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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.

The School welcomes applications for all positions advertised here from all qualified applicants, and applications are particularly encouraged from traditionally under-represented groups in Physics.

Five-year Postdoctoral Researcher Position in Computational Chemistry (Electronic Structure and Density Functional Theory)

Salary: €41,025 - €67,890 (+ pension) per annum, depending on experience.
Commencement before September 2022 (but negotiable, remote working by negotiation).
Application will be reviewed as received.

A five-year Postdoctoral Research position is available in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley at the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin.

Project: A Computational Chemist is sought to work on a European Research Council Consolidator Grant entitled Mod-L-T: Models for Lignocellulose Thermochemical Conversion. Mod-L-T creates the first detailed, elementary, mass- and energy-conserved chemical reaction kinetic model for lignocellulose pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is a promising method to produce valuable products from lignocellulose and the basic fundamental process of more complex thermochemical technologies, such as catalysis. Mod-L-T deciphers the elementary reaction mechanism and kinetics of lignocellulose pyrolysis by elucidating the mysterious molecular-level details of the reaction kinetics of hemicellulose and lignin structures.

The mechanism and kinetics of the pyrolysis reaction of hemicellulose and lignin functionalities will be rigorously and systematically determined by the study of model molecules of incrementally increasing structural complexity by a combination of experimental and theoretical means. Potential Energy Surfaces in the gas and solution phase will be determined by the M06-2X/6-311++G(d, p) or similar methodology with implicit and explicit solution modelling. This new fundamental knowledge is then assimilated for applications by the construction of detailed reaction kinetic models for hemicellulose, lignin and lignocellulose pyrolysis.

Role: working in a friendly and collaborative team, the primary duties of the postdoctoral researcher are:

  • Calculate potential energy surfaces corresponding to gas phase (principally) and solution phase C/H/O and C/H/O + metal systems by the application of electronic structure and density functional theory codes.
  • Contribute to the assimilation of the outputs of these calculations into reaction kinetic models.
  • Lead the writing of research findings in peer-reviewed publications and contributions to collaborative book chapters.
  • Lead the presentation of the team’s findings at international conferences and stakeholder events.
  • Contribute to the engagement of scientific collaborators, industry and other stakeholders.
  • Contribute to the preparation of research proposals.

Research Environment: You will join the research group of Prof. Stephen Dooley who work on various science aspects of the low-carbon energy transition. Established in 2014, and hosted in the School of Physics, the group will grow to approximately twenty researchers in 2022 and is funded by a portfolio of government and industry actors including the European Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Siemens Energy and Ryanair DAC. You will have opportunities to interact with other research groups within Trinity, where Sustainable Energy is an identified research thrust. You will have the opportunity to travel to disseminate your research and to interact with several collaborating institutions in the United States and Europe.

Working in a very supportive research environment, you will be mentored, encouraged and trained in the skills needed to achieve your career objectives.
Essential Requirements: The successful candidate will have:

  • A PhD in a chemistry or physics or a closely related area.
  • A good record of high quality peer-reviewed publications commensurate with experience.
  • Demonstrated competence in the application and/or development of Electronic Structure and Density Functional Theories.
  • Experience of Electronic Structure and Density Functional Theory codes, such as Gaussian.
  • Demonstrated capacity to learn new numerical modelling methods.
  • Willingness to interface with information from experiment to guide modelling efforts.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage time independently and to manage project delivery.
  • Ability to learn new skills and to teach others.
  • Experience in report writing, presentation writing and delivery, or proposal writing.
  • A passion for science, sustainability or pursuit of enterprise.

Application: Prospective candidates should send a two page CV containing names and contact details of two referees and a 1-page letter outlining your interest in the position and relevant experience to Prof. Stephen Dooley at dooley.recruitment@tcd.ie. Please quote the entire job title in the subject line of your email. Applications will be evaluated as received and candidates of all demographics, educational backgrounds and genders that show a good record of academic achievements will be considered.  

Four-year Postdoctoral Researcher Position at the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Center: Life Cycle Analysis of Sustainable Aviation Fuels

Salary: €41,025 - €60,814 (+ pension) per annum, depending on experience.
Commencement before October 2021 (but negotiable).

A four-year Postdoctoral Research position is available in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley at the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, home of the Ryanair Sustainable Aviation Research Center. Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline and are committed to advancing the environmental sustainability of aviation. Ryanair have made a significant commitment to Trinity College Dublin to seed a program of scale in Research of Sustainable Aviation Fuels (aka, SAF). Led by ERC award holder Professor Stephen Dooley, this commitment enables the School of Physics to recruit an expert team of an Assistant Professor, two Experienced Postdoctoral Researchers and several PhD Students devoted to the task of making aviation sustainable.

