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EngD position on the preparation of tubular reactive electrochemical membranes

Are you driven by a passion to tackle the environmental challenges of the built environment using cutting-edge technology?

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    Mireille Claessens
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    Monica Morales Masis
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    Sonia García Blanco
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    Jennifer Herek
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    Srirang Manohar
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    Marcel Karperien
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    Pieter Tuchter

Key takeaways

  • Hours
    38 - 40 hr.
  • Salary indication
    Salary gross/monthly
    based on full-time
    € 2,618
  • Deadline
    15 Jul 2024

Are you driven by a passion to tackle the environmental challenges of the built environment using cutting-edge technology? Does the thought of contributing to sustainable wastewater treatment excite you? If so, this Engineering Doctorate (EngD) at the University of Twente, focusing on electrically driven membrane separation technologies to combat the rise of contaminant release in industrial wastewater, is calling your name! This two-year post-master’s degree is designed for technological designers who are ready to take on real-world challenges. Our programme combines an educational journey with a practical design project.

Aqueous waste streams (10 – 100 m³/h), contaminated with, e.g. micro/nanoplastics, organic solvents, and/or oxygen-containing molecules are nowadays produced in industry. Enabling water reuse is one of the prime sustainability targets.  Reactive Electrochemical Membranes (REM), which rely on a combination of physical and chemical separations to convert wastewater organic contaminants into non-toxic compounds such as water and carbon dioxide offer an economically attractive solution for the treatment of large quantities of waste streams. In the NWO Perspectief project on Recovery and Circularity of Valuable Resources program (ReCoVR), our aim is the recovery of industrial wastewater by developing durable REMs.


With this project, we want to produce Reactive Electrochemical Membranes with well-designed porous structures on tubular supports having a minimum surface of 12 cm².

Your mission is to build on the existing sub-stochiometric titanium dioxide REM developed within the ReCoVR project, and take it a step further, by developing a simple and safe approach to producing tubular REM.

Next to that, the design of a prototype of tubular membrane housing adapted for electrochemical experiments will be required.

Your main goal is to empower stakeholders with useful insights into appropriate reactive electrochemical membrane synthesis procedures and a REM housing prototype to facilitate the transfer and deployment of such innovative membrane systems.

To this end, the successful candidate will tackle the following tasks:

1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to identify the current synthesis routes for tubular-based reactive electrochemical membranes, their performances, and the current reactor design limitations.

2. Prepare tubular-based REM and characterize their microstructure.

3. Design and prototype a tubular cross-flow REM testing station.

4. Test the tubular-based REM produce and compare the performance with conventional ceramic membranes.

5. Test the effectiveness of the REM with real wastewater effluents as produced in the industry and refine its design based on operational feedback.

6. Envision the next step of the provided solution.

Your profile

  • You have, or will shortly, acquire a master's degree in the field of chemical engineering, material chemistry, or a closely related subject area.
  • The ideal candidate will have some knowledge or interest in ceramic membrane synthesis and characterization, anodic oxidation, and water filtration tests.
  • Affinity with standard in chemical, and physical analysis (e.g. XRD, Raman)
  • Interest to gain experience with electrochemical setup and testing of electrochemical properties.
  • Strong capacity for independent problem-solving, creative thinking, and the development of innovative solutions.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial, as is the ability to collaborate effectively with a diverse team of experts, stakeholders, and policymakers.

Our offer

  • A very challenging position for two years, with the flexibility to work (partially) from home.
  • A tailor made post-master design programme that has an educational component (50%) as well as a design project (50%).
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.618,-per month.
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme.
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus.
  • Excellent career support and courses for your professional and personal development.
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid).

Information and application

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below and include:

Candidates with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact Dr. Marie Pizzoccaro-Zilamy (m.d.pizzoccaro@utwente.nl)

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About the department

Research in the Inorganic Membrane (IM) group encompasses macro- as well as micro-scale phenomena, in the field of ceramic/inorganic membrane technology, transport phenomena, and membrane process design.

Within IM, you will join the Nanostructured Porous Membranes team composed of 6 motivated Phd students,  all working on the engineering of porous membranes with nanoscale features for challenging and demanding separations. Our goal is to develop the next generation of nanostructured porous hybrid membranes which will push further the combination of nanomaterials and polymer surface-modification science

About the organisation

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

Want to know more?

Pizzoccaro - Zilamy, M.D. (Marie-Alix)

Pizzoccaro - Zilamy, M.D. (Marie-Alix)
Assistant Professor

Pizzoccaro - Zilamy, M.D. (Marie-Alix)
Assistant Professor

Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Marie-Alix for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.

How to apply

Step 1

When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

Apply now

Step 2

The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

Step 3

1st interview.
The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Step 4

2nd interview.
In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

Step 5

The offer.
If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer. If applicable, we will sign you up for screening.

Your Colleagues

About the TNW Faculty

Curious about what the Faculty of Science and Technology (TNW) stands for? Check out the Science and Technology website for more information.

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