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The Chair of Thermodynamics at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering is looking for a 

postdoc (m,f,x) for 2 years, 39,83 hours per week, TVL E13

The Chair of Thermodynamics at the Ruhr-University Bochum (https://www.thermo.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/index.html.en) is one of the internationally leading research groups when it comes to the precise description of the thermodynamic properties of gases and liquids relevant to energy technology. Extensive experimental and theoretical work is on a similarly high scientific level. One focus of the work is on thermodynamic properties of natural gases, hydrogen and mixtures of the two. The ERC Advanced Grant project ThermoPropHy started in October 2022 – a comprehensive and well-funded project that aims to accurately describe the properties of hydrogen and of related mixtures in areas that are particularly important for the efficient liquefaction of hydrogen.

The Chair of Thermodynamics has many years of experience in the development of highly accurate equations of state for pure substances and mixtures, whereby the focus has always been on energy-related applications. For example, the equations of state used internationally as thermodynamic property references for water, carbon dioxide and nitrogen and for natural gas mixtures, LNG and CO2-rich mixtures were developed at the Chair of Thermodynamics. In recent years, the development of these models has increasingly utilised data from molecular simulations in addition to highly accurate experimental data. The ThermoPropHy project is now focussing on the accurate description of thermodynamic properties of hydrogen.
It is expected that the gas phase of hydrogen down to low temperatures can be described with high accuracy on the basis of quantum mechanical calculations. And the process of ortho/para conversion, which is highly relevant for liquefaction processes, can also be described with high accuracy using quantum mechanics. The task related to the offered position is to evaluate and further develop the results available in the literature for both areas. In the gas phase, this work will provide the basis for the development of a new reference model for the description of thermodynamic properties of mixtures of ortho- and para-hydrogen. The goal is to restrict experimental work (e.g. high-precision density measurements, which seem hardly conceivable for low gas densities at the temperatures typical of hydrogen) to the liquid phase. Therefore, a sound assessment of the uncertainty of the results gained from quantum mechanics is mandatory.
In addition to sound knowledge in the field of thermodynamics, experience with the quantum mechanical description of thermodynamic properties is appreciated. Ideally, this experience has been gained during the doctorate. Reports and communication in the ERC Advanced Grant project ThermoPropHy are in English. For PostDocs, the funding granted for ThermoPropHy allows for the participation in three international and two national conferences, for two invitations to international guest researchers and for open access publications. This way, you can establish national and international contacts relevant for your further carrier and gain international experience. The position is limited to the usual two years for PostDocs.

extent: full-time
duration: temporary
beginning: as soon as possible
application deadline:
30.04.2024

Your tasks:

  • Validation of published quantum mechanical models for thermodynamic properties of hydrogen
  • Highly accurate calculation of thermodynamic properties in the gas phase of hydrogen, especially at low temperatures
  • Highly accurate calculation of the energetics of the ortho/para conversion
  • Highly accurate description of the ortho/para equilibrium
  • Assessment of the accuracy of the results gained from quantum mechanical calculations

Your profile:

  • Ph.D. in thermodynamics or related subjects
  • preferably, experience in quantum mechanical approaches
  • fluent in English, German optional

Our offerings:

  • Challenging and varied tasks with a high degree of personal responsibility
  • Team-orientated cooperation in a committed, international and appreciative team
  • a friendly and collegial environment
  • Family-friendly working
  • a job in the centre of the lively Ruhr metropolitan region with its diverse cultural offerings

Additional information:

At the request of the applicant (m,f,x), the staff council may be involved in selection interviews. https://www.wpr.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/

The load of teaching will be calculated according to § 3 of Lehrverpflichtungsverordnung (state of North Rhine-Westphalia).

German language courses are offered by the University Language Center (ZfA) in the field of German as a Foreign Language (DaF).
https://www.daf.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/sbgk/index.html.en

You can find information about TVL at: https://oeffentlicher-dienst.info/

The Ruhr-Universität Bochum is one of Germany’s leading research universities, addressing the whole range of academic disciplines. A highly dynamic setting enables researchers and students to work across the traditional boundaries of academic subjects and faculties. To create knowledge networks within and beyond the university is RUB’s declared aim.


The Ruhr-Universität Bochum stands for diversity and equal opportunities. For this reason, we favour a working environment composed of heterogeneous teams, and seek to promote the careers of individuals who are underrepresented in our respective professional areas. The Ruhr-Universität Bochum expressly requests job applications from women. In areas in which they are underrepresented they will be given preference in the case of equivalent qualifications with male candidates. Applications from individuals with disabilities are most welcome.

Contact details for your application:

Roland Span, Phone: +49234 32 23033

Travel expenses for interviews cannot be refunded.

For information on the collection of personal data in the application process see: https://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/en/information-collection-personal-data-application-process.

We are looking forward to receiving your application with the specification ANR: 3145 until 30.04.2024, send by e-mail to the following address: roland.span@thermo.rub.de

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