PhD position in the Development and assessment of new and rapid analyses and test procedures of bio...

Updated: 2 months ago
Job Type: Temporary
Deadline: 15 Apr 2020

Do you want to contribute to a more sustainable future and development of solutions for the circular economy? The Farm Technology Group at Wageningen University & Research is offering a 4-year PhD position to work on the development and assessment of new and rapid analyses and test procedures of bio-based fertilisers, commencing 1 Sept 2020. The work of the PhD fellow will be part of the EU FertiCycle Network, which is a multidisciplinary European Training Network (ETN) funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions. The Ferticycle Network comprises 9 world leading universities and 7 research institutions / agencies/companies in 8 European countries. The FertiCycle Network is currently recruiting 15 highly talented and motivated candidates for PhD studies, with the skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to help our network make successful research breakthroughs on new bio-based fertilisers from organic waste upcycling - the chosen candidate will be collaborating with these colleagues for the coming 4 years. Are your interested to read more about the other projects? You can find them on the project website:

The candidate will work with bio-based fertilizers and develop the techniques for rapid analysis of the contents. The PhD candidate will develop a protocol for rapid analysis and test of bio-based fertilisers with near infra-red (NIR) spectroscopy, GC-MS, FTIR-PAS and to analyse a wide range of bio-fertilisers via the aforementioned and conventional methods. The developed methods will be validated through comparison of results with conventional chemical methods and the next goal will be to optimize the process.

The candidate will therefore focus on spectral data acquisition and processing. The objective will be to develop innovative methods for rapid analysis and characterization of various contents in bio-based fertilizers. The developed techniques should be robust and able to be deployed in real-world conditions. Once the protocol for characterization of materials through spectroscopy is established, the next task will be to extend the method for hyperspectral imaging. The challenges of low light levels, changing illuminations and pre-processing of hyperspectral data will be addressed. The result should be a protocol of image acquisition and analysis for rapid and accurate analysis of contents in the bio-based fertilizers. New and innovative techniques to improve the spectral analysis should be developed in this project. The identification of most relevant spectral bands across hyperspectral imaging will lead towards the development of specialized multispectral cameras. The availability of these imaging systems and data processing techniques for obtaining the information about contents of bio-based fertilizers.

In this position you will closely work together with Dr. Haris Ahmad Khan and Prof. Dr. Peter Groot Koerkamp. Dr. Eric Meers from University of Gent, and Dr. Sander Brunn from University of Copenhagen will be the co-supervisors.

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