Doctoral student in Chemical Engineering - Integration and optimisation of emerging membrane processes for seawater desalination (PA2021/1489)

Updated: 19 days ago
Deadline: 01 Jun 2021

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has around 44 000 students and more than 8 000 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

LTH forms the Faculty of Engineering at Lund University, with approximately 9 000 students. The research carried out at LTH is of a high international standard and we are continuously developing our teaching methods and adapting our courses to current needs.


Subject description
Membrane filtration is a separation process which is well-established for the desalination of seawater with reverse osmosis. In this project the emerging membrane processes forward osmosis and membrane distillation are coupled to desalinated seawater using low grade wasted heat from a concentrated solar power system. The focus of this work will be to optimized the interplay between forward osmosis and membrane distillation considering different membranes, draw solutions and process parameters. The results for the optimization will be used for scale-up and modelling of the process as well as the design, installation and operation of a demonstration unit in the Middle East.

The Membrane Group at Lund University has many years of experience in membrane processes and is now looking for a new co-worker to extend this work into the emerging membrane processes – forward osmosis and membrane distillation. The PhD student position will include the integration and optimization of the two membrane processes on pilot scale as well as the development and operation a demonstration unit in the Middle East.

Work duties
The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 20%).

The research contains the following subtasks:

  • Review of available scientific literature on the research topic and presentation in a report/article.
  • Integration and optimization of forward osmosis and membrane distillation on pilot scale for seawater desalination using low grade heat.
  • Scale-up, installation and operation of a demonstration unit.
  • Communication of obtained results in the form of publication of scientific articles.
  • Participation in project meetings and contributing to status reports.

Admission requirements
A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant:

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.

A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Chemical Engineering if the applicant has:

  • a specialized project of at least 30 second-cycle credits in the subject.

Additional requirements:

  • Very good oral and written proficiency in English.

Assessment criteria
Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following:

  • Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study.
  • An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems.
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.
  • Other assessment criteria:

    • Experience with membrane processes.
    • Knowledge of membrane distillation and forward osmosis.
    • Experience in building/assembling pilot-scale equipment.
    • Basic knowledge in electronics.
    • 3D CAD (such as Autodesk Fusion 360, OpenSCAD or similar).

    Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive and independence, and how the applicant, through his or her experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

    Terms of employment
    Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 5 years (including 20% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.
    Travel abroad can be included in the employment.

    Instructions on how to apply
    Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).
    You are also asked to answer the job specific questions.


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