Doctoral Student in Physics; Developing Kinetic Models for Metal Combustion

Lund University Department of Physics

Doctoral Student in Physics with Focus on Developing Kinetic Models for Metal Combustion

Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Physics

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.

The Department of Physics is with a staff of about 350 scientists and educators one of the largest departments within Lund University. There are seven research divisions and a number of research centra within the department. The research activities at the department cover a broad spectrum of modern physics.

The Division for Combustion Physics has an emphasis on the development of laser spectroscopic techniques, applied to combustion processes, gasification, catalysis, nanometer structures and plasma production. Another important research area is modelling of chemical processes; these studies are often performed in collaboration with the experimental groups. The division has large contact areas within Lund University of Technology, with other universities and colleges, nationally and internationally, as well as with industry. The division has been active since 2001 in modern premises in the Enoch Thulin laboratory at the Department of Physics and currently close to 60 people work at the unit.

Work duties

Metal powders show a good potential to be used as energy carriers for zero-carbon emission. Aluminum and iron are the metal fuels with highest potential because of their high energy density and abundant reserves in the earth crust. The metallic fuels can be directly burned to release high-grade thermal energy, which can be used for heating and electricity generation, while the solid metal oxide product can be easily recycled and electrolytically reduced using clean energy.

Metal combustion processes are, however, very complicated, involving physically two-phase flow and transport as well as homogenous and heterogeneous chemical reactions. The description of metal combustion need to be investigated both in aspects of particle cloud combustion and at a level of isolated metal particles. The metal particles can burn in a variety of combustion modes depending mainly on the particle size and the thermo-physical properties of metal and its oxide. Extensive investigations of metal particle combustion are required to achieve a knowledge-based understanding of the governing physical and chemical mechanism of such complex combustion processes.

The project for which a doctoral student is now to be recruited will develop chemical kinetic mechanisms describing the chemical processes involved in metal combustion, including both gas phase chemistry and heterogeneous chemical reactions occuring at particle surfaces. This is a very novel research field and few or none have yet published chemical models applicable to the target systems.

The research group has a focus on development of chemical kinetics mechanisms used in Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. These kinetic mechanisms have to be chemically accurate but at the same time computationally efficient, a trade-off that present a significant challenge.

The PhD project will include development of chemical kinetic mechanisms for combustion of aluminium, iron and potentially other metals, in close collaboraton with the CFD group at division of Energy Sciences, who will implement the results in their simulations.

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

Admission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if he or she:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third-cycle studies in Physics if he or she has:

  • at least 30 second-cycle credits of relevance to the subject, of which at least 15 credits shall comprise a second-cycle degree project, or
  • an MSc in engineering physics or an associated field, or a Master’s degree in physics or an associated field.

Finally, the student must be judged to have the potential to complete the programme.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.
  • Good knowledge of programming

Other assessment criteria

  • Educational background with courses in both physics and chemistry.
  • Experience in working with simulations of physical or chemical systems.
  • Good knowledge of programming in Python.
  • The candidate need to be self-going and inventive, ready to face the challenges in a very young research field.
  • Ability to communicate and collaborate with researchers in other research fields.

Basis of assessment

Selection to postgraduate studies is based on the expected ability to perform well in the studies. The evaluation of the ability to perform well is based primarily on the results of studies at the basic and advanced levels, in particular:

  1. Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of the study.
  2. An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  3. Written and oral communication skills.
  4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

Terms of employment

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

Instructions on how to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, a copy of the thesis or equivalent or a summary in case the work is not completed and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

You are also required to answer the job specific questions as the first step of the application process.

The English version of this announcement is an interpretation of national formalities expressed in the Swedish text. In case of uncertainties, the Swedish text applies. 

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset. We kindly decline all sales and marketing contacts.

To apply, please click the button "Login and apply"

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment As soon as possible
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100%
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2020/1647
Elna Heimdal Nilsson, +46462224103,
Union representative
OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 19.May.2020
Last application date 15.Jun.2020 11:59 PM CET