain open until filled, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their applications before June 10, 2019. Intended start of the project is September 1 2019.

Please indicate in your letter whether your CV could be reviewed to fill other similar positions within the TU Delft.

In your application, please refer to