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PhD position on the thermoacoustic dynamics of can-annular hydrogen combustors in Zürich

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100%, Zurich, fixed-term

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 thermoacoustic dynamics of can-annular hydrogen combustors.

Project background

The goal of this research is to understand and model thermoacoustic instabilities in future can-annular hydrogen combustors. These combustors will enable clean combustion of green hydrogen in large gas turbines that will be used to balance intermittent electricity production of renewable sources. These thermoacoustic instabilities result from the constructive interaction of the unsteady combustion process and the combustor acoustics. They are strongly undesirable because they severely restrict the operating range of the engine. In this context, the development of special, more compact, can-combustors for hydrogen necessitates significant research effort to predict and prevent thermoacoustic instabilities.

Job description

This work will be performed through theoretical modelling and experiments, and possibly numerical simulations. The modelling tasks will deal with coupled stochastic differential equations, which will be derived to describe the complex nonlinear thermoacoustic interactions in compact can-annular combustors. Lab-scale experiments will be setup to reproduce the main features of the thermoacoustic dynamics of practical can-annular system. Experimental techniques for acoustics, combustion and fluid mechanics will be used to characterize the collective flame dynamics and the coupling between adjacent cans. The research outcomes are expected to be published in major specialized and broad-audience journals.

Your profile

You are expected to have an excellent MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering or Physics. Very solid background in math and physics is required. Ideally, you have experience and a proven record in one or more of the following:

  • nonlinear dynamics
  • acoustics
  • fluid dynamics
  • combustion

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, you will have a unique opportunity to develop your research abilities.

Your workplace
Your workplace

We offer

ETH Zurich is a family-friendly employer with excellent working conditions. You can look forward to an exciting working environment, cultural diversity and attractive offers and benefits.

We value diversity
In line with , ETH Zurich encourages an inclusive culture. We promote equality of opportunity, value diversity and nurture a working and learning environment in which the rights and dignity of all our staff and students are respected. Visit our to find out how we ensure a fair and open environment that allows everyone to grow and flourish.
Curious? So are we.

We look forward to receiving your online application until November 30th 2023, including:

  • letter of motivation
  • CV
  • contact details of two references (no reference letter needed)
  • 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 .

About ETH Zürich
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.

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