Fully-funded PhD Opportunities in Prof. Lei Pan’s Laboratory for Fall 2024

Prof. Pan in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Michigan Technological University is recruiting at least two PhD students in Fall 2024. These two positions will be fully funded through research grants/contracts for at least 3 years. The stipend for year 1 will be $24,000 (also subjected to inflation adjustment), and 100% tuition support ($27,702) will be provided to the candidate. In year 3, the stipend will raise to ~$30,000 at least.

The ideal candidates will be from engineering departments with some chemical processing, material characterization, mineral processing, and extractive metallurgy background. The team is particularly looking for candidates with a strong motivation to pursue their career in R&D or academia (professorship) in the field of chemical processing of critical minerals/materials, industrial decarbonation, and circular economy. PhD candidates are expected to submit their work to the top journals and present their work at both national and international conferences. Basic wet lab experience and good knowledge in general chemistry are the perquisite for the candidates.

PhD graduates and postdoc fellows from our team are working in the top-tier companies and universities in the field of chemical processing, mineral processing, and electronics processing. Their starting salary after PhD is in the range of $120K–$210K. Majority of PhD candidates will be able to finish their degrees within 4–5 years. Few of them finish their degree in 3.5 years. Other benefits from our team include 1) one paid trip to major conference in year 1–2 and two paid trip to major conferences in year 3-5, 2) annual 1.5–week winter leave and 2-week summer leave, 3) various professional development opportunities including some entrepreneurship trainings.

  • The PhD candidate #1 will be working on chemical processing of lithium-containing resources. This candidate will be working on developing technologies in producing lithium chemicals from both primary and secondary resources and understanding the mechanisms for the process and unit operation used and developed by this candidate.
  • The PhD candidate #2 will be working on developing industrial decarbonation solutions using the mineral carbonation technology. The candidate will be developing passive mineral carbonation technology and carbon quantification technology, as well as in-situ mineral carbonation.
  • The PhD candidate #3 (still to be finalized) will be involved in developing circular economy solutions for electric vehicle (EV) Li-ion battery packs. This candidate will be working on developing technical solutions to dissemble and recover various materials from EV packs. Interest and expertise in mechanics and power electronics may be required.

If you have any questions and interest in joining us, please contact Dr. Pan at leipan@mtu.edu asap.