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Master Thesis student (d/f/m) in the field of Thermal Rectification Techniques

Job Description:

In order to support the “Thermal Systems & Products Germany” department, Airbus Defence and Space is looking for a

Master Thesis student (d/f/m) in the field of Thermal Rectification Techniques

You are looking for a master thesis and want to get to know the work of a job title? Then apply now! We look forward to you supporting us in the “Thermal Systems & Products Germany” department as a master student (d/f/m)!

  • Location: Friedrichshafen

  • Start: 01.09.2024

  • Duration: 6 month

One of the major challenges in current and future projects is thermal control. Increasing performance requirements on instrumentation lead to increased data gathering rates, while miniaturisation of components allows for a higher density of on-board electronics. The result are significantly increased heat densities while simultaneously high-performance units often are more sensitive and have more stringent cooling requirements than their less powerful counterparts. This challenge can be met by increasing radiator size and improving heat transport from source to radiator via high conductance elements such as heat pipes. 

However, the state-of-the-art heat pipes are not unidirectional. This means that if by an – accidentally or intentionally performed – orbit manoeuvre the radiator points such that it is subject to an incoming heat flux, then the heat pipe directly transports this heat into the device which should actually be cooled, putting sensitive equipment at a high risk of getting damaged. Such a fail case can be avoided by the implementation of thermal diodes which have a high heat transport capability in one direction, but block it in the opposite direction.

Among others, a technological solution that allows to achieve such a behaviour is based on the jumping drop effect (JDE). A typical jumping-drop thermal diode (see Figure, left) consists of a vapor chamber with a superominphobic and superomniphilic plates.

Heating the superomniphilic plate (see Figure, top left) causes the working fluid to evaporate and condense on the superominphobic surface. The coalescence of condensed droplets generates excess interface free energy, causing the merged droplet to jump back to the evaporator thus completing an efficient phase-change heat transfer cycle. Heating the superominphobic surface (see Figure, bottom left)  blocks phase-change heat transfer because the liquid phase remains trapped on the superomniphilic surface. In this case, the heat transfer results much lower than the previous one.

Such diodes will be put forward as a future development project in this thesis. The realization of such thermal diodes has already been investigated as part of several master thesis, resulting in the construction and testing of first working prototypes (using water as working fluid) and improvement/implementation of numerical models for the jumping drop velocity prediction.

In continuation of these works, the goal of the current thesis will be to assess the feasibility of a jumping-drop thermal diode using space-compatible working fluids like ethanol and ammonia. To do so, the main challenge is the fabrication of superomniphobic surfaces for these fluids.


In the initial phase of the thesis, the student will review existing literature and the state of the art. Additionally, she/he will conduct simulations to identify surface parameters that theoretically enable droplets jumping. Subsequently, the student’s task will be to manufacture the surfaces with the selected characteristics, integrate them in the existing test cell and evaluate the performance.

Your location

At the Airbus site in Friedrichshafen you will be working on innovation where others spend their holidays. Enjoy panoramic views of Lake Constance while having lunch in our canteen. And after work, join one of our many corporate sports groups to go running, sailing or skiing.

Your benefits

  • Attractive salary and work-life balance with a 35-hour week (flexitime).

  • Traveling overseas or within Germany (team events) is possible after consultation and agreement from the department. 

  • International environment with the opportunity to network globally.

  • Work with modern/diversified technologies.

  • At Airbus, we see you as a valuable team member and you are not hired to brew coffee, instead you are in close contact with the interfaces and are part of our weekly team meetings.

  • Opportunity to participate in the Generation Airbus Community to expand your own network.

Your tasks and responsibilities

The thesis will consist of the following steps:

  • Conduct a literature review on the development of superomniphobic surfaces for ethanol, ammonia, etc.

  • Perform numerical analysis to determine the optimal parameters

  • Development/improvement of fabrication techniques

  • Benchmarking of test samples in laboratory environment

  • Documentation (in English) and presentation of the work


 Desired skills and qualifications

  • Enrolled full time student (d/f/m) with Material science, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering 

  • Solid understanding of materials science and chemistry.

  • Hands-on experience in surface treatments is a plus.

  • Familiarity with laboratory equipment.

  • Proficiency in data analysis, and software for interpreting results (Matlab/Python).

  • Understanding of thermodynamic processes.

  • Language skills: Englisch and German


Please upload the following documents: cover letter, CV, relevant transcripts, enrollment certificate. 

Not a 100% match? No worries! Airbus supports your personal growth.

Take your career to a new level and apply online now!

This job requires an awareness of any potential compliance risks and a commitment to act with integrity, as the foundation for the Company’s success, reputation and sustainable growth.


Airbus Defence and Space GmbH

Employment Type:

Final-year Thesis


Experience Level:


Job Family:

Fluid & Hydromechanics, Thermal

By submitting your CV or application you are consenting to Airbus using and storing information about you for monitoring purposes relating to your application or future employment. This information will only be used by Airbus.
Airbus is committed to achieving workforce diversity and creating an inclusive working environment. We welcome all applications irrespective of social and cultural background, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation or religious belief.

Airbus is, and always has been, committed to equal opportunities for all. As such, we will never ask for any type of monetary exchange in the frame of a recruitment process. Any impersonation of Airbus to do so should be reported to emsom@airbus.com.

At Airbus, we support you to work, connect and collaborate more easily and flexibly. Wherever possible, we foster flexible working arrangements to stimulate innovative thinking.

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Master Thesis student (d/f/m) in the field of Thermal Rectification Techniques

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Veröffentlicht am 11.06.2024

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