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Job ID: 167278

PhD Position in Plasma-Assisted Combustion
Auburn University

Date Posted Sep. 15, 2021
Title PhD Position in Plasma-Assisted Combustion
University Auburn University
Auburn, AL, United States
Department Mechanical Engineering
Application Deadline Open Until Filled
Position Start Date Jan. 1, 2022
  • Graduate Student
  • Mechanical Engineering
    Energy Technology

The Combustion and Energy Research Laboratory at Auburn University has several immediate vacancies for fully-funded Ph.D. positions into non-equilibrium plasma-assisted combustion (PAC). The projects are sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Energy (DOE) to support the development of next generation advanced compression ignition and multi-mode engines. Anticipated Start Date: January 2022.

The PhD role will require:
  • The design, development and construction of a new optically-accessible experimental apparatus to study PAC ignition of various fuels at higher pressures.
  • Experimentally measure the effect of low-temperature plasmas on the ignition delay, and chemical reactivity of fuels.
  • Simulate plasma-chemical kinetic processes to develop a validated plasma-specific reaction mechanism of fuels.

Essential Requirements:
The ideal PhD candidates should have:

  • Hold a master’s degree or equivalent in mechanical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering or related disciplines. Highly qualified recent undergraduates will also be considered for direct-PhD admission.
  • Demonstrated experience with the design, fabrication and assembly of mechanical parts, including hydraulic pneumatic components, and/or burner applications using commercial software SOLIDWORKS, CATIA, and/or AutoCAD.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in the construction/operation of experiments, diagnostic equipment and related infrastructure is advantage.
  • Experience with the use of chemical kinetics software, such as CHEMKIN, CANTERA and/or OpenFOAM, some experience with CFD software is ideal.
  • Strong programming skills in FORTRAN, MATLAB, C/C++ or other script languages.
  • Applicants must be proficient in both written and oral English, possess excellent communication skills, with strong technical writing abilities.
  • Ability to work independently, self-motivated, with a strong work ethic and demonstrate good collaborative skills.

About Auburn University:
Auburn University is a public R1 research institution and is considered one of the fastest growing educational and research institutions in the country. The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is considered the top-ranked engineering graduate school in the state of Alabama and is one of the nation’s top 50 institutions in research expenditures. Cutting edge research is underway across 10 departments and 21 nationally recognized research centers and institutes, focused on producing technology and innovation that will help drive economic growth while improving human life on a global scale. AU’s campus in located in Auburn, Alabama and was recently voted one of the best places to live in the US in 2018. More information can be found at

How to Apply
The new hire will receive a competitive annual GRA stipend, medical and dental insurance, with full tuition waiver. Select candidates with exceptional credentials will also be considered for Auburn University Fellowships valued up to an additional $10,000 per year.

Interested candidates should send an updated CV, unofficial transcripts, and a short cover letter as a PDF attachment to Dr. Nicholas Tsolas at

Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

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