Full-Time Academic Position in Biomass Transformation - Downstream Processing Université libre de Bruxelles, Brussels Bioengineering School Belgium


Polytechnic School of Brussels

Reference : 2016/A058

Application deadline: 31/10/2017

Start date: 01/02/2018

Job description

The Brussels Bioengineering School is seeking to develop a strong hub in the field of bioresources
(biomass) transformation and valorization with activities ranging from the laboratory to the pilot scale.
Two positions have been opened, one in "Biomass transformation - downstream processing" and one in
"Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass". A strong collaboration between these two chairs
will be highly encouraged.


The candidate for the chair in "Bioresources transformation - downstream processing" must have
expertise in the design of biomass transformation processes and downstream operations leading to
chemical building blocks or high added value products. He/she must have the scientific expertise required
to design and scale-up unit operations and/or processes based on chemical, enzymatic and/or biological
methods for the transformation of biomass and the subsequent downstream processing. A specific knowhow
in the valorization of urban bioresources will be considered an advantage.


The candidate will have to show his/her ability to work in close synergy with existing research teams in the
Bioengineering School, the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Polytechnic School,
particularly in the extraction, characterization and use of high added value products, for which important
expertise is already present. A strong partnership will be expected with the new academic in "Chemical and
biochemical transformation of biomass", in order to develop a strong bioresources valorization hub
focusing on applications from the laboratory to the pilot scale.


Area of Research :


The research should focus on transforming bioresources to obtain chemical building blocks and/or high
added value products. The transformation should not be limited to compound extraction as existing
research teams at the ULB already deal with this activity. The transformation could be achieved using
chemical, enzymatic and/or biological routes. The research will focus on the design, scale-up and
optimization of these transformations and downstream processes from the laboratory to the pilot scale.


Educational and scientific goals :


The successful candidate’s teaching activities will have to integrate the existing bioengineering teaching
activities and will be expected to develop learning activities dealing with bioresources valorization in a
sustainable development framework.

Research activities will have to be of international level and should lead to the development of an
autonomous research team. The research activities should reinforce or favor synergies within ULB with
existing teams with complementary expertise from the Bioengineering School, the Faculty of Sciences, the
Faculty of Pharmacy and the Polytechnic School. Moreover, in partnership with the team of the person
that has been appointed on the opening in "Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass",
research activities should lead to the development of bioresources valorization applications, from the
laboratory to the industrial pilot scale. With existing teams with complementary interests, this should lead
to a value chain going from the prospection of potential valorization pathways to final product
development. These collaborations should lead to the positioning at an international level of the
Bioengineering School in the field of bioresources valorization.

Courses covered at the time of recruitment :

New courses, in the field of expertise of the successful candidate will be opened, in due course, at the
Master level.

Upon appointment the successful candidate will be invited to participate actively in existing courses in the
bioengineering curriculum, both at the bachelor and master levels. Depending on his/her expertise, the
successful candidate could be asked to participate in one or more of the following courses:

CHIM-F101 Chimie générale
MECA-H301 Thermodynamique appliquée
CHIM-H314 Introduction au génie des procédés
MECA-H3001 Fluid mechanics and transfer processes
BING-H4000 Modélisation et contrôle des systèmes dynamiques en bioingénierie
BING-H4003 Opérations unitaires pour l'environnement et les bio-industries
CHIM-H413 Génie des réacteurs chimiques et biologiques
CHIM-H422 Environmental technology / Environmental engineering: current methods and practice
BING-F531 Bioremédiation
BING-F502 Principales filières agroalimentaires et valorisation de molécules d'intérêt d'origine


The teaching load will be progressive in the first years in order to give the successful candidate time to
develop their research activities.

Qualifications required :

PhD Degree (with doctoral thesis) in “Engineering Science and Technology”, or in “Agricultural Sciences and
Biological Engineering” or equivalent qualification.

Skills required

 Applicants should have at least 4 years of research experience at the time of their recruitment.

 Post-doctoral experience and an excellent scientific record are a plus.

 Exchange periods outside of the applicants’ home institution (during or after their PhD) will be taken
into consideration when evaluating applications.

 Applicants who do not speak French (level C1) may be granted a period of adaptation, but they must be
able to teach in French at the end of the third year following their appointment.

Interested ?

For more information, please contact Prof. Dimitri GILIS (telephone: +32 2 650.36.15 – E-mail:

Applications must be sent by e-mail to the rectorate of the Université Libre de Bruxelles
(recteur@ulb.ac.be) and to the faculty deanship (le-doyen-polytech@admin.ulb.ac.be).

They must include the following :

 an application letter

 a Curriculum vitae including a list of publications (a template can be downloaded at

 any relevant documents showing 4 years of research experience

 a 7,000-character report (4 pages) presenting the applicant’s research activities and a research project,
including how these will integrate into ULB’s research teams

 a teaching dossier including a 7,000-character report (4 pages) on the applicant's previous teaching
activities and a teaching project for the first five years in this position; these must be relevant to the
faculty and to the teaching profiles for the programmes to which the applicant is to contribute

 a note on the applicant's international achievements and projects (no more than 4 pages)

 the names and e-mail addresses of five references (with equal gender representation) who may be
contacted by those in charge of evaluating applications. These references should not have conflicts of

By sending in their application, applicants acknowledge they have read and understood the additional
information and the regulations relevant to research staff, available at the following address

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