One PhD Stipend in Energy Systems Transition (MCSA-ITN ENSYSTRA ): Integrated Biorefining for Fuels (ESR6 ) (14-17102) Aalborg University, Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Energy Technology



At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Energy Technology 1 PhD stipend is available within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie training network ENSYSTRA and the general study programme "Energy Technology”. The stipend is open for appointment from March 1, 2018. The Department of Energy Technology is an expanding department covering most fields of Energy Technology ranging from electrical energy (Power Systems, Power Electronics, Electrical Machines to thermal energy including Energy Systems and Thermofluids but also mechatronic systems. The department has about 250 employees – including more than 100 PhD students. State of the art laboratory-facilities are available, and there is significant industry collaboration across all research areas. Aalborg University has recently been ranked the number 1 engineering university in Europe, number 8 in the world, by the US World News and Report Best Global Universities list. The position is offered in relation to the research programme "Biomass" and the PhD student will be organized within the Section for Thermofluids.




"The ENSYSTRA consortium is now recruiting 15 outstanding PhD students (‘Early stage researchers (ESRs)’) for the interdisciplinary ENSYSTRA training network where one of the positions is at Aalborg University, Department of Energy Technology.


The ENSYSTRA training network

ENSYSTRA - the ENergy SYStems in TRAnsition Innovative Training Network is the unique interdisciplinary Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network, funded by the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission, targeting solutions for integrated energy systems transition. The ENSYSTRA consortium consists of high profile universities, research institutions and companies located in the Netherlands, UK, Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway. The European Commission formally granted the EU Horizon 2020 ENSYSTRA project with an exceptional score of over 96%.


ENSYSTRA will train 15 ESRs in all aspects of energy systems transition. PhD subjects range from energy systems modelling, scenario analysis, technology development, socio-technical cultures, participatory approaches, investment modelling, market design, and cross-border regulatory frameworks. All ESRs are part of the international ENSYSTRA training network and will benefit from targeted training in interdisciplinary energy systems transition through workshops, summer schools and subject specific courses.


Every ESR will work with one or more of the 23 ENSYSTRA partners from the energy sector. ESRs will be trained in the scientific, technical and business skills, and will become highly sought-after experts for front-runner businesses and other organisations that will shape the energy transition. ESRs will carry out research at a home university and intensively interact with other ESRs in ENSYSTRA through joint research and participation in workshops and summer schools.


Research projects

ESR 1: Modelling of Whole North Sea Energy System (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
ESR 2: Modelling Dispatchable Loads in Interlinked Power, Heat and Transport Models (Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany)
SR 3: Modelling of Policies and Investments for a Large-scale Introduction of Variable Renewable Energy Power Production (Chalmers University, Sweden)
ESR 4: Spatial Modelling and Potentials of Energy Systems and Transport for the North Sea (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
ESR 5: Simulation of Sustainable Pathways of the EU-28 Energy System (Europa-Universität Flensburg, Germany)
ESR 6: Integrated bio-refinery and – CCU Technologies for Aquatic and Terrestrial Biomass (Aalborg University, Denmark)
ESR 7: Offshore Advanced Renewable Energy Technologies – Learning Curves and Roadmaps (University of Groningen, Netherlands)
ESR 8: Energy Efficient Production and Waste Heat Utilisation (University of Stavanger, Norway)
ESR 9: Development of a Real-time Optimization Solution for Dispatchable Energy Supply Units (University of Stavanger, Norway)
ESR 10: Energy Cultures and Agent Behaviour: Mapping the Drivers and Barriers to Acceptance (Aalborg University, Denmark)
ESR 11: Ownership Models, Participation, and Integrated Energy Systems. Between Large scale and Local Integration Fluctuating Renewable Energy Sources (Aalborg University, Denmark)
ESR 12: An Agent Based Approach to Model Investments in the Power Sector (Chalmers University, Sweden)
ESR 13: Market Design to Support Energy Transitions (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)
ESR 14: Policy Framework Interactions for Cross-border Cooperation in Energy System Transitions (University of Stavanger, Norway)
ESR 15: Transition Policies for Oil and Gas Incumbants (University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom)


More detailed information about ENSYSTRA can be found here


Applicants need to fully respect the following criteria:
Early-stage researchers (ESR) are those who are, at the time of recruitment by the host, in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers.


Marie Curie Innovative Training Networks are a mobility scheme. Researchers are required to undertake trans-national mobility (i.e. move from one country to another) when taking up the appointment. At the time of selection by the host organisation, researchers must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in the country of their host organisation for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.
English language: ESRs must demonstrate excellent English language proficiency both orally and in writing to derive the full benefit from the network training.


Applicants must document relevant MSc or equivalent in chemical engineering/chemistry or mechanical engineering.

Documented competences are required in at least two of the following areas: bioenergy, biofuels, biorefining, thermochemical processing, experimental design and laboratory work and/or process modelling and optimization.

Benefits and salary

The successful candidates will receive an attractive salary in accordance with the MSCA regulations for early stage researchers. The exact salary will be confirmed upon appointment and is dependent on the country of recruitment. Positions are for 36 months, or the required duration at the recruiting university. In addition to individual scientific projects, all fellows will benefit from research collaboration within the ENSYSTRA network, extensive joint training opportunities, and collaboration with industry and other organizations from the energy sector. In Denmark the salary as a PhD student is according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD students, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.


At Aalborg University, Department of Energy Technology, we offer the following ESR position:


Integrated bio-refinery and – CCU Technologies for Aquatic and Terrestrial Biomass


The overall objective of this ESR project are to develop a thermochemical bioenergy concept incorporating hydrothermal liquefaction with carbon capture and use from the process, to result in optimized biofuel production and carbon efficiency. Furthermore, the concept will be based on both lignocellulosic and macroalgae input, and thus an objective is to establish a viable concept for co-liquefaction in terms of process design, efficiency and product quality. Aside from experimental determination of hydrothermal liquefaction performance, process modelling will be employed to establish overall mass and energy flows, to perform process optimization, and to explore the interaction of the biorefinery with electricity and gas (hydrogen) grids.


As part of the project, secondments are planned to Ocean Rainforest, Faroe Islands, and Goodfuels (NL), in order to supplement the technical work with knowledge of feedstock availability and harvest (macroalgae) and market knowledge.

Main supervisor is Professor Lasse Rosendahl, Aalborg University.

You may obtain further information from Professor Lasse Rosendahl, Department of Energy Technology, phone: +45 9940 9263, e-mail:, concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.

The application is to be submitted before 7 January 2018 midnight, using the "Apply online" button below.


The applicant must provide and upload a proper project description, which describes the applicants initial thoughts and ideas related to the specific project applied for. This includes a brief state-of-the-art (including short list of references), a time schedule and how the applicant intends to shed light on the project objectives. The project description should have a length of 4-5 pages.


By submitting an application the candidate confirms agreement to share his/her application with the Selection Committee. Recruited PhD candidates are set to start their research in March/April 2018 at one of the universities in the consortium.


We encourage candidates to apply for all the ESR positions they are interested in. When you are interested in multiple positions please be aware that you have to apply for each position separately and directly at the university in charge. Multiple applications will not influence the selection chance in any particular project. Please mention on every application all ESR projects to which an application is submitted.


PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.


The qualifications of the applicant will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee, the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science will make a decision for allocating the stipend.


For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Helene Ulrich Pedersen, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email:, phone: +45 9940 9803.


For more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science:


The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.




Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.






Sun Jan 07 00:00:00 CET 2018

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