Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology

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We are recruiting a PhD student in Energy Technology with specialization in Thermal Process Chemistry. The aim is to support the development of processes for sustainable production of cement and quicklime. Application deadline is November 4th 2020. The position will open on January 1st 2021 (exact start date can be negotiated).

Project Description
The overall goal with the research, to which the current position relates, is to find new process engineering solutions that enable carbon capture from the cement and quicklime industries. The plan for this doctoral project includes developing new knowledge related to reactivity of cement clinker with secondary cementitious materials at different temperatures and CO2 concentrations; knowledge that is necessary as technology development is likely to include new heat sources and higher levels of carbon dioxide in the process gases.

The research includes investigation and evaluation of how calcination reactions of carbonate-based raw materials and clinker mineral formation happen during electrical heating. Another important part is detailed studies of phase chemistry during heating, aiming at optimizing the new processes. The research includes laboratory experiments with conventional analytical methods such as e.g. SEM-EDS, XRD, XRF, thermal analysis (TGA-DTA-DSC) and titration.

The project is part of the activities within the Centre for Sustainable Production of Cement and Quicklime at Umeå University. The project is carried out in close collaboration with the industrial parties Cementa AB, SMA Mineral AB, Abetong AB, Betongindustri AB, and the Swedish Mineral Processing Research Association (MinFo), who will be represented in a reference group.

Competence requirements
The applicant should have a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering, energy technology with specialization on thermochemical energy conversion, or equivalent qualifications. Prerequisites to be admitted to the postgraduate education include 240 ECTS credits of higher education studies, of which 60 ECTS credits should be on an advanced (master) level.

In addition to these general requirements, the applicant is required to have completed at least 120 ECTS credits in the fields of chemistry, chemical engineering, or other subjects directly relevant to the research. Applicants who in some other system, either within Sweden or abroad, have acquired largely equivalent skills are also eligible. The requirements must be fulfilled at the time of admission to postgraduate education and need not be met at the time of application.

The applicant should be highly motivated, goal-oriented, and have the ability to work with mainly experimental tasks both independently, as well as in collaboration with a research team. The applicant must have a strong interest in development of new directly useful knowledge. The project includes handling of chemicals and experiments at high temperatures, which means that carefulness and high safety awareness are important. The applicant must be fluent in English (Proficient user), both in speaking and in writing.

Other desirable qualifications
It is considered beneficial if the applicant has a specialization in high temperature inorganic chemistry relevant for production of cement klinker and/or quicklime, either by the applicant’s degree, by complementary education or by industrial experience.  

Knowledge of inorganic chemistry at high temperatures concerning mainly the Ca-Si-Al-Fe-O system and its high temperature phases is highly meritorious, as is experience from experimental studies within the above-mentioned system.

Competences in the application of advanced analysis methods for the Ca-Si-Al-Fe-O system, especially XRD and Rietveld, as well as optical microscopy are strong merits. Knowledge in the use of other research-relevant methods such as TGA, DTA, DSC, XRF and SEM-EDS is also meriting.

Good communication skills in Swedish are also qualifying.

Terms of employment
The employment is expected to result in a doctoral degree and the main assignment for the doctoral student is thus to be active in research, study doctoral courses, and possibly participate in teaching of courses at undergraduate level. The employment is limited to four years at full time or up to five years if teaching or other departmental work is performed. The salary is fixed according to the established salary level for doctoral students at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå University.

Your application should include the following:

  1. A cover letter with a brief description of your qualifications, research interests and motivation for applying, and your contact details (max. 2 pages)
  2. Curriculum vitae.
  3. Copies of relevant degree diploma(s) and certificates.
  4. A list of university courses with grades. Note that for international applicants the grading system should be explained in brief.
  5. A copy of master thesis and publications (if any).
  6. Contact information of two reference persons.

The application, including attached documents, must be written in English or Swedish. The application is made through our electronic recruitment system. The closing date is November 4th 2020.

For more information contact Markus Broström, tel.: +46 90 786 59 71, e-post:, or Matias Eriksson, tel.: +46  70 271 32 74, e-post:, or Bodil Wilhelmsson, Cementa AB, tel.: +46 8 625 68 34,

We look forward to receiving your application!

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2021-01-01 eller enligt överenskommelse
Salary Månadslön
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Umeå
County Västerbottens län
Country Sweden
Reference number AN 2.2.1-1326-20
  • Markus Broström, 0907865971
  • Matias Eriksson, 0702713274
Union representative
  • SACO, 090-786 53 65
  • SEKO, 090-786 52 96
  • ST, 090-786 54 31
Published 14.Oct.2020
Last application date 04.Nov.2020 11:59 PM CET

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