PhD position in structure-activity relationships in catalysts for sustainable chemicals

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Laboratory of Energy Science and Engineering (LESE, ETH Zürich; www.ese.mavt.ethz.ch) is looking for a candidate to fill a PhD position in the field of heterogeneous catalysis, with a focus on structure performance-activity investigations. Our research at LESE aims at obtaining a fundamental understanding of materials that are important for reactions that are relevant for sustainable energy and chemical industries, such as CO2 capture and conversion. The current PhD position is funded by the ETH Research commission (principal investigator: Dr. Paula M. Abdala).

Project background

This project explores bimetallic (particularly intermetallics) catalysts for the hydrogenation of CO2 to methanol (or to higher alcohols) with attention to both catalyst development and characterization. The project's goal is to establish structure–performance relationships that will serve as a guideline for the rational advancement of efficient catalysts. A central task is the structural characterization of bimetallic catalysts by in situ/operando methods such as X-ray absorption/emission spectroscopies, X-ray total scattering, infrared and Raman spectroscopies complemented with electron microscopy, to identify catalytically active sites and deactivation mechanisms.

Job description

Applicants for this PhD position are expected to have an excellent MSc degree in Chemical Engineering, Material Science, or Chemistry. Experience and knowledge in material synthesis and/or material structural characterization (especially with synchrotron-based techniques) are highly valued. We are looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a team and with outstanding communication skills. Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities. The position is available from September 2022 onwards.

Your profile

Applicants for this PhD position are expected to have an excellent MSc degree in Chemical Engineering, Material Science, or Chemistry. Experience and knowledge in material synthesis and/or material structural characterization (especially with synchrotron-based techniques) are highly valued. We are looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a team and with outstanding communication skills. Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities.

Your workplace

We offer

Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, the candidates will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities.

Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcripts

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered. Short-listed candidates will be asked to provide at least 2 recommendation letters.

Questions regarding these positions should be directed to Dr. Paula Abdala: abdalap@ethz.ch.

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.