PhD stipend in development and validation of methods to detect hidden fungal growth in buildings (6-21075)
At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of the Built Environment at Aalborg University’s campus in Copenhagen, a PhD stipend is available within the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science. The stipend is open for appointment from 1 November 2021 or soon hereafter.
Fungal growth - especially hidden inside building constructions - is of concern, since it can cause adverse health effects and exacerbate allergies and asthma. Consulting companies often use different sampling techniques and detection methods to detect fungal growth. Sometimes two companies can arrive at different conclusions in the same cases, resulting in conflicts, worries and wrong solution.
There is therefore a need to compare and validate available methods and develop new sampling and detection strategies to qualify and quantify fungal growth indoors. The purpose of the project is to devise best practices for detecting fungal growth and the presence of VOCs, mycotoxins and fungal particles in indoor air. The project is interdisciplinary combining microbiology, chemistry and building physics and aims at reducing fungal exposure to occupants and building users.
The PhD position will encompass the following
- Sampling, cultivation and identification of indoor fungi from mouldy buildings.
- Setting up mock-up building construction for lab experiments with fungal growth.
- Testing, validation and comparison of detection methods (spores and particles) in the lab.
- Developing methods that target metabolic products from fungal growth (e.g. VOCs, metabolites and mycotoxins).
- Testing of sampling methods in the field in buildings with known fungal growth (e.g. air, dust and materials).
- Analysing data using multivariate statistical methods.
- Interactions with occupants, users, owners and caretakers of buildings as well as the building industry.
The PhD student’s workplace will be at AAU Campus in Copenhagen. The PhD project will be carried out within the research program skimmel.dk.
- Relevant MSc degree in Indoor Environmental and Energy Engineering, Architectural Engineering or similar MSc in Engineering, Natural Science or Biology.
- Knowledge of moisture in building materials and fungal growth.
- Well organized, structured and enjoy interacting with scientists, occupants and people in the building industry.
- Eager to mix scientific disciplines and use a polyphasic approach to research
- Excellent knowledge of English (written and spoken).
It is an advantage if the applicant has
- Work experience within a consulting engineering company dealing with indoor environment.
- Experience in building investigations.
- Knowledge of indoor air quality.
- An interest in chemistry and microbiology.
- Can or is willing to learn to speak and write Danish.
The successful application must contain the following
- A motivated application in English (maximum 2 pages) stating reasons for applying and qualifications in relation to the position.
- A project description and visions for the research area.
- A curriculum vitae including personal data.
- Copies of relevant diplomas (Master of Science). On request, applicants could be asked for an official English translation.
The research group
The successful applicant will be part of the research group, Indoor Health Impacts, that is dedicated to the improvement of the indoor environment of homes, schools and institutions and the health and well-being of occupants and building users. Our research is based on a holistic approach to the many factors and processes affecting the indoor environment. The research efforts aim to contribute to the best possible solutions to current societal issues.
The research encompasses laboratory and field experiments, intervention and demonstration projects and analyses of data from questionnaires and national data registers. We have expertise in mycology, chemistry, indoor air quality, humidity control, thermal comfort, user perception and behaviour, and public health. Our research results are published in Danish reports and international scientific journals and our knowledge is communicated directly to the building industry and to occupants and users. Currently, the group works with indoor air pollution from particles and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from building materials and fungal growth, on monitoring of heat and moisture, and cross-sectional surveys on health and indoor environment.
Further information can be obtained from Associate Professor Birgitte Andersen, Department of the Build Environment, email: email@example.com, phone: (+45) 9940 2312 concerning the scientific aspects of the stipend.
PhD stipends are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree. PhD stipends are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD student at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order, the progress of the PhD student shall be assessed at regular points in time.
Shortlisting will be applied. This means that subsequent to the deadline for applications the head of department supported by the chair of the assessment committee will select candidates for assessment. All applicants will be informed whether they will be assessed or not.
For further information about stipends and salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure contact Ms. Bettina Wedde, The Doctoral School at The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email: firstname.lastname@example.org , phone: +45 9940 9909 more information of The Doctoral School of Engineering and Science: www.phd.engineering.aau.dk
The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.
AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.
Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of 28 June 2019 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the current Circular of 11 December 2019 on the employment structure at Danish universities.
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