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PhD Position - Electro/photo-chemical Oxidation and Reduction Reactions for Synthesis of High Value

Job ID: 18281

Updated: May 8, 2019

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

PhD Position at the University of Calgary

Electro/photo-chemical Oxidation and Reduction Reactions for Synthesis of High Value Fuels and Feedstocks 

In 2016, the University of Calgary (UofC) was awarded $75 million over seven years from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF) for its initiative entitled: 'Global Research Initiative in Sustainable Low carbon Unconventional Resources'. The goal of this research is to dramatically reduce the impact of energy extraction and energy use on the environment.

Two fully-funded PhD (or Master's) positions are available as part of the implementation of the UofC CFREF scientific strategy and to address the Grand Challenge of small footprint recovery from low permeability hydrocarbon resources. Positions are currently available in Kibria group in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering in the area of:

  • Development of next generation CO2 conversion catalysis
  • Electrochemical oxidation of low-value feedstocks
  • Development of novel materials and systems for artificial photosynthesis
  • Development of catalysts and systems for N2 fixation to ammonia

About Kibria Group:

Kibria group is currently working on the development of highly active catalyst and high throughput systems for renewable fuel synthesis. We are currently developing nanostructured electro- and photo-catalyst materials and systems for CO2 conversion into high-value products, including long-chain hydrocarbons and oxygenates. We actively participate in the design and development of next generation catalysts, their characterization by various techniques including Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), Energy-Dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Raman, X-Ray Diffraction (XRD), X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), Cyclic Voltammetry, Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry, Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, as well as multiphysics simulations and Density Function Theory (DFT) calculations. Interested candidates can look into the following recent publications of Dr. Kibria:

1. CO2 electroreduction to ethylene via hydroxide-mediated copper catalysis at an abrupt interface, Science, 360, 6390, (2018).
2. Visible Light Driven Efficient Overall Water Splitting Using p-type Group III-Nitride Nanowire Arrays. Nature Commun, 6, 6797 (2015). 


1. Recent BSc or MSc in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry, Materials Science, or related discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.5 in last two years
2. Demonstrated solid background in electrochemistry, photoelectrochemistry, gas and liquid chromatography, nanomaterial synthesis and characterization
3. Proficient verbal and written communication skills (i.e., IELTS brand score 7 or over) as reflected in effective presentations at seminars, meetings and/or teaching lectures
4. Publication of peer-reviewed papers in high-impact scientific journals is an expectation of this position.

The PhD appointment will be for up to 4 years with a $25,000 CAD/year stipend for PhD students. The Master's appointment will be for up to 2 years with a $21,000 CAD/year stipend. The successful candidate will be required to work within a team environment, so excellent communication skills and the ability to work effectively with a diverse group of interdisciplinary researchers is a must.

Application details: 

Applications should consist of a cover letter indicating the candidate's specific research interest and experience, a resume or CV, and contact information for three referees. Please submit your application to Md Kibria at and Michel Redden at

We would also like to invite you to complete and submit the optional Employment Equity Applicant Data Survey that can be found at the end of this posting. Please submit your application to Michel Redden at

The position is available immediately and the search will continue until the team is assembled.

In assembling the GRI research teams, aggressive diversity and equity targets are in place and so applications from under-represented groups are especially encouraged .

To be eligible as a PhD student at the University of Calgary, the candidate must meet Faculty of Graduate Studies minimum admission requirements, as well as the admission requirements specific to the graduate program of interest as the program requirements may call for higher scores, additional documentation and testing. Please review the Faculty of Graduate Studies admission requirements prior to applying for this position

We would like to invite you to complete the following optional Employment Equity Applicant Data Survey. This information is collected to assist the University of Calgary in meeting our obligations under the Federal Contractor Program and to evaluate our selection processes. Please read the questions below carefully and make the appropriate response. Note that submission of this information is voluntary and refusal to complete the survey will not adversely affect your application. The information you provide is confidential and will be used for data reporting requirements and will not be utilized in making any employment decisions.
Thank you in advance for your participation in this survey. This information is collected under the authority of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Employment Equity Act. If you have questions about the collection of this information, please contact Human Resources at
1. For the purposes of employment equity, women are a designated group. Do you self-identify as a woman?

2. Aboriginal Persons - For the purposes of employment equity, "aboriginal person" includes North American Indian, Métis, or Inuit person and/or member of a North American First Nation. An Aboriginal Person may have treaty status or a non-status, and a registered or non-registered Indian (as defined by the Indian Act, 1985) Based on this definition, are you an Aboriginal person?

3. Persons with Disabilities - For the purposes of employment equity, 'persons with disabilities' means persons who have a long-term or recurring physical, sensory, psychiatric or learning impairment and who (a) consider themselves to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, or (b) believe that an employer or potential employer is likely to consider them to be disadvantaged in employment by reason of that impairment, and includes persons whose functional limitations owing to the impairment have been accommodated in their current job or workplace. Based on this definition, are you a person with a disability?

4. Visible Minorities - For the purposes of employment equity, 'visible minorities' means persons, other than aboriginal persons, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour. Based on this definition, are you a member of a visible minority?


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