Veronika Kovzel
Phone: +49 351 260 3231

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For any questions, do not hesitate to ask:
Dr. Norbert Weber Tel.: +49 351 260 3112,
Dr. Tom Weier Tel.: +49 351 260 2226

Place of work:

Working hours:
39 h/week

14 November 2020

Online application
English / German
Job-Id: 118/2020 (1039)

The HZDR is committed to equal opportunity employment and we strongly encourage applications from qualified female candidates. We also carefully consider all applications from job candidates with severe disabilities.

Bautzner Landstraße 400
01328 Dresden

Researcher/PostDoc (m/f/d): Experimental investigation of molten salt batteries

As member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centers, the HZDR employs about 1,200 people. The Center's focus is on interdisciplinary research in the areas energy, health and matter.

The Institute of Fluid Dynamics is conducting basic and applied research in the fields of thermo-fluid dynamics and magnetohydrodynamics in order to improve the sustainability, the energy efficiency and the safety of industrial processes.

As part of the Institute, the Department of Magnetohydrodynamics, invites applications as Researcher/PostDoc (m/f/d): Experimental investigation of molten salt batteries.

The position will be available from 1st January 2021, provided that the funds will be approved. The employment contract is limited to four years.


At HZDR, electrochemists, physicists, and mechanical as well as electrical engineers work closely together to develop the next generation of stationary energy storage. The department of magnetohydrodynamics has ten years of experience in high-temperature energy storage, and is worldwide leading in fluid dynamics of and mass transfer in liquid-metal batteries.

Within the upcoming Horizon 2020 project “SOLSTICE”, HZDR will coordinate a consortium of 12 European partners from science and industry focusing on the development of Na-Zn batteries. Such cells operate at elevated temperature, feature extreme current densities, an unprecedented cycle life, a negligible environmental impact and can easily be recycled. Most importantly, the extremely competitive price and the abundant active materials make Na-Zn cells an ideal candidate for large-scale electricity storage.

Fundamental research will focus on refractory materials, electrochemistry, recycling, electrolyte-development, mass transfer, as well as cell sealing. The final aim is to build two different demonstrators: one 300°C mid-temperature cell featuring a solid-electrolyte, and one high-temperature battery using a molten-salt electrolyte at 600°C.

HZDR will coordinate the project. It will be responsible for investigating electrochemistry and mass transfer by means of neutron radiography and numerical modelling. Finally, two demonstrators shall be assembled and tested in Dresden.


One of the main duties of the successful candidate (f/m/d) will be the set-up and operation of a mid- and high-temperature neutron-imaging cell. This includes the cell-design itself, its temperature control and the optimisation of neutron imaging via a Monte-Carlo model. The work will be performed in close collaboration with the international partners, who will provide, e.g., the high-temperature feedthrough, and advice on materials-selection. Strong communication skills and the willingness to work in an international team is therefore indispensable. The imaging cells shall be tested at TU Dresden to be finally operated in Munich or Villingen (PSI). Mass transport effects or limitations shall be measured electrochemically (EIS) and shall be visualised using neutron-imaging and subsequent image-processing.

The second large task will be the set-up and operation of two battery demonstrators. Cell design, materials, and battery management system will be provided by our European partners. HZDR is responsible for designing the heating and control system, and for assembling the cells in the glovebox. Finally, one mid- and one high-temperature demonstrator shall be operated for several months, while being characterised electrochemically.


  • design, set-up and optimisation of two purposed-designed neutron-imaging cells
  • electrochemical characterisation of the cells
  • performing and post-processing of the neutron-measurements
  • set-up and operation of two battery demonstrators containing several single cells
  • close collaboration with the partners in Norway, Switzerland, Spain and Italy
  • publication of the results

Qualification (mandatory):

  • very good university degree (Master/ Diploma) or PhD in mechanical engineering, electrochemistry or in a related subject
  • willingness to handle hot metals and molten salts at elevated temperature
  • independent, structured and solution-oriented working methods

  • strong motivation to work in a multidisciplinary and international environment

  • excellent orally and written English communication skills

Qualification (advantageous):

  • work experience with hot metals or molten salts
  • glovebox work experience
  • experience with electrochemical methods (e.g., electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, cyclic voltammetry) and analysis (e.g., LIBS, mass-spectrometer)
  • evidence of the ability to publish results in leading journals
  • experience with (neutron) imaging and image-processing


  • X. Lu et al. A novel low-cost sodium-zinc chloride battery. Energy & Environmental Sci. 2013; 6(6): 1837.
  • J. Xu et al. Na-Zn liquid metal battery. J. Power Sources 2016; 332: 274.

We offer:

  • A vibrant research community in an open, diverse, and international work environment
  • Scientific excellence and extensive professional networking opportunities
  • Salary and social benefits in conformity with the provisions of the Collective Agreement TVöD-Bund
  • 30 vacation days per year
  • Company pension scheme (VBL)
  • A good work/life balance for which we offer assistance in the form of:
    • possibility to work part-time

    • flexible working hours

    • in-house health management

Kindly submit your completed application (including cover letter, CV, diplomas/transcripts, etc.) only via our Online-application-system.

Online application English / German