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Research Associate (PhD Student): Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage (100%)

Hochschule Luzern
School of Engineering and Architecture
ArbeitsortHorw (Luzern), Zentral Schweiz, Schweiz
Dauerapprox. three years
Antritt01.01.2018 or upon agreement

The Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HSLU) – School of Engineering and Architecture is the leading educational and research institution in central Switzerland for architecture and technology. We conduct applied research in building, architecture and engineering and offer bachelor and master degrees as well as PhD programmes in collaboration with national and international partner universities. Across its six departments, HSLU employs more than 1,600 staff and faculty members and enrols nearly 11,000 students.

Our Competence Centre Thermal Energy Storage (CC TES) focuses on energy storage technologies on a material and component level as well as on energy system analysis and optimisation. We are involved in the national research network "Swiss Competence Center for Energy Research (SCCER) Storage of Heat and Electricity".

We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD candidate with strong modelling and programming skills to investigate – both numerically and experimentally – seasonal energy storage systems using water in combination with phase-change materials (PCM). The goal is to develop future thermal energy storage technologies with a large impact on the domestic heating sector. The PhD candidate will join our CC TES team at the Institute of Mechanical Engineering and Energy Technology, starting on 01.01.2018 or upon agreement.

Research Associate (PhD Student): Seasonal Thermal Energy Storage (100%)


  • Advancement of the topic "Modelling and Optimisation of Seasonal Energy Storage Systems"
  • Development of a detailed heat and mass transfer numerical model of the thermal energy storage system
  • Experimental validation of the numerical model using measured data collected in an experimental pilot plant
  • Exergetic and economic optimisation of the heat storage system using the validated numerical model
  • Optimisation of the control strategy used to charge and discharge the heat store
  • Numerical and experimental investigation of the storage system in combination with PCMs
  • Active participation in the design, construction, and commissioning of an experimental pilot plant
  • Planning and execution of experimental campaigns for the characterisation of the heat storage system
  • Data processing and interpretation of results
  • Measurements of thermophysical properties using analytical methods and analysis/interpretation of results
  • Writing scientific articles for peer-review publication and participation in academic conferences
  • Co-supervising bachelor and master theses


  • Master’s degree or Diploma in Chemical/Process Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering/Science, Physics or other relevant subject
  • Enthusiastic about energy topics and passionate about science and engineering
  • Strong background in heat and mass transfer modelling with good programming skills
  • Excellent English skills, both written and spoken, good German skills desired
  • Project management, presentation skills, quick familiarisation with new topics
  • Rigour and attention to detail
  • An enthusiastic and hands on approach
  • Creative, results-oriented, team-minded, communicative and eager for knowledge

Wir bieten

We offer an exciting position (approx. three years) in a stimulating and highly innovative interdisciplinary research environment. You will be part of a motivated, international, and open-minded team and will have access to modern laboratory infrastructure and a large network of national and international research and industry partners. You will have the opportunity to significantly enhance and broaden your technical knowledge, gain valuable experience and contribute with your own ideas and expertise to the development and technological advancement of novel thermal energy storage systems.

Your place of work will be in the attractive location of Horw/Lucerne. An exchange semester in a foreign university is foreseen as a part of this opportunity.


For further information, please contact Dr. Willy Villasmil, +41 41 349 39 67 or visit

The application period ends on 20th of December 2017.

We look forward to your online application.
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