A PhD position is available at the University of Twente (the Netherlands) within the Faculty of Science and Technology. The research project will develop and demonstrate novel chemical additives for mitigating space charge accumulation in next generation PP-based thermoplastic and conventional DC-XLPE insulation materials for high voltage HVDC cables.

There is a significant need for developing new dielectric materials and solutions to overcome the issue of space charge accumulation in the main insulation layer of polymeric HVDC cables. Under HVDC stresses, both the XLPE insulation, and also the more recently emerging PP-based thermoplastic insulation materials, are prone to harmful space charge accumulation which can lead to local electric field stress enhancement, electrical treeing and premature dielectric breakdown, hence degrading the HVDC cable system reliability and lifetime.

Currently, we are looking for a PhD candidate for the project:

“New generation of HVDC insulation materials, cables and systems” (NewGen).

The candidate will develop and demonstrate novel molecularly defined space charge mitigating additives for PP- and XLPE-based HVDC cable insulation matrices where polar species capable of acting as charge trapping sites are directly anchored to suitable polyolefin (PO) backbones via chemical modification. This approach ensures compatibility with the polymeric host, hence providing a pathway for controlled and homogeneous dispersion of the space charge mitigating functionality in the insulation matrix.


For this position we are searching for an ambitious candidate with a Master’s Degree in Organic Chemistry. To address the scientific questions you will use a combination of experimental techniques including organic synthesis, controlled polymerization techniques and state-of-the-art characterization techniques for polymers. For this project, therefore, organic or polymer synthesis skills are essential. In addition, the candidate should be fluent in English. If you are keen on working in an interdisciplinary environment as an organic and polymer chemist and are looking for a challenging project, please contact us.


  • Fulltime position for four years
  • The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in a stimulating scientific environment.
  • The PhD salary is € 2.541,- in the first year and increases to € 3.247,- in the fourth year.
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • The number of holiday hours for full-time employment is 232 hours per calendar year.
  • A personal development program within the Twente Graduate School.


Your reaction should include an application/motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation, a detailed CV, and an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure. Please apply via the provided button.

For more information about the position, you are encouraged to contact Prof. Frederik Wurm. frederik.wurm@utwente.nl


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