Postdoc Enzymology in Tungsten BioCatalysis - Heavy metal enzymes for sustainable industrial biocatalysis

Updated: 5 months ago
Deadline: 15 Jan 2024

Challenge: Finding ways to produce tungsten enzymes on an industrial scale.
Change: Understanding how tungsten enzymes work.
Impact: Using new classes of enzymes to green the chemical industry. 

Europe’s chemical industry must become more sustainable – and it must do so quickly. Breakthrough technologies can help to accelerate this goal. At the moment, chemical manufacturing is held back by the limited number of enzyme classes in industrial use even though some enzymes are known to offer greener, safer and less energy demanding benefits. For this reason, the European Innovation Council has funded a new Pathfinder Open project W-BioCat . The W-BioCat project targets an important enzyme class of tungsten-containing enzymes (W-enzymes), which catalyse amazing chemical reactions involving challenging low redox potential reduction reactions that are currently impossible to obtain economically at an industrial scale. Its goal? To functionally express W-enzymes in an industrial workhorse microorganism. This would be a major breakthrough for science and the applications of this enzyme class in fragrance- and flavour compounds and cosmetic ingredients

As a Postdoc Enzymology in Tungsten Biocatalysis at TU Delft you will study the fundamental aspects of these enzymes and their potential applications in a dynamic environment with a collaborative, multi-disciplinary team. You will be the backbone of the project, supporting the activities of your team. In this role, you will express and purify the relevant W-enzymes from natural and heterologous hosts for characterization and biocatalytic experiments. The work will include protein engineering and enzyme characterization using advanced kinetics and EPR spectroscopy.

You will join the Hagedoorn group at the Biocatalysis Section at TU Delft.The Biocatalyis Section has an excellent reputation in its field with state-of-the-art facilities and leading scientists in the areas of biocatalysis, enzymology, organic chemistry and molecular imaging. Our biocatalysis community has a supportive atmosphere with regular meetings, seminars and social activities. We’re confident you’ll soon feel at home with peers who are just as passionate as you are about (metal) enzymes.

You have an academic background, a pioneering mindset and a strong affinity with research related to (metal) enzymes. With your curious mind, you’re highly motivated to carry out experiments related to the topic, report on your findings and present your results in scientific papers and at conferences. Using your excellent communication skills, you play a proactive role in an international team. Not easily stressed by the fickleness of the unknown, you will put your organisational skills to good use to drive the practical aspects of the project.

You also have:

  • A PhD in (Bio)Chemistry, Biocatalysis, or a related subject.
  • Experience in the cultivation of microorganisms and protein purification.
  • Sound knowledge of enzymology, kinetic analysis and protein engineering.
  • A good command of English, because you will be working in an international environment.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

With more than 1,100 employees, including 150 pioneering principal investigators, as well as a population of about 3,600 passionate students, the Faculty of Applied Sciences is an inspiring scientific ecosystem. Focusing on key enabling technologies, such as quantum- and nanotechnology, photonics, biotechnology, synthetic biology and materials for energy storage and conversion, our faculty aims to provide solutions to important problems of the 21st century. To that end, we educate innovative students in broad Bachelor's and specialist Master's programmes with a strong research component. Our scientists conduct ground-breaking fundamental and applied research in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Engineering Physics. We are also training the next generation of high school teachers.

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Applied Sciences.

If you would like more information about this role, please contact Dr. Peter-Leon Hagedoorn, Associate Professor, [email protected]. For queries about the recruitment process, you can get in touch with Bart Jan Schrijver, HR Advisor [email protected].

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 01-12-2023 via the application button and upload the following details:

  • Motivation letter.
  • Detailed CV.
  • List of courses and grades at Master’s and Bachelor’s level.
  • Publication list
  • At least three relevant publications or reports that demonstrate your writing ability.
    • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
    • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
    • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
    • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.


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