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Vacancies

Positions available in the School of Physics and elsewhere will be advertised here, although this list is not meant to be definitive. For postgraduate opportunities within the School of Physics, please see the Opportunities section under Postgraduate.

Available Positions in the School of Physics

PhD Studentship in Gas Turbine Combustion Physics: investigating cleaner and more efficient combustors

PhD Studentship in Gas Turbine Combustion Physics
Stipend: €18,000 per annum for 4 years in addition to tuition fees

Applications are invited for a four-year PhD studentship in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley at the School of Physics, within the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science of Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. The position is part of an exciting international collaboration with Siemens Gas Turbines business units across Canada, Germany and the United States in part supported by Science Foundation Ireland.

Gas turbines are a major technology for energy generation, accounting for approximately one third of energy utilised across the world and in Ireland. Their dominant role is due to their ability to operate on a range of diverse fuel types and to their high efficiency. As our energy sources have diversified to include a larger contribution from intermittent renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, the gas turbine has become of yet more importance as its fast turn-up and turn-down times allows for the dynamic balancing of the grid load needed to integrate intermittent renewables.

With the carbon dioxide production targets set by the Paris Climate Accord and by the European Union, gas turbine technology must be advanced further toward higher efficiency, further fuel flexibility and reduced emission of nitrogen oxides. For this reason, Siemens Gas Turbines has recruited a team of physics and chemistry orientated engineers from Trinity College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Galway to develop a set of computational modelling tools that will allow for cleaner and more efficient gas turbine combustors to be designed. The research at Trinity College Dublin will produce a highly accurate numerical model that accurately describes all of the important physics and chemistry occurring in the gas turbine combustion of a number of natural gas and crude oil derived fuels selected by Siemens. The major aspects of the research project are numerical in nature. However, some experimentation will be required to characterise the various fuel identities under study.

The student will work toward obtaining their PhD in a multi-disciplinary research team of four post-doctors and several students working on fundamental and applied energy research toward the mitigation of CO2 driven climate change. The successful candidate will have an appropriate background in physical sciences, applied mathematics or engineering, with a keen motivation in applying their skills to real-world immediate climate change problems. Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Applied Mathematics, Mechanical/Chemical Engineering or a related discipline. Interest or experience in the conducting of numerical modelling (e.g. difference reduction, Monte Carlo and/or mathematical optimisation algorithms) with prevalent software packages or codes (e.g. matlab, fortran, python, cantera, chemkin) is an advantage. Knowledge of chemistry would also be helpful but is not essential. A Master’s degree in a related area is beneficial. Enthusiasm to challenge oneself, motivation to learn (by tuition and independently) and the possession of excellent written and oral communications skills are essential.

Prospective candidates should send a detailed CV, a covering letter outlining their educational background, research interests and motivations, and the names and contact details of two referees to Prof. Stephen Dooley (stephen.dooley@tcd.ie). Following receipt of your application, Prof. Dooley will be available to discuss the research program in further detail. The anticipated start date of the project is October 2017 but this can be flexible to the timetable of the successful candidate.

Funding Notes

The project is a part of a ~ €1.5 million research collaboration between Siemens Gas Turbines, Trinity College Dublin and the National University of Ireland, Galway on the improvement of gas turbine combustion technologies in response to climate change. The project is Funded by Siemens Gas Turbines and Science Foundation Ireland.

Further Information

Two-year Postdoctoral Research Position in Thermochemical Reaction Kinetics of Lignocellulosic Fuel Conversion

The position is available in the School of Physics, within the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley. The project intends to provide science to alleviate global dependence on carbon intensive solid fossil fuels, such as coal, by exploiting lignocellulosic plant matter, particularly waste lignocellulose, as a viable energy source for stationary power generation.

The interaction of complicated physics and chemistry dictates the successful oxidation of solid lignocellulose when used as fuel for power generation. Plant matter is composed of different configurations of cellulose, lignin and hemicellulose, at different proportions according to the particular plant material, providing a very large degree of variability in composition. As such, historically this fuel type has been treated as an engineering material, rather than as a chemical material of identifiable functionality. The projects seeks to reverse this stance, providing fundamental scientific comprehension of direct engineering utility toward the clean burning of lignocellulose.

Prospective candidates should send a detailed CV, a covering letter outlining their educational background and research track-record, and the names and contact details of two referees to Prof. Stephen Dooley (stephen.dooley@tcd.ie). Please quote the entire job title in the subject line of your email. The 24-month position is available immediately. Applications will be evaluated as received and candidates of all levels of experience possessing appropriate skillsets will be considered.

View Full Details Here

Two-year Postdoctoral Research Position in Liquid Fuel Synthesis and Characterisation

The position is available in the School of Physics, within the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematics and Science at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and is supported by Science Foundation Ireland, in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley. The project focusses on the chemistry and physics controlling energy generation when transportation fuels are reacted in internal combustion engines.

The interaction of complicated chemistry and physics limits the cleanliness and efficiency of both conventional compression ignition ("Diesel") and spark ignition ("Gasoline") reciprocating internal combustion engines.

The project intends to alter the chemical structure of conventional liquid transportation fuels (e.g. n-heptane) in order to tailor the combustion properties of the fuel to those desired for particular engine configurations. A researcher with principal skills and experience in synthetic chemistry or chemical engineering is required. S/he is expected to; lead the execution of the project and its reporting in international peer reviewed journals in the chemistry/chemical engineering area, to publicise their progress at international scientific conferences, and to engage with external collaborators. A formal background in the physical sciences, holding a Ph.D. degree in a chemical discipline such as Organic Chemistry, Catalysis, Chemical Engineering or a related subject matter would be most appropriate.

Prospective candidates should send a detailed CV, a covering letter outlining their educational background and research track-record, and the names and contact details of two referees to Prof. Stephen Dooley (stephen.dooley@tcd.ie). Please quote the entire job title in the subject line of your email. The 24-month position is available immediately. Applications will be evaluated as received and candidates of all levels of experience possessing appropriate skillsets will be considered.

View Full Details Here

Useful Websites

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For current staff and students of TCD, the Careers Advisory Service can provide you with support with writing cover letters, CVs and with interviews.

For a list of all TCD staff vacancies please visit the Human Resources website.