PhD position on electrically-driven water removal from biomass (experiments and simulations)

PhD position on electrically-driven water removal from biomass (experiments and simulations)

Published Deadline Location
27 Oct 30 Nov Delft

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Job description

A PhD project is available at TUD as part of the NWO-funded consortium ELECTRIFIED, comprising 5 academic and 8 industrial partners. You will be based in the Department of Chemical Engineering and will work under the joint supervision of Dr. Valeria Garbin (Department of Chemical Engineering, Transport Phenomena group) and Prof. Johan Padding (Process & Energy, Complex Fluids Processing group). Your PhD project will focus on elucidating the fundamental mechanisms of water removal from biomass by electric fields, using a combination of advanced microscale experiments and numerical simulations. The overarching aim of the ELECTRIFIED project is to develop the technological principles for enabling both energy reduction and use of renewable energy in water removal and drying of biomass. Currently, drying alone represents 15-25% of industrial energy consumption. Many new biobased resources will only become viable if more efficient dewatering technologies become available. ELECTRIFIED will develop the new technologies needed to use electricity as driving force to extract water from biomass, in liquid, semi-solid and solid form. This approach is expected to save 30–90% of the energy currently required for evaporative dewatering and drying.  


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for candidates with an MSc in Chemical Engineering, Applied Physics, Mechanical Engineering, or related disciplines. Applicants need to demonstrate:

  • an excellent track record in their education and research;
  • a strong educational background in fluid dynamics and transport phenomena;
  • research experience in experimental or numerical transport phenomena;
  • an ability and willingness to learn to communicate effectively with different audiences;
  • excellent command of English (written and spoken);
  • an open mind to collaborate with colleagues, project partners, and industry.

In addition:

  • a background in molecular transport phenomena, including ion transport, is desirable;
  • experience implementing transport equations in COMSOL will be highly beneficial.
  • experimental skills in microfluidics, microscopy, and image analysis are desirable;
  • an interest in valorization of fundamental research to create impact on society is desirable.  

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts 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.


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 as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Applied Sciences

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2471—€3336 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD02903


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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