Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) Position on Engineering Living Materials (ELM) for Product Design

Assistant Professor (Tenure Track) Position on Engineering Living Materials (ELM) for Product Design

Published Deadline Location
4 May 1 Jun Delft

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Job description

The fusion of synthetic biology with materials science, product design and engineering has yielded breakthrough innovations over the last decade, leading to a new family of materials: engineered living materials (ELMs), which suggest engineering living organisms such as bacteria, fungi, algae, to produce biologically active materials which can sense, adapt, and evolve in use.  Technological opportunities, alongside its ecological benefits, point to biodesign of ELMs as a new paradigm for the production of active, adaptive and autonomous products in the 21st century. However, despite the optimism and determination shared by scientists, designers, and industries, thus far, the incorporation of living organisms in design produces one-of-a-kind examples. New interdisciplinary skills, tools, and methods are necessary for researching the potentials of ELMs in products design for unique functions and experiences and scaling-up their production beyond one-of-a-kind and hypothetical examples.

In order to establish this new promising direction for design research and practice, Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) (TU Delft) has recently proposed the foundation of a new Biodesign Lab, aiming at scaling-up research with living organisms as building blocks of future products. The lab will pioneer within this field by exploring the scalability potential of living materials for product design through an innovative design research methodology – combining theory and practice from product design, biotechnology, materials science, and engineering.

We are looking for a colleague with a PhD degree in Biotechnology, including (Applied) microbiology and biochemistry, who will join our team as a TT Assistant Professor to support the foundation of Biodesign research and education in IDE, with an emphasis on the following areas:

  • Research into Engineered Living Materials, mobilizing biological and physical material hybrids in the design of consumer products which can, for example, self-repair, clean the air, store data, generate light, or electrical current, by sensing and responding to environmental stimuli or human intervention in everyday life;
  • Biodesign didactic line for the fundamentals of biotechnology for product design;
  • Biodesign Lab protocols and essential training programs for PhD/Post-Doc researchers with design backgrounds.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for a candidate with the background in bioengineering, (applied) microbiology, biochemistry, material science or other relevant areas and following specific qualifications and abilities:

A PhD degree or equivalent research achievements;

Scientific merits in biotechnology and biofabrication of living materials, demonstrated by a track record of publications in top journals/conferences;

Interest and/or experience in interdisciplinary research capitalizing on design-driven materials development, which integrates user experience perspective and overall societal impact in the development of materials and product in synergy,

Interest or experience in up-scaling living materials from petri-dish scale to product scale;

Ability to frame, define and pursue own research directions embedded in the section, the department and the faculty;

Ability to design and deliver clear and engaging education at the graduate and undergraduate level;

Ability to acquire/collaborate in research, educational and industrial projects in relevant national and international networks.     

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 6 years.

A tenure-track position is offered for six years. In the fifth year we’ll decide if you will be offered a permanent faculty position, based on performance indicators agreed upon at the start of the appointment. We expect that you have the potential to grow towards an Associate Professor and/or Full Professor role in the future.

Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. We expect you to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) within three years if you have less than five years of teaching experience. This is provided by the TU Delft UTQ programme.
TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language within three years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 


Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

Matching the evolution of people with the speed of the revolution of technology. This is the focus of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE). Delft designers act as a bridge between advances in technology and the needs of people, organisations and society to create products, services and systems with purpose.

IDE is a leader in design research across the application areas of mobility, sustainability and health, as well as its development of design tools and methods. A 350-strong research team and over 2,000 students work together in our inspiring hall, labs and studios.

In close cooperation with industry, the public sector and NGOs we rehearse possible futures in research and education to design for a complex future.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €3746—€5127 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD01078


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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