The Paul Scherrer Institute PSI is the largest research institute for natural and engineering sciences within Switzerland. We perform cutting‐edge research in the fields of matter and materials, energy and environment and human health. By performing fundamental and applied research, we work on sustainable solutions for major challenges facing society, science and economy. PSI is committed to the training of future generations. Therefore about one quarter of our staff are post‐docs, postgraduates or apprentices. Altogether PSI employs 2200 people. 

For strengthening our activities in hydrothermal biomass conversion, we are looking for a
PhD Student
Catalytic Hydrothermal Liquefaction to quality biocrude
Your tasks
  • Performing research on Catalytic Hydrothermal Liquefaction for the production of biocrudes within the Horizon Europe project «SUSTEPS» in close collaboration with international academic and industrial partners 
  • Operate high pressure – high temperature test rigs, batch and continuous, to optimize the yield and quality of biocrude 
  • Study the performance of various catalysts, homogeneous and/or heterogeneous, and their impact on biocrude quality, notably on metal content 
  • Collaborate closely with another PhD student in the project/group for the analysis of biocrude and side stream samples 
  • Operate a test rig (Konti‐C) using real waste stream and collaborate with European partners involved up and downstream the process chain. 
  • Publishing in international leading scientific journals
  • Support in supervising master students, doctoral students and trainees within the team
Your profile
You hold a master degree in chemistry or chemical engineering, with strong laboratory experience, ideally also in the use of test rigs. Experience in the valorization of biomass, or with chromatographic analysis would be an asset. Furthermore, you are open‐minded and creative, and you are naturally resourceful and autonomous with good problem‐solving mindset. You are a highly motivated and skilled experimentalist and possess excellent interpersonal and organizational skills and a very good command of English (German would be an advantage).
We offer
Our institution is based on an interdisciplinary, innovative and dynamic collaboration. You will profit from a systematic training on the job, in addition to personal development possibilities and our pronounced vocational training culture. If you wish to optimally combine work and family life or other personal interests, we are able to support you with our modern employment conditions and the on‐site infrastructure. 

The desired start is early 2024. 

For further information please contact Dr David Baudouin, phone +41 56 310 56 94. 

Please submit your application online by 7 March 2024 (including addresses of referees) for the position as a PhD Student (index no. 5101‐02). 

Paul Scherrer Institut, Human Resources Management, Mariusz Prus, Forschungsstrasse 111, 5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland