Postdoctoral Research Associate: Diesel Engine Aftertreatment Modeling and Simulation

Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI
25 January 2021

Position Description

The Mechanical Engineering – Engineering Mechanics Department at Michigan Technological University is hiring a postdoctoral research associate for a recently funded U.S. Department of Energy project to develop off-highway diesel engine aftertreatment technology that reduces the cost and complexity. Optimal design of a single device that combines the functions of a Diesel Oxidation Catalyst (DOC) and a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) is the focus of the research. Referred to as a DOCF, it will simultaneously control a diesel engine’s CO, HC and PM emissions. Achieving the project goals requires a combination of modeling and simulation (M&S), reactor experiments, prototype development and engine test cell studies. In addition to Michigan Tech, the project team includes Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) and several commercial partners. The integrated nature of the project requires close collaboration among all its partners including not only co-development of M&S codes but also reactor and engine test cell experiments. This position focuses on the M&S code development, the model calibration with test data and its use for DOCF design.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Your primary duties will be: (1) development of the DOCF’s M&S codes, (2) the calibration of the model to test data, (3) periodic reporting to our research customer and project partners and (4) publication of the results in peer-reviewed journals. Other duties may be assigned as the project develops. Because calibration requires a thorough understanding of both the DOCF’s physics and the test data, it’s important that you work closely with researchers responsible for conducting both reactor and engine tests. Model development minimally requires that you have experience with (1) diesel engine aftertreatment technologies and (2) modeling a gas flow device that has coupled thermal and chemical kinetic responses. It’s imperative that the resulting M&S codes be predictive and can be used for extrapolated DOCF design. Fortunately, Michigan Tech has a long history of diesel engine aftertreatment component M&S development including: DOCs, DPFS, Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCRs) and most recently, a combined SCR/DPF device. Most of these models exist in MATLAB and Simulink. The expectation is that our existing models, and those of our project partners, can be leveraged to implement this DOCF modeling effort.

Minimum Required Education

  • A PhD in mechanical or chemical engineering, or a closely related field

Minimum Required Experience

  • Model development using MATLAB and Simulink
  • Diesel engine aftertreatment component analysis involving chemical reactions, transport phenomena and thermal response

Minimum Required Skills, and Abilities

  • Advanced chemical process knowledge consistent with a PhD degree in chemical or mechanical engineering
  • Advanced modeling techniques using MATLAB and Simulink.
  • Demonstrated abilities in (1) oral and written communication and (2) working with diverse groups of students, faculty, and staff

Desirable Experience

  • DPF and/or other emission component modeling
  • Aftertreatment component model calibration
  • Reactor or engine test cell studies

Desirable Skills, and Abilities

  • Experience with COMSOL Multiphysics, GT-Suite or similar programs


  • The appointment is for 12 months with a yearly renewal option

Application Instructions

Please submit the items below to Marlene Lappeus by email, Applications will be reviewed as they arrive with the goal of making a selection by March 2021.

  • Your CV, including a list of your publications
  • One-page description of your relevant research experience
  • Contact information of three references

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