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Full professor "Electrochemical processes and equipment for CO2 capture and conversion"

  • Delft
  • Doctorate
  • Permanent

This vacancy is no longer available

Job Description

Decarbonisation of the power and industry sectors is an urgent societal challenge and can partly be achieved by extensive electrification, based on renewable energy sources and CO2 utilisation. Power-to-hydrocarbon technologies have the potential to replace fossil resources for the chemical industry and provide large scale energy storage. The development of such technologies is at the heart of the Delft e-Refinery institute, that spans multiple faculties, departments and disciplines.
Much of the science on the sourcing of CO2 has been on improving capture units for capturing CO2 from point sources, with relatively high CO2 concentrations (>10%). Capturing CO2 from air (Direct Air Capture), and working with CO2  concentrations of 400 ppm will have to become the process to  source CO2 from air after some decades. Developing cost-effective DAC units, preferably integrated with electrochemical CO2 conversion units requires scientific progress in understanding and improving multiphase fluid flows in capture and conversion units, and in absorption and desorption mechanisms. The design, operation and upscaling of the ensuing (currently lab size) electrochemical units requires fundamental research into complex multiphase, charged, fluid flows through CO2 conversion units, and into separation processes, under intermittent, transient conditions.

The new full professor will focus on any of the scientific challenges in the broad field of CO2 capture or CO2 conversion. This can concern the development of advanced CO2 capture processes (Direct Air Capture), or  the development of electrochemical multi-phase flow reactors  In our pursuit of integrating CO2 capture and conversion processes, the new full professor must have an open mind to expanding their work field over the course of the first few years, to address both capture and conversion. The candidate will:

  1. Study and improve effects of geometry/configuration, apply advanced thermofluids engineering and develop a scaling-up (and/or scaling out) approach for CO2 capture or electro-conversion reactors. Balancing between operation towards maximal selectivity (electrical potential-driven) and allowing for (in-situ) separation of useful products is a key driver of the research.
  2. Develop solutions for dealing with process fluctuations, pulsed reactions and the increased effects of fouling resulting from transient operation and intensification of electro-capture and -conversion systems.
  3. Develop comprehensive reactor models and experimental facilities to enable validation from the reactor level down to the in-situ characterization at the electrode level. This should lead to general scaling laws for electrochemical systems.
  4. Contribute to the development of courses and educational programmes at BSc and MSc level.


The successful candidate:

  • holds a PhD degree in mechanical (energy) engineering, chemical engineering or a similar degree;
  • has proven experience as an independent and productive researcher, demonstrable on the basis of papers in refereed scientific journals in the relevant research area;
  • has proven research experience and/or demonstrable affinity with CO2 capture or conversion processes;
  • has proven experience in acquiring research funding;
    has a multidisciplinary research attitude and a track record in multidisciplinary research collaboration;
  • has demonstrable experience in initiating, leading and managing large research programs;
  • is able to communicate research results to the professional community as well as to the general and laymen public;
  • is an excellent teacher who inspires undergraduate students, graduate students and professionals alike, and has experience in supervising PhD research projects;
  • has ample contacts in relevant circles of public policy makers and private business leaders.
  • is able to uphold and expand the industrial network of e-Refinery. Key in this network are Shell and the (Dutch) topsectors Energy, Chemistry and HTSM. The candidate is further expected to initiate and execute national and international research programmes (NWO, Horizon Europe), in close collaboration with colleagues and industry.

The TU Delft is an equal opportunity employer, and therefore we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

Contract Terms

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.
TU Delft sets specific standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. TU Delft offers training to improve English competency.
Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. If you have less than five years of experience and do not yet have your teaching certificate, we allow you up to three years to obtain this.


The 3mE Faculty trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

The professorship will be positioned in the Process & Energy department of the faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. The P&E department aims to enable the energy transition by educating future (mechanical) engineers and by developing novel processes and equipment for the production and consumption of synthetic fuels, chemicals and materials. The department is investing heavily in the field of synthetic fuels and this position is one of the key investments in boosting this field further. The P&E department plays a key rol in the e-Refinery institute of TU Delft, a cross-department institute for research into sustainable production of chemical and fuels. This professorship will play a key role in the e-Refinery institute, in connecting the P&E department to the institute, and will interact with internal and external stakeholders of the e-Refinery institute.
The candidate will make use of the existing laboratories of the P&E department, and will share the experimental infrastructure with the other groups of P&E.

Additional Info

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Prof. Paulien Herder, Full professor P&E, co-director e-Refinery, email:, tel: +31 15 278 2823.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Prof. Paulien Herder, Full professor P&E, co-director e-Refinery, email:

To apply, please submit a letter stating your motivation, a curriculum vitae (including full list of publications, and 5 key publications), a vision document on research, education and valorisation (max. 10 pages in total), and names/contact details of 5 references.
The first selection round consists of an initial Skype meeting in week 20-21.  The second round includes a site visit, a trial lecture and an interview with the selection committee. This round is expected to take place in week 26.

When applying for this position, always refer to the vacancy number 3mE20-19.


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