Research Fellow in Digital Twin of Electrochemical Decarbonisation

University of Surrey


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Chemical & Process Engineering
Location:  Guildford
Salary: 

£35,308 to £38,474
per annum
Fixed Term
Post Type:  Full Time
Closing Date: 
23.59 hours BST on Friday 30 June 2023
Reference:  028323

Applications are invited for a Research Fellow in Developing Digital Twin for the Electrochemical Carbon Dioxide Reduction Processes as part of the EPSRC-funded project on the Digital Circular Electrochemical Economy (DECC) (grant number EP/V042432/1) which aims to address the decarbonisation of the chemical sector through use of non-fossil feedstocks and integration of electrified processes into the wider renewable energy sector. We take an integrated techno-economic, sociotechnical and political approach to apply digital technologies to transform the environmental sustainability of the chemical sector, the 3rd -higest industrial (direct) emitter of CO2 . The post will be based within the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (SCCE) at the University of Surrey, and will have opportunity to interact with a vibrant DCEE research team from the other 3 universisties (Imperial College London, Loughborough and Heriot-Watt) and a number of industrial partners. 

In this project, we will develop a digital twin framework for the key electrochemical processes to enable the proposed circular electrochemical economy. This will serve as a real-time predictive/decision making tool to self-optimise unit operations in response to the high uncertainties of energy and feedstock supplies, and exchange information with the higher level digital value chain frameworks encompassing the integration between chemical and electrical systems. Thus, we are looking for a highly motivated researcher with solid research experience in data-driven modelling to develop a digital twin for electrochemical CO2 conversion electrolysers, with particular skills in machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI). The candidate is expected to conduct ML and AI-based simulation and decision-making based optimisation of the electrolysers based on open-souce platforms, e.g., Python and Matlab. The candidate must possess a solid understanding of data-driven methodologies and exhibit proficiency in coding and programming, along with a firm grasp of the basics of electrochemical processes. Previous experience using advanced optimisation techniques, and applying physics-informed ML and AI methodoliges will be an advantage. The Research Fellow will be part of a large DCEE consortium, aiming to accelerate the transition of the chemical industry to net zero carbon through circular approaches and electrification of processes.The Research Fellow is expected to collaborate closely with partners on the DCEE project to integrate the process-scale models into broad system framework for a whole system optimisation. 

This position is initially for a duration of 12 months with a very high possibility for further extension for at least the other 12 months. The preferred start date would be on the 1st of August, 2023.

Candidates must hold (or be close to completion of) a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Computer Science or other relevant major degrees. Prior experience in programming is essential, preferably in Matlab and/or Python. Candidates should apply online, carefully answer all the application form questions, and attach a curriculum vitae (with details on education, research experiences, successes and the relevant publications to date). As part of the application, the applicant should also upload two letters of recommendation as the supporting documents.

Prospective applicants can contact Prof. Jin Xuan ([email protected] ) or Dr. Lei Xing (l.xing @surrey.ac.uk ) if they need any specific further information on the post.

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£34,314) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate.  Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£35,308).

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