🚀 Internship

PhD Fellowship on Techno-Economic Analysis of CO2-Neutral Cement Plants - SPSE



28d ago

🚀 Off-cycle


Rolling basis


Siemens Process Systems Engineering (SPSE), part of Siemens Digital Industries, is the leading provider of Advanced Process Modelling software, services and solutions to the process industries. We help our customers to develop and operate sustainable processes by applying digital twins based on our gPROMS platform technology. This enables them to explore the process decision space rapidly, reduce uncertainty and risk and make better, faster and safer design and operating decisions through deeper understanding of their processes.

Currently employing about 280+ employees worldwide, SPSE has a well-established reputation for thought leadership and technology innovation, achieved through substantial R&D spanning more than two decades. Following its recent acquisition by Siemens, the company is now embarking on a major further expansion of its products and related business development activities.

We offer a role with responsibility, independence, flexibility and to contribute to new ideas. We foster a teamwork culture with great opportunities for personal and professional development to grow your career.

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Area of Responsibilities

Software Engineering


A 3-year full-time fellowship on techno-economic analysis of CO2-neutral cement plants is available at Siemens Process Systems Engineering (SPSE). The work will be carried out primarily at SPSE’s headquarters in London, UK, with parallel registration for a PhD degree in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Padova, Italy.

The successful candidate will be appointed as a Doctoral Candidate (DC) to join CO2Valorize, a dynamic, multidisciplinary training network organised under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks (MSCA DN) initiative of the European Union (EU) and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). CO2Valorize represents an interdisciplinary effort focused on modelling and experimental work, industrial experts and technology providers. It aims to reduce CO2 emissions from cement production by 50% compared to current state-of-the-art, by partly replacing limestone with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs).

Within the context of the CO2Valorize project, the specific objective of this PhD fellowship is to develop a new software environment for the modelling and optimisation of integrated cement processes, incorporating innovations in processing equipment and materials from other DCs in the CO2Valorize network, and applying novel techniques and methodologies for techno-economic analysis and environmental impact quantification of integrated cement processes.

CO2Valorize project description: Valorization of CO2 for low carbon cement

Cement production is responsible for 8% of global CO2 emissions, which mainly come from the processing of limestone. CO2Valorize proposes a new approach to drastically reduce these emissions by partly replacing some of the limestone content with supplementary cementitious materials (SCMs). Such materials are additionally carbonated using captured CO2. Moreover, calcium silicates rich SCM can come from waste materials such as mine tailings and recycled concrete, all of which are available in large quantities. The carbonation process of such materials is complex and barely understood to date. Our network aims to lay the scientific foundations to create fundamental knowledge on the mechanisms, reaction kinetics, the physico-chemical subprocess, and the performance of the modified cement in order to provide a proof-of concept and show that a CO2 reduction by 50% per tonne of cement produced is feasible. The project is driven by leading companies that represent important parts of the value chain and ensure a fast uptake of the results with the potential to commercialise new equipment, processes and software during and after the project. The structured approach combines complementary research for each individual project in the academic and industry sector. This is accompanied by a balanced mix of high-level scientific courses and transferable skills delivered by each partner locally and in dedicated training schools and workshops at network level. This way, each doctoral candidate builds up deep scientific expertise and interdisciplinary knowledge to deliver game-changing cleantech innovations during and after the project. CO2Valorize is impact-driven and strives for portfolios of high-class joint publications in leading journals and patents. The transfer of the results into first-of-its-kind engineering solutions contribute to the next generation of cement processes that can mitigate climate change.

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It is expected that the work outlined above will result in significant results of novelty and quantity commensurate with a PhD standard. The successful candidate will be expected to register for, and work towards, a PhD degree at the University of Padova, Italy.

You must have a first-class Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Chemical Engineering or a closely related discipline, with a demonstrably strong interest and aptitude in advanced mathematical techniques and software engineering.

Experience in one or more the following areas is also highly desirable:

  • process modelling, simulation and optimisation
  • numerical techniques for parameter estimation and their application to complex mathematical models
  • computer programming in C, C++ or Python

You will be highly motivated and capable of independent research. You will also have excellent oral and written English language and communication skills, and be able to function effectively as a member of multidisciplinary teams of engineers and scientists.

  • must not already hold a PhD degree
  • must not have spent more than 1 year (365 days) out of the last 3 years in the UK at the time when you are recruited to the network.

The above criteria are non-negotiable and ineligible candidates will not be considered.

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Education requirements



You will be offered a three-year full-time researcher position with a salary and allowances according to EU regulations for MSCA DN Doctoral Candidates. Together with the other DCs in CO2Valorize, you will also undertake a comprehensive personalised development programme with targeted training measures and participate in a range of network events with the consortium partners.

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