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PhD Candidate in Hydrometallurgy and Recycling of Batteries

About the job

For a position as a PhD Candidate, the goal is a completed doctoral education up to an obtained doctoral degree.

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 Particle Engineering Centre at the department within the Environmental Engineering and Reactor Technology (EEART) group at the department.

Your immediate leader is Particle Engineering Centre Manager.

The candidate will work within the Horizon Europe Project REVITALISE - REcycling of low Value components using high purity pre-treatment, dIrecT recycling And green hydrometallurgical approaches for recycling of Lithium Ion and Sodium Ion BatteriEs. This project has received funding from the European Union.

REVITALISE aims to deliver a holistic solution for green, low-cost, and low environmental impact recycling of NMC (especially high Ni content) LFP and Na-Ion batteries. The project will focus on developing innovative pre-treatment technologies that will achieve very high levels of material stream purity whereby enabling commercially viable recycling of low-value components as well. There will be high focus on recovery of Li, graphite, phosphates and fluorides resulting in development of flowsheets that can handle mixed feeds of battery materials with maximised recovery rates and minimal environmental impact. 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 9 project partners including industries and academia located in 5 different countries.

This PhD project will initiate with focus on recycling of LFP batteries and mix feeds of LFP and NMC batteries, and later progressing with more complex battery feeds.

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, Particle Engineering Core Facility and NTNU Nanolab.
  • Understanding fundamentals of leaching, solvent extraction, ion-exchange, flotation and/or precipitation with applications in recycling.
  • Scaling up of unit operations.
  • Process flow diagrams for recycling operations.
  • Statistical analysis of datasets.
  • The PhD will be an integral part of the Particle Engineering Centre. The candidate is expected to participate actively in various centre-related activities, including mentoring and co-supervision of students. More information about the centre can be found here:
  • The candidate is expected to be flexible regarding 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

  • You must have a professionally relevant background in Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Metallurgical Engineering, Chemistry or related fields.
  • Your education must correspond to a five-year Norwegian degree program, where 120 credits are obtained at master's level.
  • You must have a strong academic background from your previous studies and an average grade from the master's degree program, or equivalent education, which is equal to B or better compared with NTNU's grading scale. If you do not have letter grades from previous studies, you must have an equally good academic basis. If you have a weaker grade background, you may be assessed if you can document that you are particularly suitable for a PhD education.
  • You must meet the requirements for admission to the faculty's doctoral program 
  • You must have strong experimental background within unit operations and/or hydrometallurgy.
  • You must have experience in material characterization: chemical characterization such as elemental, metal speciation analysis using spectroscopy techniques (e.g. ICP, AAS, UV-Vis), phase composition (e.g. X-ray diffraction, X ray fluorescence) and physical characterization such as S(T)EM, FT-IR, particle analysis and/or other characterization techniques.
  • You must be able to demonstrate a solid background in data and/or statistical analysis.
  • You should have the willingness to design and build equipment and scientific instruments.
  • You should possess good written and oral English language skills.

Preferred selection criteria

  • Knowledge in software such as MINTEQ, HSC or other related thermodynamic software.
  • Techno-economic assessment of chemical processes and/or knowledge of software such as UNISIM, ASPEN, HYSIS, etc.
  • Experience and/or interest in circular chemical engineering, value chain evaluations (LCA, MFA etc.)

The appointment is to be made in accordance with Regulations on terms of employment for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, Phd candidate, research assistant and specialist candidate and Regulations concerning the degrees of Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) and Philosophiae Doctor (PhD) in artistic research at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

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.

Emphasis will be placed on personal and interpersonal qualities.

We offer

Salary and conditions

As a PhD candidate (code 1017) you are normally paid from gross NOK 532 200 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 a further 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.

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 be attached to the application. Please note that your application will be considered based solely on information submitted by the application deadline. You must therefore ensure that your application clearly demonstrates how your skills and experience fulfil the criteria specified above.

The application must include:

  • CV and certificates
  • A motivation/cover letter addressing your interests, qualifications for this position and how this position will develop you for the future.
  • transcripts and diplomas for bachelor's and master's degrees. If you have not completed the master's degree, you must submit a confirmation that the master's thesis has been submitted.
  • A copy of the master's thesis. If you recently have submitted your master's thesis, you can attach a draft of the thesis. Documentation of a completed master's degree must be presented before taking up the position.
  • Name and contact information of three referees.
  • If you have publications or other relevant research work.

If all, or parts, of your education has been taken abroad, we also ask you to attach documentation of the scope and quality of your entire education, both bachelor's and master's education, in addition to other higher education. Description of the documentation required can be found here. If you already have a statement from NOKUT, please attach this as well.

We will take joint work into account. If it is difficult to identify your efforts in the joint work, you must enclose a short description of your participation.

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal and interpersonal qualities. Motivation, ambitions, and potential will also count in the assessment of the candidates. 

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

General information

Working at NTNU

NTNU believes that inclusion and diversity is our strength. We want to recruit people with different competencies, educational backgrounds, life experiences and perspectives to contribute to solving our social responsibilities within education and research. We will facilitate for our employees’ needs.

NTNU is working actively to increase the number of women employed in scientific positions and has a number of resources to promote equality. (tas bort hvis ikke aktuelt)

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.

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.

A public list of applicants with name, age, job title and municipality of residence is prepared after the application deadline. If you want to reserve yourself from entry on the public applicant list, this must be justified. Assessment will be made in accordance with current legislation. You will be notified if the reservation is not accepted.

If you have any questions about the position, please contact Associate Professor Sulalit Bandyopadhyay, telephone +4745071041, email or Dr. Erik Prasetyo, telephone +4796749727, email If you have any questions about the recruitment process, please contact HR-Consultant Unni M. Myhre, e-mail:

If you think this looks interesting and in line with your qualifications, please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates attached. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Upon request, you must be able to obtain certified copies of your documentation.  

Application deadline: 31.12.2023


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 31st December 2023
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Sem Sælands vei 4, 7491 Trondheim

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