Master thesis at the German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Website German Aerospace Center (DLR)

The German Aerospace Center DLR has a dual mandate as the national research center for aeronautics and space, and as the space agency of the German federal government. Approximately 8000 people work for DLR on a uniquely diverse range of topics spanning the fields of aeronautics, space, energy, transport and security research. The DLR’s Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics is working on the utilization of technologies of energy conversion that are efficient and gentle on resources as well as on the accelerated utilization of renewable energies. Within this context the Department of Electrochemical Energy
Technology at Stuttgart, Germany, invites applicants from all over the world to work with us.

Master Thesis:

Solid oxide electrolyser based system for energy storage and sector coupling

Solid Oxide Cells (SOCs) can be operated in the fuel cell or electrolysis mode and have become an essential component of the energy transition in Germany due to their high efficiency. SOCs can produce hydrogen or hydrocarbons for energy storage in electrolysis mode or can be used in fuel cell mode for efficient power generation.

Your mission:
System concepts for renewable energy storage and de-fossilization of the chemical industry need to be developed. These energy storage and sector coupling systems are required to be versatile and offer a wide range of power and energy density. The Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics at DLR is working on novel solutions based on SOC reactors. In this concept, excess electricity from renewable sources is stored by converting water and carbon-dioxide to storable syngas which can be further used in other processes to produce high value chemicals. In the reverse mode the hydrogen or synthetic hydrocarbon based fuels can be used to produce power within the same SOC reactor when demand exceeds supply.

As part of your master thesis activity you are expected to work on the following tasks:
– Determine energy and feedstock requirements for conventional synthesis processes for key chemicals eg. methanol, DME, SNG, ammonia
– Develop synthesis loops in Aspen Plus for these chemicals. The models must be robust and suitable for use in a modular way in process system modeling
– Develop an SOC based energy storage/ chemical production system for one of these chemicals
– Perform a technical comparison of the developed system with the conventional synthesis process for the same chemical
– Implement a method to calculate chemical exergy within Aspen Plus

Your qualifications:
– Self-motivated student with a strong interest in exploring novelty is highly encouraged
– Background in chemical or process systems engineering is required
– Knowledge of process simulation preferably using Aspen Plus (or any equivalent software eg. CHEMCAD or gPROMS) is required
– Previous knowledge of Fuel Cells, Electrolysis and the concept of Exergy is advantageous
– Fluency in written and spoken English is required

Your benefits:
Look forward to a fulfilling job with an employer who appreciates your commitment and supports your personal and professional development. Our human resources policy puts great value on a healthy work-life balance as well as equal opportunities for men and women. Individuals with disabilities will be given preferential consideration in the event their qualifications are equivalent to those of other candidates.

Sanchit Gupta, DLR, Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics, Pfaffenwaldring 38-40, 70569 Stuttgart
Tel. 0711 6862-8822 or E-Mail:

If interested please send your CV along with your master and bachelor grade lists. Start date can be discussed.

To apply for this job email your details to