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RWTH Aachen - Chair of Technical Thermodynamics at RWTH Aachen University covers all relevant scale

The Chair of Technical Thermodynamics at RWTH Aachen University covers all relevant scales for the description of a process starting from the molecules up to the full process scale. The chair presently hosts 4 professors and more than 40 PhD students. It is tightly engaged in cooperation projects on biofuel production and utilisation as well as on CO2 utilisation with industrial and academic partners. The open PhD position is located in the Molecular Systems Engineering group led by Prof. Leonhard. 

Research Assistant/Associate - Ab initio modelling of the stability of ionic liquids

Work­ing field:

Your respon­si­bi­li­ties:
Often, the sta­bi­lity of ionic liquid (ILs) is men­tio­ned as one of their major advan­ta­ges. Nevertheless, in many poten­tial app­li­ca­ti­ons issues with their sta­bi­lity show up which have been stu­died very little up to now. The pre­sent pro­ject aims at fil­ling this gap by theo­re­ti­cal (RWTH) and expe­ri­men­tal (Uni­ver­sity of Ros­tock) stu­dies. You will rese­arch the reac­tion net­works that describe the decom­po­si­tion of ILs. You will per­form ab ini­tio simu­la­ti­ons, simu­la­ti­ons with reac­tive force fields, and quan­tum che­mi­cal cal­cu­la­ti­ons. You will vali­date your results with expe­ri­men­tal results obtai­ned in Ros­tock. Based on these results, we will jointly deve­lop sim­pli­fied rules for the sta­bi­lity of ILs based on their struc­ture. The ulti­mate goal is the decision whe­ther a given IL has a suf­fi­ci­ent long-term sta­bi­lity for a pro­cess of inte­rest. The methods will be tested for prac­ti­cal app­li­ca­ti­ons like IL and elec­tro­lyte solu­ti­ons in bat­te­ries and fuel cells.


  • MSc degree in Che­mi­stry, Phy­sics, (Che­mi­cal) Engi­nee­ring or Engi­nee­ring Phy­sics.
  • Good writ­ten and ver­bal com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills in Ger­man and Eng­lish.

Desi­ra­ble addi­tio­nal know­ledge and expe­ri­ence:
  • Acquain­tance with com­pu­ta­tio­nal che­mi­stry, ide­ally with reac­tive force field methods and quan­tum mecha­ni­cal methods and soft­ware.
  • Gene­ral pro­gramming skills (UNIX, scrip­ting lan­guages, python, debug­ging, etc.).
  • Team player, with good two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, highly self-moti­va­ted and able to work inde­pendently with excel­lent time manage­ment skills.

What we of­fer:

What we offer:
  • The suc­cess­ful can­di­date will be employed as a regu­lar employee.
  • The posi­tion is to be fil­led as soon as pos­si­ble and initi­ally for 15 month. An exten­sion to a total of at least 3 years is pla­ned.
  • This is a full-time posi­tion. It is also avail­able as part-time employ­ment per request.
  • The suc­cess­ful can­di­date has the oppor­tu­nity to pur­sue a doc­to­ral degree in this posi­tion.
  • The salary cor­re­sponds to level EG 13 TV-L.

RWTH Aachen Uni­ver­sity is cer­ti­fied as a Family-Fri­endly Uni­ver­sity.
We par­ti­cu­larly wel­come and encou­rage app­li­ca­ti­ons from women, dis­ab­led per­sons and eth­nic mino­rity groups, reco­gni­zing they are under­re­p­re­sen­ted across RWTH Aachen Uni­ver­sity.
The princi­ples of fair and open com­pe­ti­tion apply and appoint­ments will be made on merit.

How to ap­ply:

For further details, please contact
Prof. Dr. Leonhard
Tel.: +49 (0) 2418098174
Fax: +49 (0) 241809255

For further information, please visit our website at:

Please send your application by February 28, 2019 to
Prof. Dr. Leonhard
Schinkelstr. 8
52062 Aachen

You can also send your application via email to Please note, however, that communication via unencrypted e-mail poses a threat to confidentiality as it is potentially vulnerable to unauthorized access by third parties.