Help make aviation more sustainable and climate-neutral. Here is your chance: Join the alternative fuels team at the Institute of Combustion Technology and do research in the field of sustainable aviation fuels production!
There are currently no technological alternatives to liquid aviation fuels, particularly for medium- and long-haul flights. At the same time, a large part of the harmful climate and environmental impact of aviation occurs on flight missions. To address this, sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) are being extensively researched at the DLR Institute of Combustion Technology. The institute is involved in a number of large European research projects, both in the field of fuel production and fuel use. The aim is to develop sustainable fuels with a particular focus on minimizing the impact on the climate for a livable world tomorrow.
In the last few years, unique data sets on the effects of a wide variety of fuels have been collected in international ground and flight measurement campaigns. On this basis, our team in the department of Multiphase Flow and Alternative Fuels (MAT) develops and applies data-based methods (big data, machine learning, digital twin) to maximize the benefits of sustainable fuels. As part of the department, you will work in a team of today 12 scientists.
Although the demand for SAF by the market and legislation is increasing, the introduction of alternative fuels is associated with major challenges for the fuel producers. The use of a new fuel must not result in a safety risk, but fuel producers are lacking information about the suitability of their fuel for approval in early stages of their development, when not enough volumes are available for experimental tests. In this context, our team developed the official DLR prescreening process on the basis of probabilistic machine learning algorithms to evaluate new fuel candidates with regard to requirements for fuel approval. We then provide fuel producing partners with the resulting information necessary for a holistic product development.
The challenge is to provide fuel producers with feedback in early stages of their process development on the fuel quality and the chances for approval. You will participate and shape our future work, which is focusing on the improvement of our fuel design tools by integrating process models to estimate the impact of various upgrading steps like hydrotreatment and distillation on the fuel quality. From that, you will derive feedback for process design decisions and in the end also support the process design for future refinery concepts by fully model the whole production process. Our ultimate motivation is to minimize climate impact of aviation by helping to design SAF refineries for optimum SAF.
Your tasks in detail:
- apply the fuel prescreening method in projects to identify the fuels climate benefits and their chances for approval and present the results
- develop low fidelity process models, integrate them into our existing code ecosystem and derive fuel design tools
- integrate existing high-fidelity process models into the SimFuel platform
- critical analysis and improvement of the fuel design methodology
- coordinate our tasks in SAF related projects and present our work in the project meetings
- presentation and publication of (scientific) work results