Type dienstverband:
Internship and graduation project
Uren per week:
Fulltime – 40

Internship | Development of accelerated stress test for PEM water electrolysis

About this position

The contribution of renewable energy sources to the total energy generation is steadily rising. One of the issues of renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, is intermittency and therefore electricity price variation. At TNO, we focus on development of technologies for green hydrogen production through several water electrolysis technologies. Proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEM-WE) is the most promising technology for hydrogen production. However, this technology relies on the use of scare materials, as Iridium. Therefore it is paramount to develop a next generation PEMWE reducing the use of scare materials and increasing the electrolyzer durability. With this project you will have the opportunity to combine TNO hydrogen testing facilities with University of Leiden advance in situ characterization.

What will be your role?

In this internship/MSc thesis project the degradation mechanisms proton exchange membrane water electrolysis (PEM-WE) will be studied focusing on the catalyst-coated electrodes and the influence of different operational stressors.
Under guidance of TNO, you will formulate an experimental plan and carried out electrochemical accelerated stress test (AST) under industrial relevant conditions.
The results from this first part of the project, will be then combined with advanced operando X-ray Photoemission Spectroscopy (XPS) characterization facilities available at Leiden University.
During this project, you will learn characterization and analytical techniques such as XPS, scanning electron microscopy with energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), gas chromatography (GC) as well as electrochemical techniques such as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) and chronopotentiometry or chronoamperometry.
The minimum project duration is 6 months, starting as soon as possible. A more detailed plan will be drafted together with your academic supervisor. Part of the assignment will be carried out at TNO, in the research group Sustainable Technologies for Industrial Processes in Petten, and another part, involving operando XPS characterization, will take place at Leiden University.

What we expect from you

  • Being enrolled in a MSc programme within a relevant field, i.e. electrochemistry, chemistry, chemical engineering, material science, applied physics, sustainable energy, etc. The duration of this internship/MSc thesis project is at least 6 months.
  • Knowledge and experience in material characterization, such as XPS, and electrochemistry are a plus.
  • Practical experience in lab environment and hands-on skills are preferable.
  • Ability to work autonomously within a small team and good social skills to get the information you need from the most knowledgeable people around you.
  • Good communication skills (in English).

What you'll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Furthermore, we provide:

  • A highly professional, innovative working environment, with top experts as colleagues.
  • A suitable internship allowance (615 euro for wo-, hbo- and mbo-students, for a full-time internship).
  • Eight hours of leave per internship month (for a full-time internship).
  • A free membership of Jong TNO, where you can meet TNO-colleagues and join several activities, such as sports activities, (work-related) courses or the yearly ski-trip.
  • Use of a laptop.
  • An allowance for travel expenses in case you don’t receive an OV-card.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Important to be aware of before applying:

  • Before the start of the internship, the internship agreement from TNO needs to be signed. For students at a college or university based in the Netherlands, TNO uses the UNL-template (supplemented with a number of specific agreements from TNO). For students of foreign and MBO educational institutions, the TNO internship agreement applies. TNO does not sign any other internship agreements.
  • Before the start of the internship, the educational institution will need to confirm in writing that:
  1. you are enrolled at the educational institution during the internship, and;
  2. the internship takes place as part of the programme of the study.
  • The confirmation of educational institution takes place by signing the UNL template or forms prepared by TNO.
  • Interns at TNO must be in possession of a Dutch residential address at the start of the internship. Performance of internship activities from abroad is not possible.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.