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Industrial PhD: "From catalysis science to commercial nitriles processes"

In the New Chemicals R&D department at Haldor Topsoe, we are offering an Industrial PhD position within catalyst and catalytic process development. Haldor Topsoe produces a wide range of catalysts for the chemical industry, gas conditioning, and the oil industry. In the New Chemicals R&D, catalysts and catalytic processes, which are not yet in the Topsoe portfolio are being developed through fundamental research, development, and testing. The industrial PhD project will explore and develop new catalysts and process routes to nitriles, in particular, acrylonitrile, which today is produced from oil and where a process starting from synthesis gas can be more sustainable and economic. The project will include catalyst synthesis, characterization and testing, development of reaction kinetics, process scheme development, and evaluation of commercial competitiveness.

The PhD project is supported by Innovation Fund Denmark and carried out in collaboration with Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, DTU, under the supervision of Prof. Anker Degn Jensen and Associate professor Jakob Munkholt Christensen. Before employment, the candidate needs to be approved as a PhD student by DTU. Expected project start is 1 September 2018.

The successful candidate will be a highly skilled chemical engineer or scientist, equally ready to participate in laboratory work with a hands on approach, analyze data, dive into the science and engineering of the catalyst development, challenge current knowledge and methodology, and engage in constructive collaboration with a dedicated team and stakeholders.

Your responsibilities

  • Catalyst synthesis, characterization and testing
  • Develop and optimize catalyst testing procedures and facilities
  • Development of reaction kinetics and process flow diagrams
  • Economic evaluation of developed processes.


  • have a strong interest in converting scientific understanding into product development
  • possess excellent skills to evaluate and communicate results
  • enjoy working hands-on and are strongly engaged in project and laboratory work
  • are committed to cross disciplinary collaboration with technicians, engineers, scientists and business developers
  • possess a strong drive and are prepared to challenge the approach.


Master of Science in Chemical engineering, Chemistry or Physics, preferably with experience from catalysis and laboratory work.

Further information

Questions related to the position at Topsoe can be directed to Rasmus Munksgaard Nielsen +4522754772 or Poul Erik Højlund Nielsen, +4522754451. Questions related the PhD study and enrollment at DTU can be directed to Jakob Munkholt Christensen, +45 45252810.

Application deadline

June 15, 2018.

Haldor Topsoe is a world leader in catalysis and surface science, committed to helping our customers achieve optimal performance. We enable companies to get the most out of their processes and products, using the least possible energy and resources, in the most responsible way. We are headquartered in Denmark and do project development, R&D, engineering, production, and sales & service across the globe. In 2017, our revenue was approximately 760 million US dollars, and we employ some 2,300 employees.

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Kgs. Lyngby

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