PhD position on Recovery of valuable minerals

PhD position on Recovery of valuable minerals

Published Deadline Location
23 Feb 31 Mar Enschede

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Job description

Are you going to build a new generation of membranes to recover metals like lithium from wastewater streams? Are you result-oriented and like challenges?

We are looking for a PhD student to reinforce our team!

One of the main growing concerns worldwide is the reliable and unhindered access to valuable metals and minerals for the production and further development of many modern technological products, such as smartphones, computer chips, and renewable energy devices. A significant and growing amount of those materials is present in liquid sources such as seawater, brines (geothermal, desalination, etc.), and wastewater streams in the form of dissolved solids.

Membrane crystallization is a groundbreaking technology with the potential to recover those materials. This project strives to develop highly porous ceramic membrane supports using ecologically benign feed materials instead of organic solvents and harmful additives, thereby studying the effect of the pore size, pore size distribution, and porosity on the membrane performance. On top of the support, a super-hydrophobic layer will be built, and the influence of the membrane roughness varied via in-situ growth of hierarchical micro-nano structures, and hydrophobization will be investigated.

The proposed approach will enable a set of novel super-hydrophobic, environmentally friendly hybrid ceramic membranes to recover minerals from highly concentrated aqueous streams and provide a fundamental scientific understanding of the effect of different parameters on the MCr performance.

In the project, the Inorganic Membranes (IM) group and the Molecular NanoFabrication (MNF) group of the University of Twente work close together. A PhD student will work in both groups and also work together with a Postdoc at the Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR-ITM, Rende, Italy). CNR-ITM is a leading research center in the field of membrane crystallization.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You are a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher (F/M)
  • You have an MSc degree in chemical engineering or a closely related subject area.
  • We encourage strong communication skills and curiosity about sharing knowledge, presenting at conferences and (project) meetings, and publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Creativity, with a hands-on mentality, is valued highly.
  • Proficiency in English is required, both spoken and written

Conditions of employment

We want you to play a key role in a results-oriented project in an inspiring and stimulating international work environment.
  • You will have an employment contract for four years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers.
  • Monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- gross at the start to € 3.247,- gross in the 4th year.
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating, state-of-the-art research environment with world-class facilities.
  • The research will result in a Ph.D. thesis at the end of the employment period.
  • We offer an excellent and stimulating scientific environment with an attractive campus and lots of facilities for sports and leisure. The university provides a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.
  • The research will result in a Ph.D. thesis at the end of the employment period.


The Inorganic Membrane group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, which offers advanced characterization and fabrication tools on nanoscale, as well as a stimulating environment with more than 250 PhD students working on various aspects of nanoscience and technology.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1082


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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