EngD position on the preparation of tubular reactive electrochemical membranes

Updated: 7 days ago
Deadline: 15 Jul 2024

  • Vacancies
  • EngD position on the preparation of tubular reactive electrochemical membranes

  • Key takeaways

    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.

    Information and application

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

    • Curriculum Vitae (including contact information for at least two academic references).
    • A transcript of your Diploma, courses taken, and grades achieved
    • Title and abstract of your Master’s project/thesis.
    • A motivation letter explaining your interest in the topic of the research, your skills toward the goals of the project (maximum one page).

    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 ([email protected])

    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.

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