PhD position - Polyelectrolyte Complexation for the Next Generation of Sustainable Membranes

PhD position - Polyelectrolyte Complexation for the Next Generation of Sustainable Membranes

Published Deadline Location
19 Oct 13 Nov Enschede

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Job description

A PhD project is available regarding the production and characterization of new and sustainable membranes. Membranes play a critical role in the production of safe drinking water and the treatment of human waste streams. However, membranes themselves are nearly always produced using costly, harmful and environmentally unfriendly aprotic solvents such as N-methyl-pyrrolidone (NMP). These projects will investigate a highly novel approach allowing the production of the next generation of advanced membranes without the need to use any organic solvents. Here, the complexation of positively and negatively charged polyelectrolytes will be the basis for a new method for the fabrication of membranes, requiring only water as a solvent. The charged nature of these starting materials will make these membranes especially promising as the next generation of Nanofiltration (NF), Electrodialysis (ED), and Gas Separation (GS) membranes. Finally, blending the polyelectrolytes with active ingredients can provide the membrane with advanced properties (anti-fouling, ion-specific, catalytic etc.). The focus in this investigation will be on the development of dense membranes and to study the material properties of these novel membranes, especially in respect to their transport properties for ions and gasses. 

This project will take place in an international research group with a strong collaborative atmosphere. As part of the PhD program, you would have the opportunity to receive further education within the Twente Graduate School. Furthermore, you may actively contribute in the teaching program, e.g. by supervision of BSc and MSc assignments and teaching assistance.


University of Twente (UT)


You have a Master’s degree, preferably with distinction (or international equivalent), in Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science or a closely related discipline. You are motivated and enthusiastic about working on a more fundamental project within a more applied field of research.

Preferably you have experience with complexation driven processes, phase separation, membrane science and/or transport phenomena. You have the ability to work independently and as a member of a research team, while demonstrating a collaborative attitude.

You are able to review and engage with interdisciplinary studies and are driven by curiosity. You have excellent analytical skills and an analytical mind-set, excellent communication skills, written as well as spoken. English language proficiency is a must and a written test, as well as a scientific presentation, will be part of the interview procedure.

Questions regarding this position can be directed to Dr. Wiebe M. de Vos (, phone: +31 53 489 4495). 

Please send your application with c.v. (including contact information for at least two academic references), via the link below. If possible, please add a list of grades of both your BSc and MSc diploma.

Conditions of employment

The University of Twente offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. When fulfilling a PhD position at the UT, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.222,- in the first year and increases to € 2.840,- in the fourth year of your employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amount to 8%), an end of year bonus of 8.3%. A high-quality training programme is part of the agreement. The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period. The position is intended to start on the 1st of December 2017.


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

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.


  • PhD
  • Natural sciences; Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2222—€2840 per month
  • University graduate
  • 930392


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB, Enschede

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