First listed on: 10 December 2021

CSIRO Postdoctoral Fellowship in Thermochemical Processes


Acknowledgement of Country

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The Opportunity

  • Do you have a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, Applied Analytical Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry or Chemical Sciences?
  • Want to conduct world class research and development with a team of dedicated professionals? 
  • Join CSIRO – Australia’s leading scientific research organisation!

CSIRO Early Research Career (CERC) Postdoctoral Fellowships provide opportunities to scientists and engineers who have completed their doctorate and have less than three years of relevant postdoctoral work experience. These fellowships aim to develop the next generation of future leaders of the innovation system.

In this position you will undertake research in thermochemical processes for hydrogen generation using novel catalytic techniques. Hydrogen is a clean, green energy source for the future. Current global hydrogen demand is 70 million-tonnes & estimated to double to >100 million tonnes by 2050 and almost entirely produced from natural gas and coal. Currently 6% of global natural gas + 2% of global coal go to hydrogen production equating to 830 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The challenge is how to generate vast-volumes using renewable energy for a sustainable ecosystem. Enhancing the chemical decomposition of water is the thermodynamically most efficient pathway. 

This project will develop an innovative reactor design that integrates a magnetron into a fluidised bed reactor, study the reaction kinetics of the thermochemical hydrogen reaction using analytical techniques to tune and enhance overall yield, optimise thermal input and microwave reactor conditions.

Your duties will include:

  • Plan and carry out research that contributes and expands on existing thermochemical hydrogen research within the Solar Technologies Group.
  • Design, implement and conduct research in the study of reaction kinetics, catalysis and/or thermochemical processes for the production of hydrogen.
  • Research and develop new reactor designs, thermal processes and characterisation methods for the fundamental understanding of hydrogen generation or water splitting as it applies to microwave induced processes incorporated in pressure reaction vessels.
  • Plan and develop safe work instructions and activity risk assessment of plant and equipment, seek approval and gain support for operation of reactors and processes involving hydrogen.

Location:  Newcastle, NSW
Salary:  AU$89k - AU$98k plus up to 15.4% superannuation
Tenure:  Specified term of 3 years
Reference:  79946

To be considered you will need:

  • A doctorate (or will shortly satisfy the requirements of a PhD) in a relevant discipline area, such as Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, Applied Analytical Chemistry, Industrial Chemistry or Chemical Sciences. Please note: To be eligible for this role you must have no more than 3 years (full-time equivalent) of postdoctoral research experience.
  • Detailed fundamental knowledge of reaction chemistry and kinetics, preferably in thermochemical processes and/or hydrogen from water spitting reactions;
  • A sound understanding of the fundamental issues and present challenges relating to catalytic production of hydrogen, a working knowledge of reaction kinetics and characterisation techniques for examining such processes;
  • Enthusiasm for and experience with laboratory work including design and assembly of pressure vessels, reactors operating under pressure and methodologies for studying insitu kinetics of reactions in thermochemical processes;
  • Relevant experience and strong track record in safe operation of fluidised bed reactors, gas systems, pressure vessels and equipment for monitoring pressure and/or temperature of reactions;

For full details about this role please view the Position Description


To be eligible for this role, you must be an Australian/New Zealand Citizen, Australian Permanent Resident or Australian temporary resident currently residing in Australia and be able to commence in the role by 30 June 2022.

The successful applicant will be required to obtain and provide a National Police Check or equivalent. Additional integrity checks may be required for specific roles which require security clearance for working with children, Australian Government cybersecurity requirements or other identified security roles.

Flexible Working Arrangements

We work flexibly at CSIRO, offering a range of options for how, when and where you work. 

Diversity and Inclusion

We are working hard to recruit people representing the diversity across our society, and ensure that all our people feel supported to do their best work and feel empowered to let their ideas flourish. 


At CSIRO Australia's national science agency, we solve the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We put the safety and wellbeing of our people above all else and earn trust everywhere because we only deal in facts. We collaborate widely and generously and deliver solutions with real impact. 

Join us and start creating tomorrow today!

How to Apply

Please apply on-line and provide a cover letter and CV that best demonstrate your motivation and ability to meet the requirements of this role.

Applications Close

30 January 2022, 11:00pm AEST/AEDT

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