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PhD position on “plasma-assisted combustion in gas turbine combustors” in Zürich

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100%, Zurich, temporary

The Laboratory of Combustion and Acoustics for Power & Propulsion Systems (CAPS) in the Department of Mechanical and Process Engineering invites applications for a PhD position on the interaction between non-equilibrium-plasma and turbulent autoignition in gas turbine sequential combustors. These large gas turbines are used to balance intermittent electricity production of renewable sources. Their new sequential combustor architecture is foreseen to be key for the challenging combustion of hydrogen, produced from wind and solar excess production. The PhD work is part of an ERC Consolidator project.

Job description

The goal of this research is to establish the scientific knowledge to develop active control systems for sequential combustors based on fast and coherent enhancement of autoignition using localized non-equilibrium plasma actuation. The plasma will be generated with Nanoseconds-Repetitively-Pulsed (NRP) discharges in order to actively control harmful thermoacoustic instabilities in the harsh environment of large gas turbine combustors. The aim will be to understand the complex mechanisms leading to autoignition enhancement. In particular, the challenge consists of disentangling the thermal and kinetic effects that the NRP discharges have on the turbulent autoignition process when the NRP discharges are applied in the reactive mixture. Modelling (e.g. kinetic modelling of plasma and combustion chemistry, Large Eddy Simulations) and experiments (atmospheric and high-pressure turbulent combustors) with optical diagnostics (e.g. Laser Induced Fluorescence, absorption and laser spectroscopy) will be used to achieve the research objectives. The research outcome is expected to be published in major scientific journals.

Your profile

Applicants for this position are expected to have an excellent MSc degree in mechanical engineering or aerospace engineering. Ideally, you have experience and a proven record in one or more of the following: fluid dynamics, combustion, plasma physics. We are looking for highly motivated, committed, and creative individuals, able to work in a team and with excellent communication skills. Working in a top-level research environment with advanced laboratory infrastructure, the candidate will have a unique opportunity to develop their research abilities. The position is available from November 2019 onward.

ETH Zurich
ETH Zurich is one of the world’s leading universities specialising in science and technology. We are renowned for our excellent education, cutting-edge fundamental research and direct transfer of new knowledge into society. Over 30,000 people from more than 120 countries find our university to be a place that promotes independent thinking and an environment that inspires excellence. Located in the heart of Europe, yet forging connections all over the world, we work together to develop solutions for the global challenges of today and tomorrow.

We look forward to receiving your online application including a letter of motivation, a CV, contact details of two references (no reference letter needed), and a transcripts of records. Please note that we exclusively accept complete applications submitted through our online application portal. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

Further information about CAPS can be found on our website .

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