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Numerical investigation of safety issues of hydrogen technologies

Job Reference: 
Apllication deadline: 
Mon, 2013-03-11 22:59
Job Position Type: 
Grantholders Category 30
Petten, NL
F.02 - Energy Conversion and Storage Technologies
Hydrogen safety in storage and transport (HySaST)
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Scientific Contact(s): 
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Grantholders Category 30 - General Conditions

Researchers holding a PhD or having a minimum of 5 years research experience after the first university degree giving access to doctoral studies (which may include periods of training such as a masters degree), in a field relevant to the JRC's scientific activities.

Candidates who have not yet completed all the formalities to obtain a PhD or who have not yet attained 5 years of research experience on the date of application may also be considered as eligible to apply. However the PhD must have been obtained or the five years of research experience reached prior to the signature of the grantholder contract.

Job description

In line with the overall mission of the Directorate-General Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission (EC), the Institute for Energy and Transport provides scientific & technical support to Community policies related to sustainable, safe, secure and efficient energy production, distribution and use and to sustainable transport.

The current position falls under the Institutional Research Action of HySaST – Hydrogen safety in storage and transport – in the Cleaner Energy Unit (CEU). Hydrogen has been earmarked as future energy carrier complementary to electricity and it is considered essential for implementing the transition of the European energy and transport system from a fossil fuel based system to a more sustainable lower carbon one. In this context, the HySaST Action supports the market penetration of hydrogen as alternative fuel in the energy and transport sectors through the performance and safety assessment of components for hydrogen storage and detection technologies and through the numerical modelling of hydrogen related phenomena for safety purposes, in support of regulatory and standardisation activities at European or international level, covering both vehicles and the hydrogen infrastructures.

The aim of the specific project herein advertised is to numerically investigate hydrogen safety issues by applying, validating and partly developing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes and models. In this context, CFD simulations of gas accident scenarios are performed in order to estimate their potential consequences, to define the worst case scenario and to identify mitigation measures. Typical hydrogen accident scenarios involve the release, dispersion and combustion of hydrogen clouds in urban environments, in tunnels and under bridges, in re-fuelling stations, pipelines and other hydrogen infrastructures. Fast filling of hydrogen storage tanks and CO2 release from transmission and storage sites is another area of investigation. The data that are generated by the simulations are elaborated into safety analysis and studies that are instrumental for the development of Regulations, Codes and Standards (RCS). CFD code benchmarking activities are also carried out in order to assess the accuracy and the range of applicability of the computational codes and models.

An additional activity is the maintenance of the Hydrogen Incident and Accident Database HIAD, providing ideas for improvements of the database, regulating the database access and keeping contacts with the involved partners. Participation to international research projects is expected.


We are seeking a highly motivated individual with PhD (in engineering, physics, or in other relevant technical disciplines) or 5 years relevant research experience (after the university degree giving access to doctoral studies) in development, validation and application of CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) codes and models. Familiarity with hydrogen safety issues, pre-normative research and standardization issues would be an advantage. Proficient use of the English language, the ability to carry out independent research and effectively communicate results in technical reports, presentations and scientific publications, as well as the willingness to work in a team, is a must.