Information about the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering
The department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering is the largest department at Chalmers with research ranging from the most fundamental level to a level close to application in industry and society. The research activities reach from DNA-research and biomaterials to high temperature corrosion, catalysis and recycling. The Department is also heavily committed to teaching at the undergraduate, graduate, as well as postgraduate level in these areas.

Health, natural resources, sustainable energy and materials are some of our lead words and our vision is “Through curiosity and knowledge towards a sustainable world”.

We have approximately 300 employees, divided into four research dvisions and one administrative division. We are situated at campus Johanneberg in the middle of Gothenburg.

Information about the research environment
This position is advertised as part of a collaboration between the reserach group of Assoc. Prof. Per-Anders Carlsson at the division of Applied Chemistry/Chalmers and Ph.D. Marcus Vestergren at the division Bioscience and Materials (BM) at RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB. The research at Applied Chemistry spans from surface and polymer chemistry to polymer electronics, and pharmaceutical and biopolymer technologies. The Carlsson reserach group mainly focuses on surface chemistry phenomena broadly within materials and surface science. The common activities include aspects on materials synthesis and evaluation combined with advanced operando characterisation for understanding and control of atomic scale processes in functional materials such as catalysts. The Carlsson group is involved in the national research centre Competence Centre for Catalysis located at Chalmers, which collects experimental and theoretical expertise in catalysis. At BM/RISE the work is directed towards organic and inorganic analytical chemistry (main component, components, and trace elements), surface characterisation, environmental analysis, as well as characterisation and testing within a broad spectrum of materials technologies. The project will be regularly presented to a reference group with several forest industry representatives who will value the progress of the project and give input.

Information about the research project
The doctoral studies (PhD project) is part of the larger research project "Green Aromatics for a Biobased Economy", which is a new collaboration project between Chalmers and RISE funded by Formas. In this project you as a doctoral student will tailor new zeolite-based catalytic materials over which furans from pre-processed low-cost hemicellulose can be converted to green aromatics, i.e. benzene, toluene and xylenes (BTX). The doctoral position is focused on fundamental understanding of catalytic steps and their correlation to atomic processes in zeolitic materials. You will evaluate your materials in terms of catalytic activity and selectivity using chemical flow reactors and investigate chemical and structural properties of the catalyst materials under reaction conditions - so-called operando characterisation. Thereby, the operational conditions for high catalytic performance and governing catalytic mechanisms for the conversion of furan/furfural to BTX compounds can be understood. Main deactivation mechanisms will be considered. In the larger project, RISE will develop analysis methods/measurement techniques for determination of chemical composition of complex feed/product steams and carry out techno-economic analysis to judge the competitiveness of your new catalytic materials against current processes.

The project aligns with the contemprary movement towards greener industrial chemical processes. A number of green principles will be followed and distinctive for this project is the principles of catalysis and conserved chemical complexity. In essence the latter says that molecules should not be broken down to unnecessary small building blocks for making of other larger target molecules. This project is unique in that it naturally builds on this principle when five-membered rings are converted to six-memberd ring aromatics by selective catalysis. Further, a cross-disciplinary approach will be adopted where basic and applied research is combined. The project is well anchored in strong research environments in surface chemistry and catalysis at Chalmers and analysis methods and bioeconomy at RISE.

Major responsibilities
Your major responsibility is to pursue your own doctoral studies. Supervised by Carlsson and Vestergren, you are expected to become an independent researcher by carrying out research, take own courses and contribute to teaching at the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. You will also be in contact with researchers at RISE and assist/educate yourself in applied analytical measurements at RISE. In specific, the doctoral position involves: synthesis of new catalysts, experimental studies for activity and selectivity analysis, operando catalyst characterisation using infrared spectroscopy and likely X-ray based techniques at international synchrotron facilities (MAX IV, ESRF and PETRA III), interaction with the other partners in the project; literature studies and communication in written as well as orally.

The doctoral studies includes own cources (60 hec) whereof 15 hec in generic skills.

The teaching (about 5%) is mainly carried out as assistant in laboratory work at undergraduate level and supervision of master thesis students.

Position summary
Full-time temporary employment. The duration of the PhD position is four years and three months.

The candidate should have Master of Science degree (or similar) in Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science before employment preferably at latest in May 2018.

Meritious skills: Quality-conscious with an innovative way of thinking. A problem-solving attitude and great ability to work in teams are qualifying for the position. The undergraduates are normally taught in Swedish, although the graduate level teaching is in English. Also the project involves international colaborations and thus fluent english is required. Applicants who do not have Swedish as native language should be able to teach in Swedish after two years of employment.
 Chalmers offers Swedish courses.

Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20170604 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
• 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
• Previous research fields and main research results.
• Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form. The files may be compressed (zipped).

Application deadline: 29 January, 2018

For questions, please contact:

Assocociate Professor Per-Anders Carlsson/Dept. Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Chalmers
e-mail:, Phone: +46-31-772 2924

Ph. D Marcus Vestergren/RISE Research Institutes of Sweden AB
e-mail:, Phone: +46 10 516 50 29

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. *** 

Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our eight Areas of Advance; Building Futures, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!