PhD position: 3D gradient photopolymer printing using bio-based and bio-degradable materials

PhD position: 3D gradient photopolymer printing using bio-based and bio-degradable materials

Published Deadline Location
2 Oct 30 Nov Enschede

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Job description

3D-printing has begun a revolution in complex shaping. It translates virtual 3D models into physical objects in a controlled process of joining materials, usually layer-by-layer, for instance, using polymers, metals or ceramics. Due to its versatility, 3D printing is an affordable technique (easy prototyping, print on demand, cheap, etc.), which will lead to an increase of home-made disposable products, creating throwaway items, as the 3D printer usage is expected to grow rapidly.

Thanks to their broad range of properties, petroleum-derived polymers are the most common group of materials used in 3D photopolymer printing. However, their persistence has caused a worldwide waste managing problem. Moreover, the crude oil is a finite resource. These remain a visible barrier in a greener development of 3D printing and must be overcome.

Indicating direction-dependent properties i.e., gradient, in 3D printed photopolymer is a new possibility to realize their specific functions. These includes structural (variation of the filler size, distribution; variation of the porosity in foams, etc.) and chemical (variation of concentration, phase separation, etc.) gradients, or combination of both.

In this project, you will synergistically combine the ideas for gradient 3D printing with bio-based or/and bio-degradable polymers. The methods for gradient 3D printing will be developed. Biopolymers will be derived from plants and chemically modified. Biodegradation will be studied. You will aim at engineering and scientific approaches: to propose new printing solutions and sustainable materials but also to understand the processes and phenomena occurring at “boundaries” of such inhomogeneous final materials. The outcome of this project should provide new knowledge that will enable the design of 3D printing materials to be more environmentally friendly while maintaining gradient functionality.


University of Twente (UT)


  • You have BSc. or MSc. in Chemistry and visible experimental skill in Organic Chemistry.
  • You have high knowledge and interest in sustainable solutions for polymers (biopolymer, biodegradation, etc.).
  • You have good theoretical background or/and practical knowledge about 3D printing of polymers.
  • You exhibit a strong passion for science and exceptional motivation as a researcher, along with a deep compassion for science,
  • You like dealing with new concepts and doing original research but you are of critical approach to evaluating experimental findings.
  • You are fluent in English.
  • You are a team player.

Conditions of employment

  • An appointment for 4 years as a PhD researcher.
  • A salary ranging from € 2.770,- gross per month in the first year to € 3.539,- gross per month in the 4th year of your PhD appointment.
  • Terms of employment in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO).
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • Pension as part of the solid Dutch scheme (ABP).
  • Access to the state-of-art research facilities.
  • Excellent research infrastructures and well-equipped labs with professional lab technicians.
  • Possibilities to cooperate with nearby high-tech companies and institutions on both sides of national borders.
  • An inspiring scientific environment with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization and boundaryless collaboration is an important part of the strategic agenda.
  • Support for re-housing and immigration issues.
  • A family-friendly institution that has childcare facilities on campus and offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid) and career support for partners.
  • A green campus with all you need close-by including sport facilities and cultural activities.
  • Large campus with numerous options for free-of-charge recreational and sport activities.
  • Professional and personal development program within Graduate School Twente.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1443


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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