Valorization and characterization of extracellular biopolymers produced in different types of wastewater treatment plants

Applicants are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Biological and Chemical Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 September 2023 or later.

Title:Valorization and characterization of extracellular biopolymers produced in different types of wastewater treatment plants

Research area and project description:
For the position, you will use your expertise in chemical/biochemical engineering, downstream processing, separations technology, macromolecular/  biopolymer/ analytical chemistry, or biopolymer processing, to extract, recover, preprocess, perform chemical and biophysical analyses on, and explore possibilities for valorization of, extracellular biopolymers from biosolid wastes that represent the types of biosolids produced from wastewater treatment plants. Your results will be integrated into metagenomic, and resource valorization and recovery platforms, to identify ways to control wastewater treatment plants for optimized biopolymer production, how to formulate extracellular biopolymers into valuable materials, and integrate biopolymer products into value chains.

You will be part of the REcovery of extracellular polymers from wastewater Treatment residuals as a New circular bioeconomy (REThiNk) project, which is funded under Novo Nordisk Foundation Challenge 2022 – Recycling for a Sustainable Society. REThiNk aims to develop knowledge and technology to convert one of the world’s largest biowaste products (i.e. activated sludge from wastewater treatment plants) into high value biomaterials.

You will contribute to an interdisciplinary team comprising experts in wastewater engineering and microbiology, biopolymer science, downstream processing and characterization, and resource recovery, led by world leaders in their fields at Aalborg University, TU Delft and Aarhus University

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicant must have a relevant Masters’ degree in analytical, organic or macromolecular chemistry, biochemistry, biological- or chemical engineering.

The applicant should preferably have expertise or hands-on experience with at least one of the following:

  • Downstream processing, or separations technologies
  • Chemical and/or biochemical analytical techniques, such as NMR
  • Chemical and/or biochemical purification methods, such as chromatography
  • Chemical, biochemical and/or biopolymer structural and functional characterization
  • Resource recovery
  • Biorefineries
  • Biopolymers
  • Excellence in both written and spoken English

The project can be modified according to the expertise of the candidate.

You will be working in the research group “Microbial biointerfaces in water engineering” as part of the Dept. of Biological & Chemical Engineering. As a group member you will be expected to be a team player, where you contribute to student co-supervision, teaching and day-to-day work of the group.

Place of employment and place of work:
Universtitetsbyen 36, Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Aarhus University, 8000, Aarhus, Denmark.

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

  • Thomas Seviour: 

How to apply:
Please follow this link to submit your application. Application deadline is 21 April 2023 at 23:59 CEST. Preferred starting date is 1 September 2023.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.