PhD Candidate within Electric Vehicle Battery Recycling

Trondheim, Norway
Jan 22, 2021
End of advertisement period
Feb 05, 2021
NV- 8/21
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Chemical Engineering has a vacancy for a PhD Candidate within the field of hydrometallurgy with special focus on electric vehicle (EV) battery recycling. 

The earliest start date for the position will be April 2021. 

The appointment has a duration of 3 years with the possibility of a further 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department. 

Department of Chemical Engineering at NTNU has strategic efforts within sustainable hydrometallurgy and application of chemical engineering to extract and recycle valuable elements from secondary sources including electric vehicle (EV) batteries. The department is a part of the Gemini Centre –HYPROS (Hydrochemical Processing Technology in the Circular Economy) which is a model for strategic interaction between parallel professions at NTNU, SINTEF and the University of Oslo.

The current position will be part of the Crystallization, Particle Design and Hydrometallurgy team within the Environmental Engineering and Reactor Technology (EEART) group at the department. 

The candidate will work within the Horizon 2020 Project ALBATROSS - Advanced Light-weight BATteRy systems Optimized for fast charging, Safety, and Second-life applications. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 963580. 

ALBATROSS addresses the needs of European Electric and Hybrid-Electric passenger vehicle market by overcoming driver concerns relating to battery range and anxiety, cost, long-term reliability and excessive charging times. ALBATROSS will develop an integrated approach based on smart batteries combined with lightweight designs. The light weighting solutions, based on modular multi-material systems for battery modules and trays, will be fabricated and joined using cutting edge, fast and cost-effective processes, with disassembly, recycling and reuse designed in as a part of an eco-design approach.  

The project represents a pan-European EU consortium of world leading organisations that are looking to commercialise these technologies of European origin. The consortium features a total of 21 project partners including industries and academia located in 10 different countries. 

NTNU is leading the work package (WP) on Dismantling, second life, re-use and recycle – Design and implementation. NTNU’s focus in the project will be within the scope of recycling of various battery parts and evaluate dismantling alternatives that make downstream processing economic and environmentally friendly. Battery parts will be tested for recyclability conforming to EU directives on recycling. Based on the findings, robust methods established for handling various battery chemistries and/or design will be developed. The aim is to have low energy consumption and be environmentally friendly, possible through innovative process design. This would be achieved via development of efficient physical processing and high recovery chemical processing that is able to cater to very inhomogeneous feedstock recyclable materials. Separation shall be sufficient to allow re-use of all valuable and scarce materials. The optimal routes will be tested on available battery materials provided by project partners.  

Duties of the position

The research work will involve: 

  • Hydrometallurgical processes for recovery of valuable materials from EV batteries. 
  • Characterization using state-of-the art infrastructure at Department of Chemical Engineering. 
  • Understanding fundamentals of leaching, solvent extraction, ion-exchange, and/or precipitation with applications in metal recycling. 
  • Scaling up of unit operations. 
  • Process flow diagrams for recycling operations. 
  • Statistical analysis of datasets. 

The candidate is expected to participate actively in the group activities, including mentoring and co-supervision of students. More information about the team can be found here: 

The candidate is expected to be flexible in regard to short-term or long-term international research stays. 

Travelling with respect to conferences, meetings, workshops may be expected as part of the position. 

Required selection criteria

The PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. The qualification requirement is that you have completed a master’s degree or second degree (equivalent to 120 credits) with a strong academic background in [subject area] or equivalent education with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic foundation. If you are unable to meet these criteria you may be considered only if you can document that you are particularly suitable for education leading to a PhD degree.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Essential Qualifications

  • Strong experimental background within unit operations and/or hydrometallurgy. 
  • Experience in characterization techniques such as atomic emission or mass spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction, X ray fluorescence and other metal quantification techniques. 
  • Solid background in data and/or statistical analysis. 
  • A willingness to design and build equipment and scientific instruments. 
  • Good written and oral English language skills.

Personal characteristics

  • Positive, creative, result oriented and enthusiastic. 
  • Seeks new challenges at work. 
  • Has keen interest working in interdisciplinary teams. 
  • Communicates information and results with clarity and ease, both orally and in writing. 

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability. 

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 482 200 per annum before tax, depending on qualifications and seniority. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The period of employment is 3 years with the possibility of up to 1 year extension with 25% teaching duties in agreement with the department.

Appointment to a PhD position requires that you are admitted to the PhD programme in Chemical Engineering ( within three months of employment, and that you participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. 

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

The position is subject to external funding by Horiz

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

About the application

The application and supporting documentation to be used as the basis for the assessment must be in English.

Publications and other scientific work must follow the application. Please note that applications are only evaluated based on the information available on the application deadline. You should ensure that your application shows clearly how your skills and experience meet the criteria which are set out above. 

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact  Dr. Sulalit Bandyopadhyay (Department of Chemical Engineering), telephone +47 450 71 041, email sulalit.bandyopadhyay@ntnu.n.

If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-consultant Nina Sandberg (Department of Chemical Engineering), telephone +47 924 64 640, e-mail:

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

The position requires spoken and written fluency in the English language. Applicants from non-English-speaking countries outside Europe must document English skills by an approved test. Approved tests are TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). 

If you are invited for interview you must include certified copies of transcripts and reference letters. Please refer to the application number NV- 8/21 when applying.

Application deadline: 05.02.2021

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Chemical Engineering  

We take chemistry from laboratory scale to industrial production

This demands a wide range of knowledge, from molecular processes and nanotechnology to building and operation of large processing plants. We educate graduates for some of Norway's most important industries. The Department of Chemical Engineering is one of eight departments in the Faculty of Natural Sciences.  

Deadline 5th February 2021
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen, Trondheim