PhD on Sustainable Process Design and Assessment for Syngas-Fermentation Based Products
Delft University of Technology, Faculty Applied Sciences

PhD on Sustainable Process Design and Assessment for Syngas-Fermentation Based Products


Department/faculty: Faculty Applied Sciences 

Level: University Graduate 

Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly 

Contract: 4 years 

Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)


Faculty Applied Sciences


The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.


The position is in the Department of Biotechnology (, which engages in internationally-leading education programs, and which offers a stimulating environment in the biosciences, combining fundamental research, engineering, and design, all directed towards biotechnological process innovations. The Department covers the areas of biocatalysis, bioprocess engineering, cell systems engineering, environmental biotechnology, industrial microbiology, and biotechnology and society. The Department shares a state-of-the-art building, which the Bionanoscience and Chemical Engineering departments. Working in such close proximity facilitates inter-departmental collaborations on multidisciplinary projects.  


Job description


We are looking for an enthusiastic and highly motivated PhD candidate with strong interest in conceptual process design, modelling, simulation, optimization, economic evaluation, and environmental assessment to study the potential performance of large-scale processes based on syngas fermentation. Although large-scale production of some (volatile and non-volatile) chemicals -via syngas fermentation- may already be technically feasible, it is still unclear which syngas fermentation processes will be industrially attractive, and from those, which ones would have an improved economic and environmental performance. At the end of the project, it is expected to have well-supported conclusions on syngas fermentation-based products and processes with the best perspectives (based on techno-economic and environmental performance indicators) as well as key technical bottlenecks. Results of this PhD project will be used to define future research activities for piloting and industrial scale-up.


The PhD candidate is expected to work in close collaboration with 10 other PhDs and 2 PDEngs who will be working on the development of microorganisms, novel bioreactors, and integrated processes, and who will provide first-hand experimental data for process design and assessment. For this reason, it is of utmost importance that the candidate has good communication skills as well as ability for teamwork and cooperation.


This PhD project is part of the NWO-Perspectief Program “MicroSynC - Novel Approaches for Microbial Syngas Conversion to Chemical Building Blocks”.


The PhD project is jointly developed and supervised between TU Delft and TU Eindhoven, and the PhD candidate will be primarily located at the Biotechnology & Society section at TU Delft.


Teaching and graduate school courses in the broad field of the PhD are a minor part of the job.




The ideal candidate is an ambitious and result-driven researcher. A team player devoted to research and education in a highly international and interdisciplinary academic environment.




    • Master degree in chemical engineering, bioprocess engineering, environmental engineering, or similar.


    • Experience on conceptual design and on simulation of fermentative processes with integrated downstream processing.


    • Strong affinity for understanding the broader context of bioprocess and their economic and environmental impacts related to the entire production chain.


    • Fluency in English both spoken and written. Good communication/reporting skills, and presentation capabilities.


Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application


For more information about this position, please contact Dr. John Posada, Assistant Professor, phone: +31 (0)15 2788707, e-mail: To apply, please provide a PDF consisting of an application letter, your CV (with three professional references - mandatory!), and copies of lists of your courses and grades in your BSc and MSc education. Please email your application by, the latest on, the 21st April 2019 to Anka Montanus, Management Assistant, When applying for this position, please refer to "Vacancy MicroSynC-P7".

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Physicaloxy


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