Research Associate in Chemical Engineering
Imperial College London Department of Chemical Engineering
United Kingdom

Job summary

The Department of Chemical Engineering is seeking a Research Associate to join a bp-icam (https://www.icam-online.org) project on green H2 electrocatalysis that will involve multiple research groups across different universities. It presents a unique chance to contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK economy across sectors by helping the production of low cost green H2 at scale in an academic-industrial collaborative project. The UK must...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG02363
  • Date posted 11 November 2022
  • Closing date 11 December 2022

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington and White City Campus - On site only
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £43,093 – £50,834 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Chemical Engineering
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

The Department of Chemical Engineering is seeking a Research Associate to join a bp-icam (https://www.icam-online.org) project on green H2 electrocatalysis that will involve multiple research groups across different universities. It presents a unique chance to contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK economy across sectors by helping the production of low cost green H2 at scale in an academic-industrial collaborative project.

The UK must transition to net zero emissions by 2050. Hydrogen will play a significant role in this transition with ambitious plans from the UK government to enable the production of 5 GW low-cost hydrogen by 2030. Within this scenario, green hydrogen produced using renewable electricity from water electrolysis will play a very important role. Yet, the current cost of green H2 today is too high to be implemented at large scale. The reason for this is the high electricity input driven by the high overpotentials of the anodic oxygen reduction reaction and the cost of materials (catalysts and other components) needed as well for the sluggish water oxidation reaction at the anode.

Duties and responsibilities

In this project, you will work on the discovery of efficient electrocatalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction using high throughput synthesis and electrochemical testing coupled with advanced characterisation of the best performing catalysts to gain insights into fundamental science and inform theoretical models for further optimisation and upscale. The project will focus on proton exchange membrane electrolysis, which is the most efficient among all electrolysis processes. You will synthesise IrO2 based catalysts as well as doped and mixed oxide versions based on more abundant elements like Sn, Ti and Ta. The aim will be to understand the influence of morphology, pore structures and composition of the electrocatalytic activity and be able to identify the best catalysts among hundreds or thousands of candidates. Emphasis will also be put on the stability of the best performing catalysts by performing accelerated strain tests electrochemically to understand corrosion of both the catalysts and their supports.

Essential requirements

You will have:

  • a first degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or a related discipline and a PhD (or equivalent) in a similar field.
  • good theoretical knowledge and practical experience of materials synthesis, materials characterisation and electrochemistry, preferably in aqueous electrocatalysis.
  • an ability to work in a large and diverse team collaboratively across departments, faculties and even universities.
  • good communication skills long with the ability to write high quality publications and work collaboratively.

Experience in the use of automated high throughput equipment is a plus but not a requirement.

Further information

Further information about the post is available in the job description.

The post is available for 24 months from December 2022 and will be based in South Kensington Campus with some elements of research being conducted in White City.

To apply, please click the Apply now button at the top of the page.  Please ensure you include a completed application form with your submission. 

Informal enquiries about the post can be made to Professor Magda Titirici (m.titirici @imperial.ac.uk) or Professor Camille Petit (camille.petit@imperial.ac.uk).

Should you have any queries about the application process please contact chemeng.staffing@imperial.ac.uk.

Closing date: 11th December 2022

For technical issues when applying online, please contact: support.jobs@imperial.ac.uk

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research

Imperial College is committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment. We are an Athena SWAN Silver award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Disability Confident Employer and work in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people.


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