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The Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) performs leading fundamental research on materials, processes, and systems for a global sustainable energy infrastructure. We work in close partnership with (inter)national academia and industry. Our user facilities are open to industry and university researchers. As an institute of the Dutch Research Council (NWO) DIFFER plays a key role in fundamental research for the energy transition.

We use a multidisciplinary approach applicable on two key areas, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and nuclear fusion – as a clean source of energy.


Nuclear fusion can deliver practically unlimited, clean, safe and large-scale electricity production. However, constructing a fusion reactor has proven to be scientifically and technologically complex. One great challenge is heat loads to the reactor walls so severe that normal materials would melt or evaporate. Using refractory metal (e.g. Tungsten) wall components that incorporate flowing liquid metal (e.g. Tin or Lithium) layers, presents a promising new way forward. To explore and qualify this new technology for development in large scale fusion devices, a dedicated and globally unique laboratory will be created at DIFFER. This new laboratory for the development of Liquid-Metal Shield technologies for fusion reactors, LiMeS-lab, will be realized in a three year project, starting in January 2022. 

For LiMeS-lab, the design and installation of liquid metal technology will be essential. This will include the development of flowing liquid metal supply loops, to be incorporated into the linear magnetized plasma generator in which liquid metal walls will be tested under loading conditions relevant for fusion devices. Before these tests can take place, the refractory metal wall components need to be pre-filled by the liquid metal, for which an injection and wetting system needs to be developed. 

Handling of liquid metals poses specific laboratory safety issues. For instance Lithium exposed water will lead to a strong exothermic reaction in which hydrogen gas is produced. Design and implementation of suitable lab safety measures are crucial for the operation of LiMeS-lab. 

In this position you will:

* Specify and develop flowing liquid metal loops in collaboration with industrial and/or academic partners;

* Design and implement the infrastructure and safety systems required to deploy liquid metals, especially Lithium, in the laboratory;

* Coordinate the design of the interface of the liquid metal supply loop to the linear plasma generator;

* Design and implement the liquid metal injection and wetting system for the pre-filling of the refractory metal wall component with the liquid metal;

* Contribute to the realization of LiMeS-lab and the scientific research environment of DIFFER.


* Bsc physics/engineering degree or plus;

* practical, hands-on experience in the design and building of complex technical systems or research is a strong plus;

* prior experience and competence in liquid metal technology and/or working with Lithium or Tin is not mandatory but is highly favorable;

* a pro-active safety mind-set;

* a fast learning ability;

* an inventive, resourceful attitude;

* strong social and communicative skills

* good verbal and written communication skills in English


This position is for 0,8 - 1 FTE, will be for a period of 3 years and is graded in pay scale 8. Both fulltime and part-time employment is possible. The position will be based at DIFFER (www.differ.nl) and the working location will be at TU Eindhoven. When fulfilling a position at DIFFER, you will have an employee status at NWO. You can participate in all the employee benefits NWO offers. We have a number of regulations that support employees in finding a good work-life balance. At DIFFER we believe that a workforce diverse in gender, age and cultural background is key to performing excellent research. We therefore strongly encourage everyone to apply. More information on working at NWO can be found at the NWO website (https://www.nwo-i.nl/en/working-at-nwo-i/jobsatnwoi/)


For more information concerning the position please contact Thomas Morgan (t.w.morgan@differ.nl) or call + 31 40 333 4 715. To apply for this position, please click the button underneath:

Closing date: 

January 24, 2022

Informatie over de vacature

Physics Technology Engineer
De Zaale 20 Heeze, Nederland
Uiterste sollicitatiedatum
Soort functie
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