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PhD position in Design and operation of a binary ORC plant for the exploitation of different geothermal sources, including two-phase sources

This job offer has expired

    Politecnico di Milano
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    15/12/2020 23:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Italy › Milan
    H2020 / Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions


Given the challenges in geothermal operations and the ambitious expansion plans for geothermal energy in many countries, there is an urgent need for experts with a broad understanding of geothermal systems. How can such systems be operated in the most efficient and safe manner? Within the ITN EASYGO, funded by the European Commission, the IDEA League universities TU Delft (TUD), ETH Zurich (ETH), RWTH Aachen University (RWTH), Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) and 10 industry partners are addressing this question from different perspectives, integrating geology, geophysics, geochemistry, advanced modelling and process and power engineering. In this framework, EASYGO is looking forward to train tomorrow’s leading geothermal energy experts. Please find additional information on EASYGO as well as detailed project descriptions on www.idealeague.org/geothermal-energy. In case you want to apply for multiple EASYGO positions, limit the number of applications to 3, and indicate other positions you have applied for together with a clear order of preference in your motivation letter.

Aim of this project is to develop a general design strategy for the power plant with particular reference to the geothermal fluid features, to enlarge the consolidated application range, including two phase (liquid and steam) geothermal sources. Furthermore, the goal is to increase knowledge on the thermodynamic properties of liquid, steam and non-condensable gases mixtures with different salinity, improve plant design, improve knowledge on the salt precipitation mechanism so as to prevent a decrease of the plant performance, investigate the solubility of CO2 in the geothermal fluid, including the energy cost of CO2 compression, and optimise the reinjection process. It aims to optimise the overall power plant configuration and the design of plant components using available real data from existing power plants and to predict real operating conditions of ORC binary plants.

The successful candidate will be enrolled within the STEN (Doctoral Programme in Energy and Nuclear Science and Technology) PhD program within the Department of Energy and will join the research group Gecos (http://www.gecos.polimi.it/). The Group of Energy Conversion Systems (GECOS) is involved in research activities covering the whole spectrum of advanced technologies to generate electrical/mechanical energy ranging from small scale applications to large power stations. Secondment stays of several months are foreseen at ETH Zurich to extend knowledge and benefit from the expertise with regard to CO2 mixtures simulation; shorter stays at Turboden offices and plants to gain experience in power plant design and operation.

Expected Results

  • Thermodynamic model of mixtures of liquid water, steam, salts and non-condensable gases.
  • Numerical model of the miscibility of CO2 in liquid mixtures.
  • Optimization of the overall power plant configuration
  • Model validation with respect to available experimental data of an existing plant
  • Optimization of the plant operating strategies under different working conditions
  • Yearly energy balances for electricity generation
  • Procedure to establish a predictive maintenance strategy


How to apply

Please submit your application no later than December 15th, to:


as a single PDF file named EASYGO_ESR13_Lastname_Firstname.pdf containing a CV, motivation letter, transcripts from your Bachelor and Master studies with grades, including range (highlighting the most important courses for this position) and an English language certificate (mandatory for this ESR); certificates of practical experience are desirable.

Following the "Women and Science" movement, the EASYGO encourages and promotes the participation of women within the project (please give evidence to this issue when pertinent).

Please note that this file will be shared with members of the EASYGO recruitment committee at all four participating IDEA League universities and one industry representative

More Information

Eligibility criteria

Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Eligibility rules apply. Particularly:

Please be aware of the ITN mobility rule, which says: you must not have resided or carried out your main activity (e.g. work, studies) in the country where you will be recruited "for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the recruitment date.

Early Stage Researchers (ESR): ESR shall, at the date of recruitment, be within the first four years of full-time equivalent research experience (*) and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

    Engineering: Master Degree or equivalent


  • Strong logical reasoning capabilities;
  • Scientific writing and reporting skills;
  • Capability to deal with data processing and programming;
  • Ability to work both independently and in a project team and take responsibility for own research tasks;
  • Fluency in communicating and reporting in English.

Specific Requirements

Previous knowledge or experience in thermodynamics, chemistry, energy systems, heat transfer, fluid dynamics, power engineering and ability to develop simulation tools and use commercial simulation software are considered relevant.

The enrolment is subject to academic approval and fulfilment of the requirements for admission to a doctoral program at POLIMI. In addition to a Master of Science, candidates are required to present an English Language Certification, complying with the rules and regulations of the PhD School of Politecnico di Milano, as stated in page five of the following document:


Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
Politecnico di Milano - Department of Energy
via Lambruschini 4

EURAXESS offer ID: 580819


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