Electrochemical Energy Systems

Junior Research Group

join EES

We are always looking for motivated people joining our group! Browse the open positions or send us an initiative application.

Open positions

Context

For the transformation to a CO2-neutral society, large amounts of green hydrogen are needed, e.g. for fuel cells, emission-free steel or power-to-X applications (fertilizers, …). Besides the electricity price, the investment costs and the lifetime of the electrolysers are significantly responsible for the hydrogen production costs. Due to the large cost reduction potential, alkaline electrolysis with a „anion exchange membrane“ (AEM) is a highly attractive technology. It promises to combine the advantages of the established alkaline and acidic membrane-based electrolysis, i.e. low-cost materials with high current densities and high efficiency.

Your task

You are working on electrodes for AEM electrolysis in a joint project with partners from industry and the university. The aim is to increase the efficiency and lifetime of the electrodes. To achieve this, you will optimize the microstructure of the electrodes based on the partners‘ materials and carry out measurements on an electrolysis testbench.

Your profile
  • Excellent communication skills and team spirit are absolutely necessary
  • You are interested in the development of novel materials for a sustainable society
  • You work target-oriented and structured
  • You enjoy working in the lab
The position
  • We offer excellent working conditions in the interdisciplinary “electrochemical energy systems” EES group with a nice atmosphere
  • Cutting edge equipment for electrolysis and material development
  • Typical duration of a PhD is planned for three years (80% TV-L 13)
  • The working language is English or German
  • Earliest possible start: as soon as possible
  • Familiy friendly, flexible working hours
Contact information

Severin Vierrath

Electrochemical Energy Systems,
IMTEK – Department of Microsystems Engineering,
University of Freiburg,
Georges-Koehler-Allee 103,
79110 Freiburg, Germany

Phone: +49 761 203-54060

Context

The use of hydrogen fuel cells in vehicles and trucks is one possibility to reduce the CO2-emissions emitted by the transport sector. Since the catalyst is one of the main cost drivers in the system, this area has become the focus of research in the past years. The junior research group „Electrochemical Energy Systems“ at the Institute of Microsystems Engineering and the Hahn-Schickard-Institute in Freiburg investigates state-of-the-art hydrogen technologies and develops novel fuel cell concepts in cooperation with industry partners.

Your tasks

The core of a hydrogen fuel cell is the membrane electrode assembly (MEA), in which the catalyst is embedded in the electrodes. Your task would be to optimize the synthesis of platinum-based catalysts and to assist with their in-situ (MEA) and ex-situ (SEM, TEM, etc.) characterization. The focus of your tasks may be shifted to your own strengths and interests.

Your profile
  • You are communicative and have a high team-spirit
  • You are interested in novel materials for energy storage and renewable energies
  • You can work in a concentrated, focused and structured way
  • You are experienced with practical work and enjoy working in the lab
The position
  • We offer excellent working conditions in an interdisciplinary research group with a pleasant collegial working atmosphere
  • Modern infrastructure for material characterization
  • Possibility of writing a bachelor´s or master´s thesis
  • Working language is English or German
  • Earliest starting date: November 2021
Contact information

Miriam von Holst

Electrochemical Energy Systems
IMTEK, University of Freiburg
Hahn-Schickard-Gesellschaft für angewandte Forschung e.V.
Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, 79110 Freiburg, Germany

Context

30% of CO2 emission in German road traffic are caused by heavy-duty vehicles, although they account for only 10% of all vehicles. Therefore, significant amounts of CO2 can be saved in this sector by electrifying relatively few vehicles. This can be done most economically with fuel cells. For this purpose, fuel cells for long lifetimes (30 000 h) must be developed.

Your tasks

For this purpose, we are looking for a motivated student to help us to analyze degradation mechanisms in different functional parts of the fuel cell (e.g. catalyst layer,…) and compare them in different material classes. So these can be counteracted later on. The focus of your tasks may be shifted to your own strengths and interests. With so much to look forward to, there is the possibility to follow up with a Bachelor or Master Thesis.

Your profile
  • You are a student in engineering, physics, chemistry, material science; ideally with experience in Lab-Work
  • You are highly motivated to work in the field of Fuel-Cells, sustainable technologies
  • A high level of team spirit and strong intercultural communication
  • optional skills: experience in: electrochemistry, polymerchemistry or solid-state chemistry
The position
  • We offer excellent working conditions in the young and interdisciplinary “electrochemical energy systems” group 
  • Possibility of writing a bachelor´s or master´s thesis
  • The working language is English or German 
Contact information

Julian Stiegeler

Electrochemical Energy Systems
Department of Microsystems Engineering – IMTEK
University of Freiburg
Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, 79110 Freiburg

Context

Water electrolysis based on proton exchange membranes is a key technology to produce green hydrogen. Since the production of fluorine-free proton exchange membranes may be cheaper and more environmentally friendly than for the commonly used perfluorosulfonic acids, the aim of our project is to develop a long-term stable proton exchange membrane based on hydrocarbons.

Your tasks

Our aim is it to get a deeper understanding on the long term stability of our polymers in liquid water. For this purpose, we are looking for a motivated student to help us with ex situ characterization. One of your first task could be the characterization of the swelling behaviour in relation to different molecular weights and ion exchange capacities. As we can offer further exciting tasks in the field of polymer synthesis and/or membrane production we are able to shift the focus of your tasks to your own strengths and interests.

Your profile
  • You are communicative and have a high team-spirit
  • You are interested in novel materials for renewable energies
  • You can work in a concentrated, focused and structured way 
  • You are experienced with practical work in the lab
The position
  • We offer excellent working conditions in an interdisciplinary research group with a pleasant collegial working atmosphere
  • Modern infrastructure for material characterization 
  • Possibility of writing a bachelor´s or master´s thesis
Contact information

Clara Schare

Electrochemical Energy Systems
Hahn-Schickard Institute Freiburg
Georges-Koehler-Allee 103, D-79110 Freiburg

click on the open position to find out more

How to apply

Please send your application via email, ideally with all documents attached as one PDF containing:

  • CV
  • transcript of records (Bachelor, Master)
  • and a short motivational letter
additional information

Freiburg, Germany

Situated in the rhine valley at the edge of the black forest, Freiburg offers a particularly high quality of living with many after-work acitivities. With its location close to Alsace (France), the Swiss Alps and a frequent 2h-train connection to Frankfurt, Freiburg is also very well connected.

We’re looking forward to receiving your application 🙂