/Postdoctoral researcher power-to-molecules

Postdoctoral researcher power-to-molecules

Research & development - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Collaborate and help manage the different ongoing research projects on water electrolysis, CO2 electroreduction and fabrication of novel CO2 gas diffusion electrodes

Postdoctoral Researcher power-to-molecules

What you will do

Global warming as a result of industrial age CO2 emissions is a prime societal concern with a growing popular awareness calling for policy measures. A behavioral change is important, but technology also needs to come with solutions to reduce emissions and, hopefully, even reverse it. Indeed, with a rapidly growing world population and continuous increase in energy demand, it is understood that a lone switch to renewable energies will not suffice to keep the temperature rise well below +2°C above pre-industrial levels. In addition, carbon dioxide is not only a product of energy by combustion, but a waste product of chemical industry as well. For example, the cement industry is responsible for 10% of carbon emissions, with about half of that as by-product of the lime production process itself. Therefore, a technology that can convert CO2 into valuable products by electrolysis, would turn CO2 into a valuable precursor and give it economic value. At imec we are looking into concepts for simultaneous capture and conversion of CO2 directly from air or point sources such as factory chimneys to enable residential and industrial installations for local production of renewable fuels and synthesis of fine chemicals. At large scale, it will help reduce CO2 emissions and could be the technological instrument to eventually reverse the trend with "negative emissions". The electrochemical reduction of CO2 powered by renewable energies has the potential to provide valuable carbon compounds such as CO, formic acid and methanol (C1 compounds) as well as short-chain hydrocarbons like ethylene or ethanol (C2 compounds). Current CO2 electrolyzers are limited in efficiency and result in mixtures of various carbon species. Especially, for the higher carbon species (C2 and C3) novel catalytic approaches are needed. As a postdoc in the imec power to molecules program, you will collaborate and help manage the different ongoing research projects on water electrolysis, CO2 electroreduction and fabrication of novel CO2 gas diffusion electrodes. You will be a daily advisor for PhD and master thesis students. You will plan and execute your own research on high throughput and selective CO2 electroreduction.
We expect from you as this post-doc researcher:
  • Delivering inventive contributions to the development and optimization of gas-diffusion-electrodes
  • Assisting in project management of these activities within imec, which includes follow-up and reporting of tasks
  • Setting out the experimental plans to timely achieve the targets defined in these projects
  • Discussing and defending these experimental plans with other team members and scientific management
  • Timely and accurately executing and analyzing of the experiments of these plans in collaboration with other team members, including researchers, PhD students and process assistants.
  • Regular and effective reporting of the progress to the management of imec and of our partners
  • Daily supervision of PhD, master, and intern students
  • Ensuring good practice in the lab and setting up process and characterization protocols in your field of expertise

What we do for you

We offer you the opportunity to join one of the world’s premier research centers in nanotechnology at its headquarters in Leuven, Belgium. With your talent, passion and expertise, you’ll become part of a team that makes the impossible possible. Together, we shape the technology that will determine the society of tomorrow. 
We are proud of our open, multicultural, and informal working environment with ample possibilities to take initiative and show responsibility. We commit to supporting and guiding you in this process; not only with words but also with tangible actions. Through imec.academy, 'our corporate university', we actively invest in your development to further your technical and personal growth. 
We are aware that your valuable contribution makes imec a top player in its field. Your energy and commitment are therefore appreciated by means of a competitive scholarship.

Who you are

  • You have a PhD degree in Science or in Science of Engineering 
  • You have experience in electrochemistry and electrocatalytic conversion
  • Knowledge of semiconductor electrochemistry and/or electrolyzer systems is a plus
  • You are creative and like to think with a team to solve problems
  • You have experience in collaborative research projects and can effectively summarize a project status
  • You take initiative and can work independently, while you keep on consulting and discussing with a team 
  • You can plan your work and that of your colleagues according to your deadlines and deliverables 
  • You are result-driven and can meet quality output with stringent deadlines
  • You can guide and motivate team members in their work 
  • You have an impeccable knowledge of English, given the international character of imec
This postdoctoral position is funded by imec through KU Leuven. Because of the specific financing statute which targets international mobility for postdocs, only candidates who did not stay or work/study in Belgium for more than 24 months in the past 3 years can be considered for the position (short stays such as holiday, participation in conferences, etc. are not taken into account).