PhD Student in Polymer-Deprived Nanocatalysts For Fuel Cell Applications

   Materials Research and Technology (MRT) Department

  Dr Robin White  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Are you passionate about research? So are we! Come and join us

The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is a Research and Technology Organization (RTO) active in the fields of materials, environment, and IT. By transforming scientific knowledge into technologies, smart data and tools, LIST empowers citizens in their choices, public authorities in their decisions and businesses in their strategies.

You ‘d like to contribute as a researcher? Join our Materials Research and Technology department

Through its research into advanced materials and processes, the “Materials Research and Technology” (MRT) department, with its 200 researchers and engineers, contributes to the emergence of enabling technologies that underpin the innovation processes of local and international industry. MRT’s activities hinge on four thematic pillars: nanomaterials and nanotechnology, scientific instrumentation and process technology, structural composites, and functional polymers.

The department also includes four high-tech platforms, focusing on composites, prototyping, characterization, and testing. These platforms serve both LIST research staff, and other stakeholders in Luxembourg.


How will you contribute?

The MRT department is looking for talented candidates to join the HYMAT Doctoral Training Unit (4-years PhD studentships) supported by the Luxembourg National Research Fund (FNR). HYMAT is a large and multidisciplinary project that focuses on the discovery and development of materials for hydrogen generation and utilization. HYMAT is built around 8 highly complementary research axes, which will address key materials challenges faced in establishing specific technologies that will underpin the hydrogen economy. The 8 PhD students will be supervised by experienced scientists and be granted access to state-of-the-art infrastructure to perform research on a topic at the forefront of societal and scientific discussion.

The PhD student will work in the framework of the HYMAT research axis #7, specifically on the project concerning the synthesis and characterisation of M-N-C thin film catalysts as coated ion exchange membranes with fuel cell application as the end goal. The PhD student will conduct research in the discovery and engineering of polymer-derived catalysts that act as electrocatalysts for oxygen reduction reaction (ORR), the critical and performance determining reaction in polymer exchange membrane-fuel cells. The PhD project involves the synthesis of suitably functionalised M-N-C precursors and their physicochemical characterisation. The PhD student will investigate the deposition and processing of such functional precursors for example on ion exchange membranes and their subsequent conversion to M-N-C type electrocatalysts. Performance in the ORR will then be characterised (e.g. relating activity with the characterised structures). The PhD student will work closely with the other team members of the HYMAT project to build up a deep understanding of the chemical structure, microstructure, electronic and functional properties of the synthesized materials. The PhD student will integrate into a very ambitious and enthusiastic research team and will be expected to develop the proposed research activities at the highest scientific level.

Must-have requirements

Is Your profile described below? Are you our future colleague? Apply now!

You hold a Master degree in Materials Science, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering, combined to a pronounced taste for experiments, team work spirit and strong motivation.

You have proven theoretical and practical skills in electrochemistry and/or heterogeneous catalysis.

On top of this, you’re highly motivated and enjoy working in a team. You are fluent in English. You’re the one we’re looking for !

We offer

Your LIST benefits

An organization with a passion for impact and strong RDI partnerships in Luxembourg and Europe that works on responsible and independent research projects;

Sustainable by design, empowering our belief that we play an essential role in paving the way to a green society;

Innovative infrastructures and exceptional labs occupying more than 5,000 square metres, including innovations such as our Viswall, high-scale incubators and top of the range 3D/4D printings that are part of our toolkit for excelling in all we do;

Multicultural and international work environment with more than 45 nationalities represented in our workforce;

Diverse and inclusive work environment empowering our people to fulfil their personal and professional ambitions;

Gender-friendly environment with multiple actions to attract, develop and retain women in science;

32 days paid annual leave, 11 public holidays, flexible working hours, 13-month salary, statutory health insurance and access to lunch vouchers;

Personalized learning programme to foster our staff’s soft and technical skills;

An environment encouraging curiosity, innovation and entrepreneurship in all areas.

Apply online

Your application must include:

  • A motivation letter with details of your experience on electrochemistry
  •  A scientific CV with contact details;
  • Contact details of 2 references.


Application procedure and conditions:

  • LIST is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to hiring and retaining diverse personnel. We value all applicants and will consider all competent candidates for employment without regard to national origin, race, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, age or disability;
  • Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled;
  • An assessment committee will review the applications and select candidates based on guidelines that aim to ensure equal opportunities; 
  • The main criteria for selection will be the correspondence of the existing skills and expertise of the applicant with the requirements mentioned above.
  • Please note that by applying you consent to share your application with committee selection members from ”HYMAT”

PhD additional conditions:

• Supervisor at LIST: Dr Robin J. White

• Work location: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Belvaux, Luxembourg

• PhD enrolment: University of Luxembourg, Belval, Luxembourg

Candidates shall be available for starting their position in Q1 2023. Please note the universities costs are at the charge of the student

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24)
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