PhD Position on "Circular Plastic Data Analysis” at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE)

PhD Position on "Circular Plastic Data Analysis” at the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE)

Published Deadline Location
1 Mar 23 Mar Geleen

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Job description

Are you interested in using chemical data science to unlock the industrial 4.0 value of waste plastic stream? Then join us to work on an interdisciplinary project in improving plastic recycling methods and mitigating environmental impacts. This position is immediately available for a planned duration of 48 months.

In this project you will be using data science/AI (possibly hybridized with other physical modelling techniques) to accurate predict complex relationships within the chemical recycling pathway of the circular plastics stream. You will be involved in modelling aspect of the research, gathering information from multiple data sources and providing industrial 4.0 value from your models. You will also be guided by a principal investigator and allowed to connect with international researchers to exchange knowledge and understanding on various specialized topic.

The topic is highly relevant to industry and part of a project with industrial partners and other universities.

As a PhD, you will also be involved in teaching activities (e.g., teaching of tutor group meetings, MSc thesis supervision) at CCE.


Maastricht University (UM)


This position will require a candidate to have interest in exploring both circular chemical engineering and data science/AI. The following aspects are what we are looking for:

  • You have a master’s degree (completed or to be completed shortly) oriented towards circular chemical engineering (including chemical engineering, process engineering, chemistry, material science, environmental science, and other relevant degrees);
  • Or you have a master’s degree oriented towards chemical data science (including computer science, artificial intelligence, chemometrics, data science);
  • Background in modelling complex systems and processes;
  • Knowledge in data-driven modelling, optimization and statistics. (Able to use different modelling techniques together in a synergistic manner);
  • Excellent English oral and written skills;
  • Coding abilities in Matlab, Python or R. (Preferably Python);
  • Willingness to communicate results by conference presentation and publication in top academic journals.

Personality suitable for this role:

  • Self-motivated and adventurous to explore into unstudied regions;
  • Have an interdisciplinary mindset working with both academics and industrial collaborators;
  • Honest and diligent work ethic.

We would be especially interested in candidates who have:

  • Industrial experience in circular chemical engineering-related fields.
  • Track record of good grades or research outputs (conference presentation, academic journal     publication, etc.).

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: contract for a period of 1 year, which will be extended for another 3 years after positive evaluation.

  • We offer a rewarding career at a young university in the heart of Europe, with a distinct global perspective and a strong focus on innovative research and education;
  • The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO-NU), supplemented with local UM provisions. More  information on the CAO-NU can be found on;
  • We offer a full-time employment contract for a period of 1 year, which will be extended for another 3 years after positive evaluation.
  • Remuneration will be according to standard salary levels for PhD candidates starting with a salary of € 2,541 with a yearly growth to € 3,247 gross a month (based on a full-time appointment of 38 hours per week). Each year the standard salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8.3% of the yearly gross income.
  • We offer an attractive package of fringe benefits such as reduction on collective health insurance, substantial leave arrangements, optional model for designing a personalised benefits package and application for attractive fiscal arrangements for employees from abroad.

Starting date: 1 May 2023


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 22,000 students and 5,000 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. More information, visit

Eager to learn more? Take our virtual campus tour to get a sense of our university culture, the city of Maastricht, and your potential working environment.

Faculty of Science and Engineering
The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is home to several outstanding departments and institutions covering education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as the liberal arts and sciences.

Maastricht University is an international organization, embracing a diverse student and staff population. We strongly believe that diversity is our advantage and creating an inclusive working climate in which students and staff feel a valued member of the UM community is therefore a top strategic priority. UM values diversity within its community and encourages you to apply.


Department of Circular Chemical Engineering; Circular Plastics research group

The Circular Plastics research group is part of the newly created Department of Circular Chemical Engineering in the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Maastricht University. The research group headed by prof. Kim Ragaert, a renowned expert in mechanical recycling of plastics. The group has its own recycling lab on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus, surrounded by industry and research institutes. It is a young and dynamic research team consisting of several associate and assistant professors as well a dozen PhD researchers. All of us are working hard to find a sustainable place for plastics in the circular economy. The team is very international and gender-balanced. While most of us are polymer scientists or materials engineers, we also work on interdisciplinary topics and would be interested to expand our horizon towards this more data science-related profile, who will be supervised by an expert in chemometrics.


  • PhD
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • AT2023.104


Maastricht University (UM)

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Urmonderbaan 22, 6167 RD, Geleen

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