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PhD in Mathematical modelling of multi-step reactions and flow cell simulation 100%

The European MSCA Network “MiEl" will explore new industrial production strategies for the chemical industry. The need for reduction of fossil fuel consumption requires novel synthesis concepts. MiEl will combine electrochemistry, micro process engineering and flow chemistry.

School: School of Engineering
Starting date: 1. September 2023 (or earlier if preferred), duration 3 years

Your role

In the MiEl project our aim is to develop and link different models describing flow cells for electroorganic synthesis on different scales and dimensions. Processes will be modelled over a wide range of length scales ranging from μm to cm. You will explore electrochemical reactions and develop continuum-scale flow cell models. You will be responsible for the model-based analysis of flow cells with respect to conversion efficiency, charge efficiency, and selectivity towards desired products. Investigations will also include microfluidics simulations to consider for surface tension in droplet generation, dispersion and microscale channel flow. You will collaborate with other doctoral candidates in the project to improve constructed flow cells and identify appropriate operating conditions. You will have the opportunity to work as part of an international, interdisciplinary team of 12 doctoral candidates, based at universities and industrial firms throughout Europe. You will be supported by two mentors within the MiEl project and will have multiple opportunities to participate in professional and personal development training. Through your work you will gain a unique skill set comprising electrosynthesis, flow chemistry and process analytical technologies, as well as modern control engineering techniques. You are expected to finish the project with a PhD thesis and to disseminate the results through patents (if applicable), publications in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at international conferences.

Your profile

  • In accordance with the European Union's funding rules for doctoral networks, applicants must NOT yet have a PhD
  • Excellent Master's degree in computational science, physics, chemistry, engineering, or a related science
  • Familiarity with mathematical modelling and numerical methods for partial differential equations is expected
  • Strong interest in modelling and simulation in a cross-disciplinary, collaborative project at the interface of organic chemistry and engineering
  • Experience in at least one programming language for scientific computing (C/C++, Matlab, Wolfram Language, Python, Julia, ...)
  • Strong interest in computational chemistry and mathematical modelling
  • Good communication skills and willingness to work in collaborative projects with multiple partners and present results at conferences, project meetings and partners
  • Very good English language skills (German is beneficial)
  • Self-motivation and the ability to achieve goals independently as well as to contribute effectively to the team 
  • Mobility: You must not have resided or carried out your main activity (work, studies etc.) in Switzerland for more than 12 months in the past 3 years.

This is what we stand for

Zurich University of Applied Sciences ZHAW is one of Switzerland's largest multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences, with over 14'000 students and 3'400 faculty and staff.

As one of the leading technical universities in Switzerland, the School of Engineering (SoE) focuses on future-oriented topics. 13 institutes and centres guarantee high-quality education as well as research and development with a focus on energy, mobility and health.

At the Institute of Computational Physics (ICP), physicists, mathematicians and engineers work on applying methods and results from basic research to industrial problems. For more than 20 years, the ICP has been developing multiphysics computer models for industrial applications (e.g. in the field of hydrogen technology, photovoltaics or coupled-physics modelling). Together with its partners from science and industry, the ICP develops solutions in applied research and development.

Das dürfen Sie erwarten

Wir bieten hochschulgerechte Arbeits- und Anstellungsbedingungen und fördern aktiv die Personalentwicklung unserer Mitarbeitenden und Führungspersonen. Eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Vorteile finden Sie auf der Seite «Arbeiten an der ZHAW». Hier die wichtigsten Eckpunkte:


Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schumacher
Team Leader Electrochemical Cells and Energy Systems


Tanja Bucher
Recruiting Manager


ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Winterthur Region of Winterthur/Schaffhausen 8400