PhD student position in Catalyst design principles for production

PhD student position in Catalyst design principles for production


Information about the research project
In this research project you will explore catalytic routes for valorization of renewable carbon feedstocks into commodity chemicals as a means to support a sustainable chemical industry. The targetting of commodity chemicals ensures flexible drop-in use with high potential to increase greenness in present chemical production. Specifically, the natural complexity of five-membered ring aromatics present in hemicellulose will be used and built on to provide a desired mixture of six-membered ring aromatic products. The research project aims to determine critical catalytic steps and reaction mechanisms, which is closely connected to the characterization of catalytic active sites. From this knowledge design principles for catalyst manufacture will be proposed. Further, catalytic activity and selectivity will be measured as to address how a chemical process may be designed. The project aligns with the contemporary movement towards greener industrial chemical and energy conversion processes by use of bottom-up research approch.

In the doctroal project, you will  adapt spectroscopic methods to study said catalytic reactions in operando. This includes setting up and verifying the measurement approach and data evaluation routines. You will use a number of complementary techniques as to study catalytic activity and selectivity, and to characterisae the catalyst properties. Depending on the project progression, you may synthesise your own catalysts based on achieved mechanistic insights.

Information about the research environment
The position is within the research group of Prof. Per-Anders Carlsson at the division of Applied Chemistry, Chalmers. The research at Applied Chemistry is broad covering Applied Surface Chemistry, Biopolymer Technology, Pharmaceutical Technology and Polymer Chemistry and Electronics. The Carlsson reserach group adopts a physical inorganic chemistry approach to materials and surface science. The common activities include aspects on materials synthesis and evaluation combined with advanced operando characterisation for understanding and control of atomic scale processes in functional materials such as catalysts. The Carlsson group is active in the interdisciplinary research centre Competence Centre for Catalysis located at Chalmers, which collects experimental and theoretical expertise in catalysis.

Information about the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
The department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is the largest department at Chalmers with research ranging from the most fundamental level to a level close to application in industry and society. The research activities reach from DNA-research and biomaterials to high temperature corrosion, catalysis and recycling. The Department is also heavily committed to teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, as well as postgraduate level in these areas.

Health, natural resources, sustainable energy and materials are some of our lead words and our vision is “Through curiosity and knowledge towards a sustainable world”. 

We have approximately 300 employees, divided into four research dvisions and one administrative division. We are situated at campus Johanneberg in the middle of Gothenburg.

Major responsibilities
Your major responsibilities are to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing. The position includes research at a 90-100% level where the remaining part is teaching and departmental work.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment. The position is limited to a maximum of five years.

The candidate should have Master of Science degree (or similar) in Chemistry or Physics before employment preferably at latest in Mars 2021.

The successful candidate should have:

• Master of Science in Chemistry or Physics, or similar.
• Good communication skills in written and spoken English
• Able to work independently and take responsibility for progress and quality of the project
• Candidates with experience in heterogeneous catalysis, signal processing, optical methods, are meritorious.
• Experience in computer hardware and programming as well as electronics hardware and control is meritorious.

The position requires sound verbal and written communication skills in Swedish and English. If Swedish is not your native language, you should be able to teach in Swedish after two years. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
For more information and to apply, please go to this webpage

Application deadline: 30 november, 2020

For questions, please contact:
Professor Per-Anders Carlsson/Dept. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, E-mail:
Phone: +46-31-772 2924
Professor Hanna Härelind Dept. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, E-mail:
Phone: +46-31-772 2924

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***


  • Arbetsplats: Chalmers Tekniska Högskola AB
  • 1 plats
  • 6 månader eller längre
  • Heltid
  • Fast månads- vecko- eller timlön
  • Publicerat: 28 oktober 2020
  • Ansök senast: 30 november 2020


412 96 Göteborg 41296 Göteborg


Chalmersplatsen 4
Göteborg, 41296

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