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Physicist, Chemical Engineer, Bioengineer, Biologist as PhD Student - Biopolymer based membranes for (waste) water filtration (m/f)

PhD student position Biopolymer based membranes for (waste) water filtration
Particle separation by micro- and ultrafiltration (MF and UF) offers the advantage that 100% separation efficiency can be achieved. However, these membranes are expensive (typically 50-100 €/m2) and suffer from fouling. This project aims at developing an alternative by using a cheap supporting material (e.g. mesh, non-woven fabric, woven filter cloth or ceramic materials) for a biopolymer based layer, which acts as the actual separation layer (also referred to as secondary membrane).
Research challenge
In this project you will develop an exciting, alternative technology for microfiltration membranes. These membranes have a large potential for wastewater treatment because they can achieve a 100% particle separation efficiency, but are expensive and suffer from fouling. To develop a cheaper alternative, you will produce biopolymers from wastewater from anaerobic as well as from aerobic bioreactors, and use these biopolymers to deposit a gel layer on a porous carrier material. This biopolymer layer will achieve the actual particle separation. You will investigate how to make such a layer, characterize its chemical, mechanical and structural properties, and relate this to short- and long-term filtration performance for synthetic as well as real wastewaters. The performance also will be studied fundamentally in the framework of colloidal interactions.
You can demonstrate and prove a strong affinity with biopolymers, methods to characterise polymers and gels and physical chemistry, and have an MSc degree in polymer physics, chemical engineering, bio-engineering, food-engineering or a related topic.

Our offer
Doing a PhD in the Netherlands takes 4 year.
You earn a salary to make a living.
In year 1 the salary is €30.674,  in year 4 €39.214 before tax.
The amount of paid holiday days is 35/year.
The research project is part of the Wetsus research theme Advanced water treatment.
The following companies are part of the theme:
-           Evides
-           Heineken
-           Paques
-           Pure Green Technologies
-           Unilever
-           VPWNN (Vereniging van Participanten Waterketen Noord-Nederland)
-           Veco
Promotors: Prof.dr.ir. Rob Lammertink (University of Twente, Membrane Science and Technology), Prof.dr.ir.Huub Rijnaarts (WUR, Environmental Technology)
Wetsus supervisors: Dr.ir. Hardy Temmink (WUR), Dr.ir. Antoine Kemperman (UT)
For more information please contact dr.ir. Hardy Temmink (hardy.temmink@wetsus.nl) or dr.ir. Antoine Kemperman (antoine.kemperman@wetsus.nl).

Contact detail

How to apply:
Outstanding and highly motivated candidates are asked to provide the following information:
  • Motivation letter
  • CV specifying:
    - Doctoral study entrance qualification (name master degree)
    - List of internships (subject, name supervisor, grade, etc)
    - Publications (if applicable)
    - Scientific interest, complementary qualifications, achievements
    - Other relevant information
  • Grades (with explanation on the grading system)
  • Copy of master diploma or letter of university that master diploma will be obtained soon
  • At least one letter of recommendation and contact information of the referee(s)
Applicants are asked to rank their preference for a research project. A maximum of 3 preferences can be given.
The recruitment will proceed based on your first preference. The other two will provide us with information about your interests.

Please combine all documents in one single attachment.

Go to www.phdpositionswetsus.eu and use the apply button to send your application. It is important to only use this apply button. All other applications will not be processed. You can find the apply button at the bottom of every project published!

Send application to

For more information please contact dr.ir. Hardy Temmink (hardy.temmink@wetsus.nl) or dr.ir. Antoine Kemperman (antoine.kemperman@wetsus.nl).


Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Working place
8911 Leeuwarden
Area of expertise
Chemical & Process Engineering, Chemistry, Physics