Project Positions
To apply for the following positions, please send a CV, two references and a motivation letter to Dr. Sara Cavaliere: sara.cavaliere@univ-montp2.fr

  • PhD position financed by an ERC Starting Grant - Nanofibrous Electrocatalyst Supports for PEM Fuel Cells
  • We seek a PhD student for a European project on nanofibrous materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), to start in March 2015. The Institute Charles Gerhardt of Montpellier, which is funded by the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and the French Ministry for Education and Research, is composed of 9 research groups comprising about 230 permanent researchers and an average of more than 180 PhD students and postdoctoral researchers. The team "Aggregates, Interfaces and Materials for Energy" (AIME) associates competence in innovative synthesis routes to hierarchical materials with tailored architecture and in surface reactivity and the chemistry of interfaces, with complementary theoretical and experimental approaches applied to energy storage and conversion and environmental remediation processes.
  • Subject of the thesis
  • The focus of the PhD research will be on synthesis, characterisation and evaluation of nanofibrous electrocatalyst support materials for the oxygen reduction reaction taking place at the cathode of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell. The objective for this study is to synthesise novel supports with higher corrosion resistance than conventional carbon black materials, as well as with adequate electrical conductivity and surface area to support platinum based electrocatalysts. In particular nanofibrous/nanotubular morphologies obtained by electrospinning will be evaluated.
  • Candidate profile:
  • The candidate is expected to be highly-motivated and capable of working independently, with a qualification of a Master's level in Materials Science/Inorganic or Physical Chemistry. Some knowledge of fuel cell electrochemistry would be advantageous. The work will concern novel deposition/fabrication methods, chemical/electrochemical characterisation and in situ validation of the materials in fuel cell tests. This PhD student will participate in project meetings and international conferences. Knowledge of French or English language will be essential.
    To apply for this PhD position, please send a CV, the names of two referees and a cover letter before January 30 to Dr. Sara Cavaliere
    For further details and questions, please contact: Dr. Sara Cavaliere
  • Post-doctoral position (1 year, renewable) - Nanofibre-based ionomer membranes for PEMFC - CLOSED
  • The focus of the post-doc work will be on composite/nanostructured ionomer membranes for PEM fuel cells, and involve polymer synthesis/functionalisation and membrane fabrication by electrospinning and conventional methods, and characterisation.
    The candidate should be highly-motivated and self-directed and have a strong background in polymer science with, preferably, experience in membrane preparation and characterisation. Some knowledge of fuel cell electrochemistry would be also advantageous.
    This post-doctoral fellow will participate in project meetings and international conferences. Knowledge of French or English language will be essential.
  • Application deadline: 6th January 2014
  • PhD position (September 2013 - August 2016) - Nanostructured ionomer membranes for hydrogen PEMFC - CLOSED
  • Context
  • Although significant progress has been made over recent years in the development of PEMFC, several technical and scientific bottlenecks remain that hamper market introduction, in particular the high material and production costs, and the degradation of material components over time. One route to improve performance and durability of these energy converters is to develop new methods of elaboration of the membrane and electrode materials forming the core of the fuel cell. This project proposes to introduce electrospinning for the preparation of novel membrane materials for proton exchange membrane fuel cells. The nanometre-size and one-dimensional morphology of the obtained nanofibrous materials are expected to bring novel properties, in particular with regard to mechanical strength, with consequent benefits on the performance and lifetime of the resulting membrane-electrode assemblies.
  • Objectives
  • The focus of the PhD work will be the preparation of composite/nanostructured ionomer membranes for hydrogen PEMFC. This work will involve polymer functionalization/synthesis and membrane fabrication by electrospinning and conventional methods, and the physico-chemical and electrochemical characterisation.
  • Expected candidate profile
  • Candidates are expected to be highly-motivated and capable of working independently, with a qualification of a Masters level in Polymer Materials Science/Organic Chemistry. Some knowledge of fuel cell electrochemistry would be advantageous. The work will concern novel deposition/fabrication methods, chemical/electrochemical characterisation and in situ validation of the materials in fuel cell tests. This student will participate in project meetings and international conferences and will have the opportunity of co-authoring high impact research publications. The position is open internationally, and good English proficiency is essential.
  • Application deadline: 31st May 2013
  • Post-doctoral position (1 year, renewable) - Nanofibrous Electrocatalyst Supports for PEM Fuel Cells - CLOSED
  • The focus of the post-doc research will be on synthesis, characterisation and evaluation of nanofibrous electrocatalyst support materials for the oxygen reduction reaction taking place at the cathode of the Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC). The objective for this study is to synthesise novel supports with higher corrosion resistance than conventional carbon black materials, as well as with adequate electrical conductivity and surface area to support platinum based electrocatalysts. In particular nanofibrous/nanotubular morphologies obtained by electrospinning will be evaluated.
    The candidate should be highly-motivated and self-directed and have a strong background in material science, inorganic synthesis and physico-chemical characterisation. Knowledge of electrochemistry/electrocatalysis would be also advantageous.
    This post-doctoral fellow will participate in project meetings and international conferences. Knowledge of French or English language will be essential.
  • Application deadline: 7th January 2013