Background: Prior to COVID-19, the contribution of global aviation to anthropogenic carbon emissions was 3.5% annually. Though this share is smaller than other sectors, it is a meaningful contribution, highly visible, and emitted by fleets of privately owned aircraft.  However, unlike other sectors, aviation is highly constrained in measures that can lower this contribution. Due to technical, logistical and safety reasons, it is not expected that an alternative prime energy source other than liquid hydrocarbon fuels will be a viable technological or economic option for the reduction of aviation carbon emission even in the far, thirty year plus term. Thus, it is essential that the at-scale deployment of so-called “Sustainable” Aviation Fuels (SAFs) be dramatically accelerated from the 2018 base of < 0.04% of total aviation fuel utilisation.

Even if an economy of scale is achieved, it is very likely that SAFs will have a higher economic cost than petroleum or other fossil aviation fuels. It is thus essential that SAFs provide a greenhouse gas saving that is knowable within defined uncertainties, certifiable, and specific to the precise details of the entire production process of specific SAF production supply chains. For this, advanced life-cycle analysis calculation and supply-chain design methodologies are needed.

Project: Numerical models will be built that evaluate the greenhouse gas and economic intensity of the production supply chains of several specific SAFs currently available to market and possibly available in the future. To provide specific and known-confidence inputs to the models, close collaboration with the Ryanair SAF supply chain will be performed. Detailed characterisation of each component of the supply chain from “field-to-wake” for each specific SAF in the Ryanair fuel supply will be performed and fed into the LCA model producing the most rigorous analysis of SAF embodied greenhouse gas to date.

Role: working in a friendly and collaborative team, a postdoctoral researcher is sought to:

  • Perform LCA for Sustainable Aviation Fuel candidates.
  • Generate and implement uncertainty propagation methodologies for SAF LCA.
  • Engage with Ryanair, the Ryanair SAF supply chain (Shell, BP, others), other airlines, academic collaborators and aviation stakeholders to generate the needed LCA inputs.
  • Lead the writing of research outputs including peer-reviewed publications, contributions to collaborative book chapters.
  • Lead the presentation of the team’s findings at international conferences and stakeholder events.
  • Manage outward facing media interactions on SAF.
  • Contribute to the engagement and organisation of a collection of SAF stakeholders from The Energy & Aviation Industries, Academia, Government, and Standardisation Bodies.
  • Contribute to the preparation of research proposals.

Research Environment: You will join the research group of Prof. Stephen Dooley who work on various science aspects of the low-carbon energy transition. Established in 2014, and hosted in the School of Physics, the group will grow to approximately twenty researchers in 2021 and is funded by a portfolio of government and industry actors including the European Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Siemens Gas Turbines and Ryanair. You will have opportunities to interact with other research groups within Trinity, where Sustainable Aviation is an identified thrust of the new E3 Research Institute (https://www.tcd.ie/e3/), and you will have the opportunity to travel to the laboratories of several collaborating institutions in the United States and Europe.

Working in a very supportive research environment, you will be mentored, encouraged and trained in the skills needed to achieve your career objectives. Multiple mentors will be available to help you navigate a career path and coach you in this.

Essential Requirements: The successful candidate will have:

  • A PhD in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics area. Candidates without a PhD but with an exceptional record of relevant experience are also welcome.
  • Demonstrated competence in Life Cycle Analysis or the capacity to learn numerical analysis methods.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage time independently and to manage project delivery.
  • Ability to learn new skills and to teach others.

Advantaged Requirements: knowledge or interest in some of the following will be a definite advantage:

  • A good record of high quality peer-reviewed publications.
  • Experience or knowledge of LCA methods and data sources (e.g. GREET, GHGenius, BioGrace, GaBi, other).
  • A track-record in liaising with external stakeholders.
  • Experience in report writing, presentation writing and delivery, or proposal writing.
  • A passion for sustainability or other scientific or enterprise pursuit.

Application: Prospective candidates should send a two page CV containing names and contact details of two referees and a 1-page letter outlining your interest in the position to Prof. Stephen Dooley at  dooley.recruitment@tcd.ie. Please quote the entire job title in the subject line of your email. Applications will be evaluated as received and candidates of all demographics, educational backgrounds and genders that show a good record of academic achievements will be considered.

Five-year Postdoctoral Researcher in Experimental Reaction Kinetics

Salary: €41,025 - €67,890 (+ pension) per annum, depending on experience.
Commencement before September 2022 (but negotiable).
Application will be reviewed as received.

A five-year Postdoctoral Research position is available in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley at the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin.

Project: An Experimentalist is sought to work on a European Research Council Consolidator Grant entitled Mod-L-T: Models for Lignocellulose Thermochemical Conversion. Mod-L-T creates the first detailed, elementary, mass- and energy-conserved chemical reaction kinetic model for lignocellulose pyrolysis. Pyrolysis is a promising method to produce valuable products from lignocellulose and the basic fundamental process of more complex thermochemical technologies, such as catalysis. Mod-L-T deciphers the elementary reaction mechanism and kinetics of lignocellulose pyrolysis by elucidating the mysterious molecular-level details of the reaction kinetics of hemicellulose and lignin structures.

