Postdoc on droplet size-separation for virus quantification

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 07 Mar 2024


(Post-doctoral) Researcher

Irène Curie Fellowship



Mechanical Engineering

Reference number


Job description

Risk assessment of respiratory disease outbreaks requires the quantification of infectious viruses in airborne droplets. Determining the viral transmission potential via small or large respiratory droplets is a challenge in the realm of fluid dynamics. Currently, progress in understanding disease outbreaks is hindered by the lack of adequate detection equipment.

In this project you will design and build an innovative air sampling device for screening of virus-loaded droplet sprays. The technological challenge is to accurate collect and size-separate droplets in the air, without affecting virus infectivity, while achieving high throughput. The device will be designed through a combination of numerical modelling and experimental testing with well-characterized laboratory sprays that consist of virus-mimicking particles. Once operational, the device will be used at the Viroscience Department of the Erasmus Medical Center to determine the transmission potential of known and novel viruses. The project will be carried out at Eindhoven University of Technology under supervision of Dr. Tess Homan (Mechanical Engineering) and Dr. Hanneke Gelderblom (Applied Physics), in close collaboration with the Respiratory Virus Transmission group of Dr. Sander Herfst at Erasmus Medical Center.

The project is embedded within the "Predicting, measuring and quantifying airborne virus transmission" program of the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center (PDPC) , a collaboration between Erasmus Medical Center, Delft University of Technology, Erasmus University Rotterdam, and Eindhoven University of Technology.

Work environment

Erasmus MC, TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam have joined forces in the Pandemic and Disaster Preparedness Center (PDPC) . PDPC aims to prepare society for future pandemics and disasters. We will reduce vulnerabilities and risks and build resilience through effective disaster prevention, preparedness and recovery measures. Convergence of the technical, medical and social sciences is essential for developing the next generation of approaches to disasters and pandemics. In the foreseeable future, our society can expect many more and unforeseen virus outbreaks and extreme events because of climate change. But how do we protect society from the next pandemic or disaster? Which of the lessons learnt could develop prevention and intervention measures, and how could research contribute to preparedness?

Eindhoven University of Technology (TUE)  is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

Dr. Tess Homan  works as an Assistant Professor in the Power and Flow group in the department of Mechanical Engineering at TU/e. She combines various experimental techniques with novel data analysis to study fluid-particle flow, bubbly flow, and biological systems.

Dr. Hanneke Gelderblom  is Assistant Professor of Interfacial Flows in the Fluids and Flows group in the Department of Applied Physics at TU/e. Her team focuses on capillary flow phenomena in liquids containing biological or living matter.

Job requirements
  • A PhD degree in (Applied) Physics or Mechanical Engineering.
  • Experience in experimental fluid dynamics.
  • Affinity for theoretical/numerical modeling in fluid dynamics.
  • Enthusiasm for working in a multidisciplinary team comprising engineers, virologists, and medical doctors.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

Before you apply please check our conditions for employment .

Conditions of employment
  • You will receive a temporary position for 3 years at Erasmus MC. You will be stationed at Eindhoven University of Technology .
  • The gross monthly salary amounts a maximum of € 5.292,- (scale 10), depending on your level of education and relevant experience, based on a full-time working week of 36 hours.
  • Excellent fringe benefits, such as a 13th month that is already paid out in November and an individual travel expense package.
  • Pension insurance with ABP. We take care of approximately 2/3 of the monthly contribution.
  • An International Office  which aids you in preparing for your arrival and stay.

Information and application

If you recognize yourself in this profile and would like to learn more, please contact:

If you are excited by the thought of this position and would like to apply, please do so using this link .

 The selection committee is composed of scientists of Erasmus MC and TUE.

No agencies please.

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