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Conducting research for a changing society: This is what drives us at Forschungszentrum Jülich. As a member of the Helmholtz Association, we aim to tackle the grand societal challenges of our time and conduct research into the possi- bilities of a digitized society, a climate-friendly energy system, and a resource-efficient economy. Work together with around 7,400 employees in one of Europe’s biggest research centers and help us to shape change!

This thesis will be partly conducted in two different institutes in Jülich. The Institute for Energy and Climate Research – Electrochemical Process Engineering (IEK-14) at Forschungszentrum Jülich with more than 20 years of experience in electrochemical energy conversion is at the forefront of innovative solutions for clean and sustainable energy conversion devices. PEM water electrolysis is one promising technology for supplying the growing demand for green hydrogen. At the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Theory and Computation of Energy Materials (IEK-13), we contribute to fundamental understanding of electrochemical phenomena, development and characterization of tailored material solutions, and testing and optimization of new energy technologies. We are advancing the discovery and integration of energy materials by using AI to streamline the development workflow. This involves deep learning for materials characterization, inverse molecular design for targeted syntheses, and the development of ontologies and graph databases to enhance data utilization.

We are offering a

PhD Position – New Insights from Existing PEM Water Electrolysis Data: Optimizing Data Analysis Using Machine Learning

Your Job:
Currently, insights into electrochemical systems are generally gained by defining a research question, designing an experiment which is suitable to answering this question, executing the experiment, and analyzing the results in order to answer the research question. It is likely, however, that the results can also be used to answer other questions and therefore existing results are an unused asset that can help accelerating research on electrochemical systems. The focus on the thesis work is on recovering these data and to define what data are needed and how they have to be structured and stored. These data will then be used to find out what additional insights can be generated by using suitable analysis algorithms. This work is part of the EU-funded project “Decode – Decentralized Cloud Labs for Energy Materials” in cooperation with partners from academia and industry from several European countries. Your tasks in detail:

  • Conducting cutting-edge research to develop and validate advanced AI methodologies for the characterization, modeling, and simulation of energy materials
  • Contributing to the FAIR-ification of data, establishing systematic data collection and metadata extraction protocols to enhance machine learning-based software applications for materials science
  • Developing code and utilizing machine learning to support the automation of characterization and fabrication processes
  • Ensuring the integration and effectiveness of AI and machine learning algorithms in high-throughput and automated systems, addressing challenges related to data quality and operando characterization
  • Collecting data from already existing experiments on PEM water electrolysis and conducting some additional experiments
  • Defining useful data and store data and meta-data in a suitable RDM repository
  • Defining additional questions that may be answered based on existing data
  • Analyzing data using machine learning algorithms
  •  Communicating results and needs to partners within the Forschungszentrum and within the EU project

Your Profile:

  • Master’s degree with excellent marks in Engineering or Chemistry, Physics, or Informatics
  • Experience with experimental work and characterization techniques
  • Demonstrated experience in programming, particularly in Python, with a robust understanding of data extraction and machine learning models
  • An analytical thinker with proven problem-solving abilities and a commitment to pushing the boundaries of interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Experience in research data analysis
  • Willingness to learn and ability to think outside the box
  • Excellent cooperation, communication, and teamwork skills
  • Collaborative working in multicultural and interdisciplinary teams
  • Independent, self-motivated, and responsible way of working
  • Fluency in English is mandatory
  • Fluency in German is advantageous

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:

  • An interesting, forward-looking, and socially relevant dissertation topic
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration on a project in an international, committed, and collegial team environment
  • Well-equipped laboratories in one of the largest research centers in Europe
  • State-of-the-art research
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • 30 days of annual leave as well as an arrangement for bridging days (e.g. between Christmas and New Year’s Day)
  • Fun and social working atmosphere
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g. through an extensive range of training courses; a structured program of continuing education and networking opportunities specifically for doctoral researchers via JuDocS, the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors: https://www.fz- juelich.de/en/judocs
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://go.fzj.de/benefits.

The position is for a fixed term of three years. Pay will be 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”). Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich including our other locations is available at https://www.fz-juelich.de/gp/Careers_Docs.

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic, and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

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.

You can find helpful information on the application and selection process here. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our FAQs.

www.fz-juelich.de

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