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Postdoctoral Researcher EU projects on sustainable hydrogen and methanol production at Maastricht University

The Aachen-Maastricht Insitute for BIobased Materials invites applications for a postdoctoral researcher who will be responsible for the sustainability assessments of novel sun-driven technologies for hydrogen and methanol production in two EU Horizon Europe projects.
05.08.2022
  • WO
  • Tijdelijk
Maastricht University (UM)

Functieomschrijving

EU Horizon Europe Projects

The postdoctoral researcher will perform sustainability assessments in two EU Horizon Europe projects.

The first project METHASOL is an international cooperation for selective conversion of CO2 into METHAnol under SOLar light. Methanol is an appealing energy vector, with attractive volumetric and gravimetric energy values, storable in liquid phase at ambient conditions of pressure and temperature, which can be used as fuel directly or converted into chemicals or gasoline. However, its production lacks a sustainable route. Thus, the METHASOL project aims to produce methanol through a sustainable and cost-effective process based on selective visible-light-driven CO2 reduction, with a solar to methanol energy conversion efficiency of 5%. METHASOL is performed by a consortium of 14 partners from the EU, associated member states, China, and the USA.

The second project MOF2H2 aims to develop a world-record efficiency for sun-driven clean hydrogen production reaching 5% solar-to-hydrogen efficiency, using metal-organic frameworks (MOF) as photocatalysts. MOF2H2 positions itself as a game changer to produce hydrogen from water through a more sustainable process: photocatalytic overall water splitting using non-noble materials. The decarbonization of several sectors (energy, transport, and carbon-intensive industries like steel or ammonia) is depending on the availability of low carbon hydrogen. However, current hydrogen production processes are mostly carbonated, and existing decarbonated processes suffer from several disadvantages (high costs, issues with coupling with intermittent electricity, etc.). To this end, MOF2H2 gathers 10 partners, including some of the best researchers in the world in their fields, for demonstrating three lab-scale photocatalysis prototypes with fine-tuned materials dedicated to hydrogen production.

Responsibilities

The postdoctoral researcher will be responsible for the environmental Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and further social and economic sustainability impact assessments for both projects. The activities include performing sustainability analyses in collaboration with project partners, advancing methods for LCA and sustainability assessment of early-stage technologies, and reporting results of impact assessments.

The postdoctoral researcher will be a lead contributor to peer-reviewed publications, technical reports, conference contributions, and in-depth interactions with research and industrial partners on this topic. In addition, she/he will take responsibility for the coordination of group activities and teaching activities within related undergraduate, master, and professional teaching programs.

This position offers the opportunity to build an international academic and professional network in the sustainability assessment of novel technologies and gain experience in management, teaching, and supervision of students and PhDs.

Functie-eisen

Requirements

  • Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering, environmental sciences, or a related field within the past four years
  • Expertise in environmental impact assessment with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and experience with LCA tools theoretically and practically
  • Excellent interpersonal skills to effectively and closely work with scientific team members, international project team members, PhDs, and BSc/MSc students
  • Proven experience with publishing scientific work in refereed international scientific journals
  • Outstanding oral and written communication skills in English
  • Demonstrated the ability to work efficiently and independently.

Bedrijfsomschrijving

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and about 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Arbeidsvoorwaarden

  • The postdoctoral appointment will be for 24 months with the possibility to extend the contract after this period.
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplemented with local UM provisions. For more information on terms of employment, please visit our website www.maastrichtuniversity.nl > About UM > Working at UM
  • The salary is competitive and will be initially set on scale 11 of the collective labor agreement of the Dutch Universities (expected minimum € 3.974 and maximum € 5.439) for a full-time job (38 hours/week), depending on qualifications and work experience. In addition, there is an 8% holiday and 8.3% year-end allowance.
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as a reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, an optional model for designing a personalized benefits package, sports facilities that staff may use at a modest charge, and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad;
  • We provide a stimulating, collaborative and interdisciplinary work environment with excellent opportunities for professional and personal development;
  • Maastricht University has an excellent international reputation, and Maastricht itself is a beautiful, open-minded city located in the center of Western Europe.

Meer informatie

Informal inquiries concerning this position can be directed to Yvonne van der Meer, Chair of the research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials: yvonne.vandermeer@maastrichtuniversity.nl. Please include the vacancy number in the subject of your e-mail.