University of Victoria

Pathways to a survivable future climate make it clear that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) from the atmosphere will become necessary by mid-century. In advance of that time, research and demonstration projects are required to prove out viable technical solutions to reliability capturing and storing carbon, on a scale that can be deployed globally. The roll-out of CCS may also include carbon capture and utilization (CCUS), making use of captured carbon for synthetic fuels, and co-production of non-carbon based E-fuels like H2 and NH3 more generally. At the same time, there is tremendous ‘stranded’ far-offshore wind energy too remote from grid-connection for use, but potentially harvestable to power CCUS systems, either fixed position or on-board ‘energy ships’ using wind propulsion and ship-mounted water turbines for on-board electricity generation.

Post-Doc & PhD positions are available in a research project led by Dr. Curran Crawford (who directs the Sustainable Systems Design Lab, part of IESVic) to complement ongoing work that is part of a larger Solid Carbon project funded by the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions. The Solid Carbon project is looking at a ‘baseline’ floating wind turbine + direct air capture (DAC) to optimization a CCS  system to sequester carbon in basalt rock under the ocean ~3000m of water. The additional HQP to be funded in this add-on project require a post-doc to contribute to overall systems engineering activities, in particular looking at controls aspects of coordinating a mix of electrochemical and thermal processes with variable wind power production. The focus is on control methods suitable for both real-time control (e.g. MPC) in support of system sizing for electrical, chemical and thermal buffering storage as well as CO2 off-take from floating production platforms. A PhD (MechE) or additional post-doc is sought to further pursue an energy ship concept for the platform; essentially this concept is a mobile, un-tether platform with on-board wind-powered generation and electrochemical equipment. This work requires advancements in both detailed system design and dynamic analysis, as well as optimal configuration and routing optimization.

Requirements

  • MASc/MSc (for PhD) or PhD (post-doc) degree in a relevant area of engineering
  • Experience in an aspect of controls (e.g. MPC) applied to process control (DAC, E-fuels production) powered by variable renewable energy and including thermal/electrical energy storage, and/or wind energy/energy systems/wind-based vessel propulsion
  • Familiarity with and enthusiasm for low/negative-carbon energy systems analysis
  • Ideally knowledge of Python for modeling and academic workflow tools including LaTex, Zotero, Slack, etc.
  • Strong writing, conversational and presentation abilities in English
  • Ability to work effectively in a diverse team

Dr. Crawford strongly encourages applications from underrepresented groups, including women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity, and those persons experiencing barriers to equity. The SSDL, IESVic and larger UVic communities are diverse and committed to upholding the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion in our living, learning and work environments.

Timeline

Positions starting ASAP; applications accepted on a rolling basis.

How to apply

Interested candidates should email Dr. Crawford at [email protected] with subject CCS Positions; attach:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae
  • A one-page cover letter describing your relevant (research) experience and motivation for the position
  • Names and contact details for two references