PhD - Bioinspired mineralized cellulose composites

PhD - Bioinspired mineralized cellulose composites

Published Deadline Location
8 Dec 6 Mar Delft

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Job description

The field of materials science is urgently in need of groundbreaking new technologies to enable sustainable fabrication of high-performance materials. Biomaterials in the natural world provide an abundant source of inspiration for the design and synthesis of novel materials. Most living organisms use elements in their environment to fabricate biominerals, from which a wide range are composites of calcium carbonate and biopolymers (eg., lobster shell, eggshell, nacre). In this project, the PhD student will produce composite materials composed of biominerals and biopolymers, arranged in a specific nano- and microstructure. Material characterization will then be performed to eventually reach a composite material that combines high stiffness, high toughness, fire resistance, etc. The advantages of using living organisms for high-performance materials fabrication include the high sustainability of the approach, the potential for self-repair, and the possibility to achieve material production directly "on site", outside of the factory. The PhD will work in a multidisciplinary team with the support of technicians and biotechnologists.


The Aubin-Tam group is a dynamic and multidisciplinary research group interested in developing bio-inspired and living materials, with superior mechanical characteristics and reponsive qualities. It is part of the Bionanoscience department, which is a multidisciplinary department dedicated to the study of fundamental and applied biophysical/biological questions with cutting-edge tools from physics, biology and nanotechnology. The department offers excellent technical facilities, including an advanced microscopy center.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Qualified candidates have a Master in material science, physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering or chemical engineering. Successful candidates are motivated by a deep scientific curiosity, have excellent experimental and quantitative skills and possess a drive to learn and to develop new methods and concepts.

PLEASE NOTE: The applications will be reviewed as soon as they are received, therefore it is preferable to submit your application as soon as it is ready. 

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

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


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 Applied Sciences

With more than 1,000 employees, including 135 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,400 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we train students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers and science communicators.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03202


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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