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PhD Student Position (m/f/d) in Computational Materials Science, Theoretical/Computational Chemistry, Physics, Inorganic Chemistry

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht Centre for Materials and Coastal Research - Institute of Materials Research

Commencement date: starting as soon as possible

The Institute of Materials Research of Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht is offering a PhD student position (m/f/d) in multiscale modeling of hydrogen storage materials. The position is initially limited for three years (starting as soon as possible).

In the framework of our research on “Novel Complex Metal Hydrides for Efficient and Compact Hydrogen Storage” the Institute of Materials Research at HZG is offering a positions for a post graduate student interested in the development and simulation of hydrides and hydride composites for solid state hydrogen storage. The aim of this work is the characterization, understanding and optimization of novel complex and light metal hydrides as well as their composites for hydrogen storage and batteries. The results are the basis for further optimisation of such materials for mobile and stationary energy storage applications.

The project will be conducted as part of a multidisciplinary and highly motivated team within the newly established division for Computation and Simulation. The goal is to form close connections between the team members to approach problems from different perspectives and to create an atmosphere where creative ideas and exchange of knowledge can thrive.

Furthermore, the project will be part of a close collaboration with a renown research institute in the USA which will involve frequent research stays at the partner institution.

Your tasks

  • the position involves primarily the simulation of the kinetic properties of complex and metal hydrides by means of Phase Field simulations. This will involve running and modifying the deployed code and thorough scientific interpretation of the calculated data. At a later stage, First-Principles Molecular Dynamics Simulations might also become part of the methodology
  • collaboration with experimental partners at HZG and the US partner institution
  • the candidate is expected to present the results on project meetings, international conferences, and in scientific publications and to contribute to patent applications

Your profile

  • curiosity-driven, highly motivated and detail-oriented personality who integrates well into an interdisciplinary team
  • self-dependent and pro-active attitude
  • excellent problem solving skills, creative thinking and the ability to quickly learn new methods and techniques
  • a master's degree in computational materials science, theoretical/computational chemistry, physics, inorganic chemistry (or related fields) is required
  • experiences in the area of Phase Field simulations for kinetic and thermodynamic properties of hydrides or metallic alloys are highly desired
  • expertise with quantum chemical methodology (DFT, ab-initio), Molecular Dynamics, Monte Carlo are beneficial
  • strong mathematical background and programming experience are essential
  • knowledge in metal hydrides and/or hydrogen technology would be an additional advantage
  • very good English speaking and writing skills as well as presentation/communication skills are expected
  • ability to travel as necessary (up to several months per year)

For further information please contact Dr. Paul Jerabek (

We offer you

  • multinational work environment with over 950 colleagues from more than 50 nations
  • extensive options of vocational training (i. a. expert seminars, language courses or leadership seminars)
  • flexible working hours and various models to ensure ensure the compatibility of family and career
  • excellent infrastructure including modern work spaces
  • remuneration according to the standards of the collective wage agreement TV-AVH including further social benefits


Then we are looking forward to receiving your comprehensive application documents (CV, copies of degrees and other qualifications, research interests, publication list) indicating the reference number code no. 2019/WT 5. Please start the online application process for this offered position via category Career & Campus.

The Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht is one of the 19 national institutions of the Hermann von Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres e.V. (HGF). Around 950 employees carry out basic research and development work in close cooperation with national and international research institutions, research-oriented clinics and economic and public institutions. At the Institute of Materials Research some 200 scientists conduct research in the five sub-institutes "Materials Mechanics", "Materials Physics", "Materials Technology", "Magnesium Innovation Centre MagIC" and "Metallic Biomaterials".

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Geesthacht - Germany
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 21st October 2019
Closes: 20th December 2019
Reference: 2019/WT 5
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* Salary has been converted at the prevailing rate on the date placed
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