PhD Position "Biochemical Production Systems using photosynthetic Organisms"

The Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems, Department of Process Systems Engineering (Head: Prof. Dr. Kai Sundmacher), invites applications for a
 PhD position

The position is to be filled as soon as possible.

The candidate will be integrated into the research team, which focuses on biochemical production systems using photosynthetic organisms (project ProPhos, info The long-term goal in this project is to identify optimal process configurations, operating strategies and downstream processes for an algae-based biorefinery. A further objective in the research area is to apply a whole cell approach, which is crucial for the commercialization of algal processes. The optimization of the downstream processes is focused on an efficient extraction of lipophilic fraction and the efficient valorization of all available biomacromolecular fractions.

Activities and responsibilities

The objective of the PhD project is to investigate new type extraction processes for wet algal biomass. The candidate should declare the potential and applicability of unconventional solvent systems (e.g switchable or thermoregulated solvents, deep eutectic solvents or aqueous two-phase systems) for extraction. Furthermore, in the project new extraction processes should be designed. The computational chemistry or model based approaches will be used to identify the best alternatives for the experimental investigations.

Qualification profile

Suitable candidates hold a Diploma degree or a Master degree in the chemical, biotechnological, process engineering, or related disciplines. Marks should be clearly above average. Excellent knowledge of chemical engineering and physical chemistry (phases, solutions and phase equilibria) is required. Skills and experience both on mathematical modeling and experimental laboratory work are requested. Knowledge in computational chemistry will be an asset. The willingness and competence to work and publish scientifically in an interdisciplinary and international environment is expected.


The position is initially limited for one year with the possibility of extension. The payment is 75 % of EG13. We offer the support for scientific qualification and close scientific exchange between the national and international research teams. The doctoral supervisor will be Prof. Dr. Kai Sundmacher in Otto-von-Guericke University Magdeburg. 

The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply. Furthermore, the Max-Planck society is committed to increase the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

Send application to

There is no strict deadline and the call is open until the position is filled. Please, send your application as one single pdf-document including application letter, curriculum vitae, certificates and references by e-mail to the following address:

Please send your e-Mail application with the subject “PhD application_PSE”.

For further information regarding the position, please contact Dr. L. Rihko-Struckmann (

While applying for the job please refer to jobvector and use the following reference number: PhD application_PSE

About Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Dynamical Systems

In 1996 the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics of Complex Technical Systems was established. The founding director is Prof. em. Dr.-Ing. Ernst Dieter Gilles. The institute in Magdeburg is the first institute of the Max Planck Society dedicated to the engineering sciences and is intended to bridge the gap between basic research and industrial applications. At present 240 employees are...

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