PhD Position in Chemical Engineering
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

PhD Position in Chemical Engineering

100%, Zurich, fixed-term

The Laboratory of Energy Science and Engineering (LESE, ETH Zürich) is looking for a candidate to fill a PhD position to develop catalysts for the conversion of CO2 into alcohols. At LESE, we aim to advance materials and processes to address the important challenge of producing fuels, electricity, and chemicals in efficient and sustainable ways. An important line of research focuses on the development of materials to close the CO2 cycle and ultimately allow societies to approach net zero emissions. The current PhD position is funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and is a collaboration between LESE and groups from the Chemistry department of ETH Zürich (Prof. Christophe Copéret group), University of Zurich (Dr. Iannuzzi group) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (Dr. Safonova group).

Job description

Specifically, this project, by combining high throughput experimentation, synthesis of model catalysts, operando characterization, and molecular modelling aims at identifying novel catalyst families and developing structure-performance relationships for catalysts for the hydrogenation of CO2 to higher alcohols (such as ethanol). The role of this specific PhD position will be the development of model catalysts and their operando characterization using X-ray absorption spectroscopy, X-ray total scattering, and infrared spectroscopy to identify the catalytically active sites/motifs.

Your profile

You are expected to have:

  • An excellent MSc degree in Chemical Engineering, Material Science, or Chemistry
  • Knowledge in material synthesis and/or material structural characterization is highly valued

We are looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a team and with outstanding communication skills. Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, you will have a unique opportunity to develop your research abilities. The position is available from February 2024 onwards.

With the social and leadership competencies, ETH Zurich has developed a common understanding of a shared work culture.


Your workplace

We offer

  • An exciting working environment
  • Opportunities to learn cutting edge techniques
  • Perspectives for career development
  • A diverse and interdisciplinary team

chevron_right Working, teaching and research at ETH Zurich

We value diversity

In line with our values, ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our Equal Opportunities and Diversity website to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.

Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application with the following documents:

  • CV
  • Motivation letter
  • Transcripts

Please note that we exclusively accept applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about LESE can be found on our website. Questions regarding these positions should be directed to Prof. Christoph Müller or Dr. Paula Abdala:

About ETH Zürich

ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

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