The Human Resources Strategy for Researchers

PhD Changes in atmospheric hydrogen during the energy transition (2.0 FTE)

This job offer has expired

    University of Groningen
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    21/06/2022 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Groningen


Hydrogen will play a profound role in the transition from our present fossil-fuel based energy system towards renewables. Hydrogen (H2) produced from electrolysis of water becomes the carrier of energy to be distributed, feeding fuel cells (or combustion engines) in cars, ships, aircraft, households, and industry. During all this, leakage of H2 into the atmosphere will be unavoidable.

This extra source of H2 to the atmosphere will modify a number of chemical cycles in the atmosphere, and thereby contribute to greenhouse gas forcing [1] and stratospheric ozone loss [2]. These negative impacts are currently thought to be small compared to the positive impacts brought about by the avoided emissions of CO2, CH4, CO, NOx, and PM2.5 (fijnstof) in a fossil- based energy system. But while building our new H2-production and -distribution capacity it is wise to:

1. (a) monitor and understand ongoing changes in the regional and global atmospheric H2 abundance
2. (b) increase our knowledge of the air quality, greenhouse forcing, and stratospheric impacts of H2
3. (c) develop capacity to detect H2 leaks and attribute elevated H2-levels to specific sectors or processes.

The present two positions are part of the atmospheric H2 project carried out in the Centre for Isotope Research (CIO), financially supported by the National Program Groningen ("waterstof werkt" project) and Shell Nederland (Gas & Hydrogen Partnership).

PhD1 will install and maintain a calibrated atmospheric Hydrogen detection system at our atmospheric monitoring station Lutjewad. (S)he will also perform Radon measurements throughout the country in an attempt to improve the national Radon flux inventory. This Rn flux, together with the H2 concentration measurements, will lead to observation-based national H2-flux estimates. Next to these activities, a novel method for the measurement of the HD isotope signal in atmospheric H2 will be pursued.

PhD2 will build a high-resolution (100m) numerical model that simulates hourly H2- and HD-abundances, together with air quality (including NOx, O3, and fijnstof or PM2.5), initially focussed on the Dutch Rijnmond area, which encompasses the Maasvlakte, the port of Rotterdam, its city center, and the Westland horticulture. The model will include expected H2 sources from leakage (mostly fueling stations, but also from industrial use and shipping/aviation), as well as chemical production+loss and deposition to the land surface. The resulting numerical modeling system will be the basis for sector-specific attribution of regional atmospheric H2 increases, but also for attribution of air quality improvements from increasing H2- use.

Both PhD candidates are expected to be committed to conduct independent and original scientific research, to report on this research in international publications and presentations, and to present the results of the research in a PhD dissertation, to be completed in 4 years. About 10% of their overall workload will be spent on teaching.

More Information


We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,443 in the first year to a maximum of € 3,122 gross per month in the final year (PhD salary scale), based on a full-time position
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income and an 8.3% year-end bonus
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE). The position is for four years. First you will be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate whether a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering of the Faculty. Note that PhD2 will work in close collaboration with Wageningen University, and a possibility exists to (partly) work from there.

The two PhD positions are immediately available.

The conditions of employment are available at the University of Groningen website under Human Resources: https://www.rug.nl/about-us/work-with-us/

Selection process

You can apply by sending:

• a letter with background and motivation to apply for this position
• a curriculum vitae, including details of bachelor and master degrees, list of work experience as well as other skills and a publication list, if applicable
• contact details of 2 academic references who can provide information on your suitability for the position.

You may apply for this position until 20 June 11:59pm / before 21 June 2022 Dutch local time (CET), ONLY by means of the application form (click "Apply" below the advertisement on the Groningen University website).

Selected candidates will be invited for an interview (either on-line or in person) end of June / earlu July.

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage: https://www.rug.nl/about-ug/policy-and-strategy/diversity-and-inclusion/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): https://www.nvp-hrnetwerk.nl/sollicitatiecode/ and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers: https://euraxess.ec.europa.eu/jobs/charter/code

Unsollicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional comments

Prof. Harro A.J. Meijer (for position 1)
+31 50 3634739

Prof. Wouter Peters (for position 2)
+31 317 486654

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

You are a highly motivated candidate with:

- a MSc degree in environmental sciences, physics, chemistry, engineering, or other relevant subjects
- excellent command of English (oral and written)
- motivated to contribute to the energy transition
- strong team player who also works efficiently independently
- excellent communication skills and an affinity for writing scientific papers and delivering presentations
- for position 1: have experience in experimental lab and/or field work
- for position 2: have experience in computer programming and modelling.

Applicants are welcome to apply for PhD position 1 or 2 or both. Please indicate and explain your preference in the application letter.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of Groningen
9712 CP
Broerstraat 5

EURAXESS offer ID: 792845
Posting organisation offer ID: 313410


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