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Are you passionate about space resources? So are we!

The European Space Resources Innovation Centre (ESRIC) is a joint initiative of the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA), the European Space Agency (ESA) and the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST). ESRIC aims to become an internationally recognized centre of expertise for scientific, technical, business and economic aspects related to the use of space resources for human and robotic exploration, as well as for a future in-space economy. 

You‘d like to contribute as a PhD student? Join us!  

ESRIC is a brand-new initiative with challenging objectives and evolving in a rapidly changing international environment. Being part of this new adventure and contributing to build successful activities with ESRIC’s partners is common to all ESRIC’s positions. 

ESRIC is implemented as a department of LIST, with a dedicated governance structure that includes its partners LSA, ESA and LIST. It is conducting activities along four main areas: Research and testing facilities, Business support and incubation, Knowledge management, and Community management. 

When it comes to research and testing facilities, ESRIC collaborates closely with the Materials Research and Technology (MRT) department of LIST. The current position will be part of a new ESRIC research unit that is initially embedded in the MRT department to have access to a fully developed research environment. 

The primary objective of this new unit is to research, develop and improve the understanding and performance of processes enabling the utilization of space resources with a primary focus on the Moon. Lunar regolith as well as the ice from permanently shadowed regions are abundant sources of hydrogen, oxygen and metals that need to be smartly treated taking into account advanced processing technologies.


How will you contribute?

We are looking for a PhD Student who is expected to strongly contribute to this ambitious project through the development of new processes for the direct plasma reduction of regolith simulants. The first objective will be to screen different technological approaches using direct plasma under strong process conditions. The PhD student will actively contribute to the development of specific prototypes and gas-solid reactions for efficient water vapour and/or oxygen extraction from very fine simulants. The water production rate can be affected by many parameters and a deep characterisation of the regolith/simulant sintering and clumping as well as other process dependencies will be investigated. He/her will also focus on sub-system models dealing with gas diffusion and shrinking core formalism in order to provide a model of conversion process. 

must have requirements

Is Your profile described below? Are you our future colleague? Apply now!

  • The candidate should hold a Master of Science degree, with proven theoretical and practical skills in materials chemistry and interface engineering;
  • Proven hands on experience in materials chemistry, gas phase technology and plasma processes ;
  • First experience with structural and chemical characterization using state-of-the art techniques;
  • First experience in plasma characterisation would be an asset
  • Knowledge in system engineering is an asset;
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills;
  • Strong interest for space applications and terrestrial benefits;
  • Collaborative skills, initiative, result oriented, organization, and capacity to work in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Good level of English is a must, good knowledge of French and/or German is an asset.
We offer

What ESRIC and LIST offer

You will join the new ESRIC research unit that is embedded in the MRT department during a first incubation phase. In a second phase, this unit will move to ESRIC while continuing to collaborate scientifically and technically with the MRT department. 

ESRIC has an ambitious development plan over the next years, adding further partners and expanding its activities. The team that you will be joining is expected to grow quickly with the possibility to see ESRIC evolve towards a self-standing entity in a few years.

Has this vacancy caught your interest?


To know more about ESRIC activities: www.esric.lu

Your application must include:

  • A motivation letter oriented towards the position and your experience
  • A scientific CV, which includes contact details
  • List of publications (and patents, if applicable)
  • Contact of 2 references

Application procedure and conditions:

  • LIST is an Equal Opportunity employer and committed to hiring and retaining a diverse personnel. We value all applicants and will consider all competent candidates for employment without regard to national origin, colour, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, religion, age or disability.
  • Applications will be reviewed on-going until the position is filled.
  • An assessment committee will review the applications and candidate selection will rely on guidelines that aim to ensure equal opportunities. 
  • The main criterion for selection will be the existing skills and expertise of the applicant and matching with the qualifications mentioned above

PhD additional conditions:

  • Supervisor at LIST: Dr Patrick Choquet
  • Co-supervision at LIST: Dr Didier Arl
  • Work location: Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST), Belvaux, Luxembourg
  • PhD enrolment: University of Luxembourg, Belval, Luxembourg

Candidates shall be available for starting their position in autumn 2021. Please note the universities costs are at the charge of the student.


To be considered for this position it is crucial that you have knowledge of the following languages
  • Read C1 Advanced
    Write C1 Advanced
    Speak C1 Advanced


The following languages are optional but are considered a plus.
  • Read A2 Elementary
    Write A2 Elementary
    Speak A2 Elementary
  • Read A2 Elementary
    Write A2 Elementary
    Speak A2 Elementary
minimum required Education
Required work experience in years
0 or more years
Employment type
Contract type
Hours per week
Contract period
Contract duration
Materials Research & Technology
Profile type
Phd Student
Publication sur Nature

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