A post-doctoral researcher is sought to acquire first of a kind isothermal kinetically limited observations of the rate and mechanism of the lignocellulose, hemicellulose and lignin pyrolysis solid/solution/gas phase reaction kinetics.  Lignocelluloses are solids. This complicates the acquisition of isothermal kinetically limited chemical reaction data, as complications of heat and mass transfer both occur. An advance in the state-of-art in reactor design is needed to acquire breakthrough, entirely chemical kinetic, data at known reaction temperatures. The experimentalist will lead the design, fabrication and operation of a Thin Film Reactor for kinetic studies. A prototype reactor design has been conceived to; heat a <100 m film of lignocellulose to 600-1000 K at > 7250 K/s; measures the film temperature in-situ in real-time by optical pyrometry; determine the rate of reaction by mass measurement; and identify & quantify the fraction of evolved gases by GCxGC-MS. This arrangement will allow for first of its kind ms time-resolved, isothermal kinetically limited characterisation of the mechanism and kinetics of lignocellulose.

Role: working in a friendly and collaborative team, the primary duties of the postdoctoral researcher are:

  • Lead the design, fabrication and operation of the Thin Film Reactor.
  • Work with the Principle Investigator to configure strategy for an experimental measurement campaign that will produce a library of isothermal kinetically limited data on the rate and mechanism of lignocellulose pyrolysis as a systematic function of chemical structure.
  • Lead the writing of research findings in peer-reviewed publications.
  • Lead the presentation of the team’s findings at international conferences and stakeholder events.
  • Contribute to the engagement of scientific collaborators, industry and other stakeholders.
  • Contribute to the preparation of research proposals.

Research Environment: You will join the research group of Prof. Stephen Dooley who work on various science aspects of the low-carbon energy transition. Established in 2014, and hosted in the School of Physics, the group will grow to approximately twenty researchers in 2022 and is funded by a portfolio of government and industry actors including the European Research Council, Science Foundation Ireland, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland, Siemens Energy and Ryanair DAC. You will have opportunities to interact with other research groups within Trinity, where Sustainable Energy is an identified research thrust. You will have the opportunity to travel to disseminate your research and to interact with several collaborating institutions in the United States and Europe.

Working in a very supportive research environment, you will be mentored, encouraged and trained in the skills needed to achieve your career objectives.

Essential Requirements: The successful candidate will have:

  • A PhD in a chemical or mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry or a closely related area.
  • Experience of conducting research by physical measurement (“by experiment”).
  • A good record of high quality peer-reviewed publications commensurate with experience.
  • Interest in building novel experimental facilities (equipment).
  • Willingness to prototype and adapt experimental methodologies.
  • Willingness to interface with information from theory to guide modelling efforts.
  • Excellent organisational and communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage time independently and to manage project delivery.
  • Ability to learn new skills and to teach others.
  • Experience in report writing, presentation writing and delivery, or proposal writing.

Application: Prospective candidates should send a two page CV containing names and contact details of two referees and a 1-page letter outlining your interest in the position and relevant experience to Prof. Stephen Dooley at dooley.recruitment@tcd.ie. Please quote the entire job title in the subject line of your email. Applications will be evaluated as received and candidates of all demographics, educational backgrounds and genders that show a good record of academic achievements will be considered.  

Research Fellow in Electrochemical Reduction of Carbon Dioxide

Position is available in the research team of Prof. Stephen Dooley at the School of Physics, Trinity College Dublin, in collaboration with Prof. Kim McKelvey at the School of Chemistry, Trinity College Dublin. The project investigates the physical and chemical processes controlling the selective electrochemical catalysis of carbon dioxide to methanol by the creation of an advanced multiphysics simulation.

Background: Electricity-to-Fuels, in which electrical energy generated from renewable sources is used as energy source for the synthesis of fuels from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water, is a technology that could interrupt the anthropogenic carbon cycle and significantly reduce net greenhouse gas emissions as required by the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement. Electricity-to-Fuels technologies (also known as Power-to-X or Electro-fuels) are fast-evolving but face several fundamental science challenges in their operation and market viability. Particularly, the production costs of an Electricity-to-Fuels approaches are highly dependent on the capital costs of the electrolyser and the electricity price. The design of the electrolyser is thus critical.

Project: This project will provide an experimental and computational platform with which to test, model and optimise the performance of CO2 electrolysis cells. A sophisticated multi-physics simulation of a CO2 electrolysis cell will be developed, incorporating electrochemical reaction kinetics, fluid mechanics, and transport of chemical species.

Role: A postdoctoral researcher is sought to join the research team comprising two Principal Investigators and two dedicated post-graduate students. Essential Requirements: The successful application will have:

  • A PhD in Chemistry, Physics, Chemical Engineering or related field.
  • Knowledge of electrolysis, electrocatalysis or other catalysis.
  • Experience in the design and operation of electrolysis cells.
  • Skills and experience of impedance spectroscopy and other electrochemical current-voltage characterisation techniques.
  • Excellent communication skills.
How to Apply

For more details and how to apply see Full Job Specification