PDEng – Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis Oil Application in Gas Turbines

PDEng – Catalytic Fast Pyrolysis Oil Application in Gas Turbines

Published Deadline Location
23 Jun 31 Aug Enschede

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Job description

Are you interested in high-end technological design? Then, the Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme Energy and Process Technology is very interesting for you. The PDEng programme is a 2-year post-MSc technological programme with a focus on technological design. This programme at the University of Twente contains an educational part that will be followed at the University of Twente, and a design project that will be carried out in cooperation with the OPRA Turbines company under Horizon 2020 ERA-NET project “Enhanced catalytic fast pyrolysis of biomass for maximum production of high-quality biofuels – ENCAT”. The educational programme will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with OPRA Turbines, high level, creative and new designs for complex issues will be aimed at.

Project description
Decentralized small-scale CHP solutions will continue to play an important role on the energy market as they provide an efficient, flexible and reliable production of heat and power. Moreover, they led to a growing demand to utilize locally available fuels. This trend, together with the wish to find alternatives to fossil fuels, resulted in an increasing interest to operate conventional prime movers on bio-oils, such as one from catalytic fast pyrolysis (CFP). However, CFP and other bio-oils are challenging to utilize in conventional engines. This is because they have low energy densities, high viscosities and they often contain sediments and particles which can influence negatively operation performance and life time of the engine.

The PDEng project will deal with the application of CFP and other bio-oils in the gas turbine engine. The goal of this work is to develop tools based on CFD and engineering approach in order to be able to model predict and design the behaviour of gas turbine operating on various bio-oils. The work will be performed by both, experimental and numerical investigations. The close cooperation between the industrial and academic partners will ensure a high scientific level of the work, while making sure it has direct industrial relevance. The information gained will provide necessary information about operating conditions and modifications needed to be able to accommodate the bio-oils in gas turbines and provide low emission output. The CFD computations and experiments on the atomization of CFP will be conducted at the University of Twente with application of OpenFOAM, whereas combustion experiments will be done on the laboratory scale and/or full scale gas turbine at premises of OPRA Turbines.


  • CFD of combustion process for selected biofuels
  • Characterization of the spray properties using atomization test rig available at the University of Twente

Validation of the model with laboratory/full scale combustion experiments

Design and improvements regarding operating parameters and turbine parts sensitive to bio-fuel application.


University of Twente (UT)


We are searching for the best MSc graduated candidates (or graduates with several years of experience) in the field of Thermal Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Energy Technology or Mechanical Engineering or related discipline with a demonstrable affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments. Besides, it is important that you can work in a team, have good communication skills, have a sound project approach, and speak and writes fluent English. Candidates 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).

You must have the ambition and talent to accelerate in finding solutions / creating designs for complex technological issues with a multidisciplinary character.

Previous international mobility, experience in the field of CFD, liquid biomass atomization and combustion is welcome. An interview will be part of the selection procedure.

Please send your letter of motivation, with a curriculum vitae, a list with grades of courses attended, references and, if applicable, a list of publications before 31-08-2017 through the link below.

If you have any further questions about this vacancy of the PDEng programme in Energy & Process Technology, please contact prof.dr.ir . G. Brem (Email: g.brem@utwente.nl Tel.: +31 (0)53 489 2561) or dr. ir. A.K. Pozarlik (Email: a.k.pozarlik@utwente.nl Tel.: +31 (0)53 489 2658.

General information about PDEng programmes you can find at our website or in our brochure.

Conditions of employment

We offer a contract for 24 months. During these two years you follow a tailor made post-master design programme with a combination of education (~50%) and working on a design project (~50%). The salary will be € 1.828,- gross per month. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development and a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus.

On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified and internationally recognised degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: MIRA, CTIT, SBE  and IGS.


  • PhD positions
  • Natural Sciences; Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €1828 per month
  • University Graduate
  • 916460


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB, Enschede

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