Prospective students

Open positions (April 2, 2018)


Postion 1: The Energy Systems Design Laboratory is looking for a Ph.D. student in the area of fuel cell catalyst layer microstructural numerical modeling in order to continue the development of the open-source software OpenFCST. Interested students should possess a background on programming (C++ and Python), numerical methods, and an interest in developing software in a dynamic and collaborative research environment. The PhD student will receive an annual stipend of at least $24,000/year for pursuing their degree. If you are interested, please contact Dr. Marc Secanell. Please attach a CV and transcripts to the e-mail.

Information for prospective students


The aim of the Energy Systems Design Laboratory (ESDLab) is to have a team of 10 to 20 domestic (i.e., Canadian) and international graduate students working together on numerical and experimental research related to electrochemical enegy systems and energy storage. Motivated and qualified domestic and international students are welcome to apply at anytime to join the research group. The ESDLab is committed to help excellent students to apply for scholarships to domestic and international agencies such as Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), China Scholarship Council (CSC) and Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONACYT) grants. If funding is available within the ESDLab, domestic and international PhD students will receive a minimum annual stipend of $24,000/year, and domestic M.Sc. students a minimum of $21,000/yr. Cost of living information can be found at the following link.

The Energy Systems Design Laboratory at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Alberta, Canada is led by Dr. Secanell. The research group is dedicated to the fabrication, experimental testing, and computational modeling and design of polymer electrolyte fuel cells and other sustainable energy systems.

Future students working at the ESDLab will be working in a dynamic, friendly and creative team and will be involved in projects related to:
a) Development of an analysis and design framework for hydrogen fuel cells. The framework is based on developing a finite element solver for transient, non-isothermal, two-phase transport in fuel cells and on coupling the fuel cell solver with a numerical optimization algorithm. The fuel cell solver is being developed in-house by several other students and post-doctoral fellows. The program uses finite elements and is written in C++. Students working in this project would acquire a working knowledge of programming in C++, learning the physical phenomena occurring in a PEM fuel cell, and using finite elements and numerical optimization. This project is in collaboration with Canadian automotive companies and several Canadian universities.
b) Fabrication and experimental testing of novel polymer electrolyte fuel cell design for low- platinum loading. The project would provide students with a working knowledge in the areas of fuel cell fabrication and testing, mass transport and electrochemistry. This project is in collaboration with other Canadian universities.

If you are interested in being a member of the ESDLab team, please provide Dr. Secanell with a cover letter stating: a) your career goals b) why you would be interested in being a part of this research group, and c) how your previous research experience might benefit the group’s projects. He will also need a CV (that includes your GPA and contact information for two references) and a copy of your transcripts for your B. Eng./B.Sc. (and M.Sc. if applicable). The transcripts do not need to be official transcripts, but they do need to be in English, please.

About the University of Alberta


Founded in 1908, University of Alberta is one of Canada's foremost research-intensive universities with an operating budget of over one billion dollars annually; external research funding is approximately $500 million per year. The University has about 37,000 students at BSc, MSc, and PhD levels. The Faculty of Engineering is among the top 5% in size in North America with over 4,000 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students. The Department of Mechanical Engineering has more than 750 undergraduate and over 250 graduate students. For more information see the Department of Mechanical Engineering website.

About the City of Edmonton


The Greater Edmonton area has a population of over one million people and offers a diverse array of cultural and sporting activities year round, which has earned Edmonton the nickname of Festival City. Edmonton is an international city, as evident by over seventy cultures from all over the world that were represented in the recent annual Heritage Festival. Edmonton's cost of living is competitive and favorable when compared with other major cities in Canada. Edmonton is only few hours from the Rocky Mountains and Jasper and Banff National Parks, which offer some of the finest skiing, kayaking, cycling, hiking, and camping in the world. The University is located centrally on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River near downtown Edmonton.

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