Chemical & Mechanical Engineers - Postdoctoral Researcher - Direct Air Capture

    • Application Deadline
      30 November 2023
      (application date has expired)
    • Job Salary
      €42,783 to €53,440 Appointments on the above range will be dependent on qualifications and experienc
    • Contact Name
      Dr. Sebastien Vaesen

    Applications are invited for two Postdoctoral Researcher positions (1 Chemical Engineer & 1 Mechanical Engineer) in the laboratory of Prof Wolfgang Schmitt at the AMBER Materials Science Institute and in the School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin, University of Dublin.

    Direct Air Capture (DAC) technologies target the removal of CO2 that is already in the atmosphere and provide a mitigation approach for distributed and mobile CO2 sources. Such atmospheric CO2 capture technologies offer appealing features which promote their industrial and commercial adoption. Porous amino-functionalized adsorbents in combination with vacuum-temperature swing regeneration processes are among the most promising systems with potentially high technological and societal impact. This Horizon Europe EIC-funded project aims to develop prototypes that demonstrate atmospheric CO2 capture at scale aiming to progress the product development and commercialisation of a DAC technology which was developed by Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt and Dr. Sebastien Vaesen at Trinity College Dublin. Within this Horizon Europe EIC-funded project, we seek to hire 1 Chemical Engineer and 1 Mechanical Engineer, whose duties and responsibilities will involve:

    a) Chemical Engineer:
    • Instrumental design of an automated DAC laboratory prototype system; construction and commissioning of the system;
    • Measurement of cyclic CO2 adsorption performances (determination of productivity, CO2 purity, ad/de-sorption energy requirement, etc.);
    • Experimental and analytical simulation; performance optimization;
    • Optimization of performance and deployment of the industrial demonstrator;
    • Experimental characterization of CO2 adsorbents; adsorption/desorption equilibrium and kinetic measurements; CO2/H2O/N2 breakthrough curve measurements.

    b) Mechanical Engineer
    • DAC industrial prototype design, construction, commissioning, deployment and instrument optimization;
    • Simulation of DAC regeneration processes involving heat and mass transfer simulations;
    • Mechanical optimization of performance and deployment of the industrial demonstrator;
    • Cost optimization of the DAC prototype;
    • Development of innovative adsorber designs;

    In addition, the successful candidates will support the project management, pursue interactions with suppliers and subcontractors, provide guidance to undergraduate students, prepare patent applications and manuscripts for publication.

    Knowledge & Experience: The candidates require expertise, underpinning the project responsibilities:

    a) Chemical Engineer:
    • Extensive expertise in adsorption process and chemical engineering is required;
    • Expertise in the design, construction and commissioning of laboratory adsorption prototypes is required;
    • Expertise in adsorption process simulation using state-of-the-art software (e.g. gPROMS, ASPEN, MATLAB, Python) is desirable;
    • Expertise in the area of porous materials and sample characterisation using adsorption techniques will be of advantage.

    b) Mechanical Engineer
    • Expertise in heat- and mass-transfer simulations using state-of-the-art software (e.g. gPROMS, ASPEN, MATLAB, Python) is required;
    • Expertise in equipment design & construction is required;
    • Expertise in vacuum vessel design is required;
    • Expertise in the design, construction and commissioning of industrial prototypes is desirable;
    • Expertise in CAD 3D & 2D software (e.g. Autodesk software suite) is desirable;
    • Expertise in the area of adsorption processes will be of advantage;
    • Expertise in PLC programming will be of advantage.
    In addition, the successful candidates will require a) excellent presentation, language and communication skills, b) expertise in relation to the preparation of the manuscripts for publication and c) excellent word processing, data presentation and IT skills.

    Qualification: A Ph.D. degree in a relevant scientific area is desired.

    Research Group/Department/School: Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt’s Group, School of Chemistry/CRANN, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin

    Funding: The positions are funded by the European Innovation Council. Appointment will be made on the SFI Researcher Salary Scale on the Experienced Post-Doctoral Researcher, (Level 2B), New Post-Doctoral Researcher (Level 2A) or Research Assistant scale; depending on experience (

    Post Duration/Hours of Work: Initially 24 months (full-time).

    Application Procedure: Applications from all backgrounds are encouraged, especially from any groups underrepresented in STEM disciplines. Female candidates are encouraged to apply. Informal enquiries are welcomed. The application should include:

    • a Curriculum Vitae including the names and contact details of 2 referees and
    • a cover letter

    Documents should be submitted to Prof. Wolfgang Schmitt ([email protected]) AND Dr. Sebastien Vaesen ([email protected]). Please use EIC-ENG-MECH or EIC-ENG-CHEM in your email title.

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