PhD Position Experimental Fluid Dynamics of Microalgae Suspensions

PhD Position Experimental Fluid Dynamics of Microalgae Suspensions

Published Deadline Location
15 Mar 20 Jun Delft

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Are you interested in new problems at the interface between fluid dynamics and biology? Are you excited about hands-on experimental work in a multidisciplinary environment? We are looking for an enthusiastic PhD candidate to develop new experiments to track microbial life in flows.

Job description

Photosynthetic microalgae hold promise for the sustainable production of high-value products, bioplastics, biofuels, and future engineering living materials. Flowing suspensions of living microalgae cells represent a new kind of living fluid that physiologically responds to the environment and flow conditions. New insight into the flow dynamics of these living microalgae suspensions is crucial to model algae blooms or develop new flow technologies for bioreactors.

The Ph.D. position is available within the project “Flow4Algae”. This experimental project aims to understand the multiscale fluid dynamics of living microalgae suspensions. We are particularly interested in the interplay between flow conditions, cell physiology, and cell growth. Each different project will focus on flow conditions ranging from linear shear flows in microfluidics to weak turbulence. In this project, you will design new multiscale experiments and analytical tools for the different flow regimes. These studies will be conducted in the BioFluids Laboratory in TU Delft and will use the infrastructure in the laboratory, including advanced flow diagnostics (Particle Image Velocimetry, Particle Tracking Velocimetry, and Laser Induced Fluorescence), microscopy (3D tracking multi-view microscopy and Fluorescence), rheology tools, microfluidics, and existing flow dynamics setups.

As a Ph.D., you will be part of a vibrant team of researchers working on the project Flow4Algae, with diverse backgrounds and expertise. The group is part of the Process & Energy Department, which thrives to conduct world-class research & education focusing on process & energy technologies for sustainable development.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for enthusiastic and inquisitive researchers who want to develop their know-how and experience in a challenging academic environment. The successful candidate should have:

  • A MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, Maritime Technology, Aeronautics, or equivalent degree with a strong background in fluid mechanics is a prerequisite.
  • Experience in conducting experimental work is regarded as a strength.
  • A critical and inquisitive attitude with regard to results is expected.
  • Ability to function both in a team and independently.
  • Strong communication skills, and both oral and written proficiency in English.

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 € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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 Mechanical Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the ME faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

ME is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in ME’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click  here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These  videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD05126


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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