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RWTH Aachen - Chair of Technical Thermodynamics

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. We study the production and utilization of bio hybrid fuels within the cluster of excellence „The Fuel Science Centre“. The open PhD position is located in the Molecular Systems Engineering group led by Prof. Leonhard. 

Research Assistant / Associate (w/m/d)

Work­ing field:

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.


  • Uni­ver­sity degree (Mas­ter or equi­va­lent) 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:

The posi­tion is initi­ally for 15 month and is to be fil­led as soon as pos­si­ble. An exten­sion to a total of at least 3 years is plan­ned. 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.

The salary cor­re­sponds to level EG 13 TV-L.

RWTH Aachen Uni­ver­sity is cer­ti­fied as a "Family-Fri­endly Uni­ver­sity". We wel­come app­li­ca­ti­ons from all sui­ta­bly qua­li­fied can­di­da­tes regard­less of gen­der. 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. RWTH Aachen is an equal oppor­tu­nities employer. We the­re­fore ask you not to include a photo in your app­li­ca­tion. For infor­ma­tion on the collec­tion of per­so­nal data pur­suant to Arti­cles 13 and 14 of the Gene­ral Data Pro­tec­tion Regu­la­tion (GDPR), please visit:

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 15, 2020 to
Prof. Dr. Leonhard
Lehrstuhl für Technische Thermodynamik
RWTH Aachen University
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.