Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

PhD Position – Automation of a High-Throughput Setup for Electrochemical Systems

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Would you like to contribute to the energy transition in Germany through your work? Then the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg (for Renewable Energy) (HI ERN) is the right place for you! The HI ERN forms the core of the close partnership between Forschungs­zentrum Jülich, Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin for Materials and Energy, and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg at the Erlangen site. The collaboration relates to the areas of innovative materials and processes for photovoltaic energy systems and hydrogen as a storage and carrier medium for CO2-neutral energy. Support us researching and developing solutions for the climate-neutral, sustainable, and cost-effective utilization of renewable energies. For more information on HI ERN and its main research areas, please visit

We are offering a

PhD Position – Automation of a High-Throughput Setup for Electrochemical Systems

Your Job:

As part of the international ERC Synergy project DEMI (Directed Evolution of Metastable Electrocatalyst Interfaces for Energy Conversion), two PhD positions are to be filled as soon as possible. Besides the Helmholtz Institute Erlangen-Nürnberg (HI ERN), the following research institutions are involved in DEMI: University of Copenhagen (Denmark), Ruhr University Bochum (Germany), and University of Bern (Switzerland). The researchers at the four locations will work together intensively to make decisive progress in electrocatalysis for the energy systems of the future. Hydrogen, for example, is seen as the energy source of the future.

To produce it, reactions must be catalyzed, some of which take place under extreme conditions. Current electrocatalysts usually cannot withstand this for long – new materials are needed, that are powerful and durable, and ideally do not contain any expensive and scarce elements. DEMI is pursuing a new and innovative approach here. At DEMI, new high-entropy alloys are calculated in Copenhagen. The team at HI ERN focuses on the electrochemical high-throughput characterization of material libraries. The focus of the Bochum team is on the production and high-throughput characterization of thin-film material libraries. The partner in Bern carries out experimental electrochemistry. The available PhD position mostly focuses on the following topics:

  • Optimization of a high-throughput setup for manufacturing and characterization of electrocatalyst systems
  • Design, build-up, and validation of the setup in collaboration with other PhD students
  • Benchmarking state-of-the-art materials and components as a baseline for the developed system
  • Study of next-generation materials for electrolysis
  • Close collaboration with electrochemists, data scientists, and automation experts to develop and use a reliable, fast, electrochemical testing process

Your Profile:

  • Excellent master’s degree in process, electrical, chemical, or mechanical engineering or a related discipline
  • Strong interest in pursuing research on electrochemical systems with a hands-on mentality
  • Strong background with one of the following fields: object-oriented programming for applied systems, robotics, (lab) automation
  • Experience in one (or more) of the following areas is desirable: electrochemistry, electrocatalysis, rheology, coating technologies, data management and databases, prototyping
  • Intrinsic motivation to show initiative as well as creativity and to work independently
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Very good skills in spoken and written English

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We offer ideal conditions for you to complete your doctoral degree:

  • Excellent environment to perform high-quality research and to implement own ideas in the development process
  • Work with worldwide-unique electrochemical characterization techniques
  • Excellent training in automated lab systems and electrochemistry
  • A lively scientific environment within the institute and possibilities for cooperation with excellent partners at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, the Forschungszentrum Jülich, and the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin as well as our international project partners
  • Extensive further education opportunities
  • Support options for combining career and family
  • Flexible working hours
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

The position is for a fixed term of three years. Pay is in line with 75% of pay group 13 of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) and additionally 60% of a monthly salary as special payment (“Christmas bonus”).

Place of employment: Nuremberg

We particularly welcome applications from people from a diverse range of backgrounds (e.g. regardless of age, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation / identity, as well as social, ethnic, and religious background). We strive to offer a diverse and inclusive working environment in which people enjoy equal opportunities and are able to fulfill their potential.

We look forward to receiving your application. The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible via our Online Recruitment System!

Questions about the Offer?

Please feel free to contact us via our contact form. Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications via e-mail.


PhD Position – Automation of a High-Throughput Setup for Electrochemical Systems
Wilhelm-Johnen-Straße Jülich, Deutschland
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