PhD scholarship in Turbomachinery for Thermal Energy Storage Systems

torsdag 21 jan 21

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Frist 28. februar 2021
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DTU, Technical University of Denmark, has together with a number of academic and industrial partners just started an exciting project on a novel large-scale thermal energy storage concept. The project includes numerical analyses as well as demonstration of the technology. Turbomachinery is used for the charging and discharging processes of the storage, and the design of efficient and cost-effective turbomachinery tailored for this application is of crucial importance for the success of the thermal energy storage concept. Currently, we have an opening for a PhD position at DTU, Department of Mechanical Engineering concerning the turbomachinery analysis within this project.

The increased use of fluctuating renewable energy sources worldwide, including primarily wind and solar energy, causes imbalance between supply and demand of energy. One of the more promising options to mitigate the variability of renewable energy sources is to use large-scale energy storage systems. The storage system addressed in this project is a novel packed-bed energy storage concept that requires novel turbomachinery designs. Challenges that need to be addressed for the turbomachinery include, for example, variable operating modes, high temperatures and the presence of particles/dust in the air entering the turbomachinery that may cause erosion on the blading.

Responsibilities and tasks
The research work includes the numerical and experimental analyses of turbo-expanders and turbo-compressors with air as working fluid. You will design the turbomachinery using advanced numerical tools, and select an appropriate bearing system, leading to the safe operation and maximum performance of the storage system. If you have a passion for research and a broad mechanical engineering background, including knowledge about turbomachinery design and thermal sciences, you may be the person we are looking for. You will become part of a leading international research team, and together with colleagues, you will get the opportunity to conduct groundbreaking research, ranging from detailed numerical analysis to experimental work. The results of your research will contribute to expand the use of renewable energy sources, reducing carbon dioxide emissions and mitigating climate change. You will get the chance to publish your work in top-level international scientific journals and at international conferences. It is also likely that your work will result in patents. 

Examples of your responsibilities are the following:

  • Develop expander and compressor designs using mean-line and 3-dimensional aerodynamic design approaches.
  • Analyse the use of variable geometry aiming at improving the off-design performance of the turbomachinery.
  • Conduct rotor dynamic analyses and select a suitable bearing arrangement.
  • Select material for the components, and evaluate the prospects of using additive manufacturing techniques for some of the components of the turbomachinery assembly.
  • Conduct a thermal stress analysis of the turbomachinery.
  • Analyse means for coping with particles/dust entering the turbomachinery. 
  • Accomplish multi-objective optimization considering the performance, mechanical design aspects, and production and material costs of the turbomachinery.
  • Prepare for and advise the manufacturing of the turbomachinery for the demonstration plant.
  • Validate your numerical models based on the operational results of the demonstration plant.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Fredrik Haglind, tel.: +45 4525 4113.

You can read more about Department of Mechanical Engineering at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

Please submit your online application no later than 28 February 2021 (Danish time)

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Solid mechanics, Fluid mechanics, Coastal and Maritime Engineering, Energy systems and energy conversion, Materials and Surface Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Engineering design and Product development. The department has a scientific staff of about 135 persons, 100 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of about 80 persons.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.