PhD positions on Steam drying in the paper industry – model based decision-making

PhD positions on Steam drying in the paper industry – model based decision-making

Published Deadline Location
29 Sep tomorrow Enschede

Job description

Are you passionate about using and developing process systems engineering tools (e.g. design, optimization, modeling, simulation, and control)? We offer two challenging Ph.D. positions in the process systems engineering laboratory at Twente University.

SteamDry is a HORIZON2020 project with 17 industrial- and academic partners throughout Europe. The goal of SteamDry is to drastically reduce energy use (40%) and to obtain a CO2 emission-free paper and board industry by developing superheated steam drying technology.

The main task for Twente University and Wageningen Research (WR) is to ensure high steam quality (low in fibers and air) throughout the process by prevention and purification using appropriate technologies.

To achieve this task a model-based approach will be followed, supported by experimentation. From these models, digital twins are constructed to develop an advanced control system.

We are offering two PhD positions: one for prevention and one for purification.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You are available from 01-01-2024.
  • You will be embedded in the Process Systems Engineering Laboratory at the faculty of Science and Technology of the University of Twente. This will give you access to state-of-the-art facilities and scientific knowledge.
  • You will interact with direct colleagues in the group and with scientist of WR on a scientific level. This requires that you frequently visit Wageningen.
  • You will interact with EU-project partners and will participate in project related events throughout Europe.
  • You have a strong affinity with mathematical modeling and programming and related process systems engineering tools.
  • You are able to design and use experimental setups (under the appropriate guidance).
  • You have a Master’s degree in (chemical) engineering.
  • You are a team player and enjoy interdisciplinary work.
  • You have good communication skills, and you are driven by scientific curiosity.
  • You can speak and write English proficiently

Conditions of employment

  • A full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, and the flexibility to work (partially) from home.
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU).
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year).
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus.
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision.


The Laboratory of Process Systems Engineering (PSE) is embedded in the Sustainable Process Technology (SPT) group of Twente University. SPT is a multidisciplinary, international research group with several professorships, technical personnel, and many Ph.D. and M.Sc. students. In SPT we cover several areas in sustainable process technology, such as plastics recycling, carbon capture and utilization, affinity separations, process control, and process design. SPT has an excellent infrastructure for experiments (from lab to pilot scale) and model-based decision-making.

The main research activities of the PSE lab are in the field of energy transition, specifically on topics that regard the transformation to a hydrogen economy, biobased production, carbon capture and utilization, and electrochemical storage of energy. In these application areas, we develop models, control, and optimization strategies to design unit, plant, and supply chains in such a way that maximum flexibility and the best trade-offs between conflicting objectives are obtained.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before 30 November 2023, and include:
  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position.
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references.
  • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact Prof. E. Zondervan (


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1442


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 30 Nov 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).