PhD on Airborne infection control through localized ventilation and air cleaning

Eindhoven University of Technology
April 28, 2024
Offerd Salary:€2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD on Airborne infection control through localized ventilation and air




Irène Curie Fellowship



Built Environment



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Reference number


Job description

Do you want to avoid another lockdown at the next pandemic? Do you want to improve our indoor environment in which we spent ~90% of our time? This PhD research, as part of a larger project, may initiate a paradigm shift in how we ventilate our buildings. Interested in this exciting challenge? Then please apply.

Job Description

Though it seems that corona is something from the past, what we have learned is that there is still a lot of research needed in order to be better prepared for the next pandemic, and that we can only achieve our research goals in a multi-disciplinary way. The MIST project (MItigation STrategies for Airborne Infection Control) has been initiated to do just that. It is a large project in which many disciplines work together to improve our understanding of the spread of pathogens in the air and the risk of infection. As it also connects with practice, its outcomes are expected to have direct impact as well.

In this subproject of MIST our focus is on ventilation and air cleaning and specifically on ways to improve the effectiveness. We know that the mere assumption of a mixed ventilation situation in rooms is not correct, and it also does not support the exposure close to persons. The research therefore should identify the potential that local ventilation and air cleaning solutions may have in reducing the risk of infection and come up with potential design concepts that manufacturers may develop further. The main method for this research will be numerical modeling, i.e. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. Some experimental work will be required to obtain data for validation purposes and testing, which is possible in our newly constructed lab facility.

In this project you will analyze the options for local mitigation of infection risk through ventilation and/or air cleaning. Aside from a theoretical analysis of the problem, literature review and consultation with the involved manufacturers will show the initial potential and possible solution directions. Based on this information you will develop cases for the detailed analysis of some potential solutions, or improvement, thereof. CFD will be your main tool for such analysis, but it will need to be supported with experimental information. For both CFD and experiments careful consideration of the methods and applied simplifications will be required.

During your work you will be positioned in both the Building Physics and Building Performance research group at our department, and supervised by Twan van Hooff and Marcel Loomans. In these groups another PhD student and several Postdocs will be working on related issues that deal with ventilation/air cleaning in the context of infection risk. In addition, the groups have several PhDs and postdocs working on other research projects related to ventilation, IAQ, and general building performance. Besides being well embedded in this research environment at TU/e, you will exchange information and results within the MIST project, that encompasses 7 other PhD students and several Postdocs.

The research groups in which you will reside are well-equipped, with ample high-performance computing facilities and access to relevant software packages, and a state-of-the-art laboratory, encompassing a large variety of measurement equipment and a climate chamber for controlled experiments. The group also works closely with the department of Applied Physics (dr. Matias Duran Matute). An additional PhD student has recently started that will be active in the project that resides at both departments. The groups, furthermore, have close contacts with the HVAC industry and are frequently cooperating with other researchers, both domestic and international.

Job requirements

We are looking for excellent and highly motivated candidates with:

  • a MSc degree in applied physics/civil/mechanical engineering or related disciplines with a background and an interest in both airflow modeling and experimentation.
  • the ability to work independently, have strong communication skills and the attitude to participate successfully in an international and multidisciplinary research team.
  • A sufficient English language level, both written and spoken (C1 level) is required. Preferably a IELTS/TOEFL test proofing the required level
  • Any of the following could be considered an advantage and should be mentioned in the motivation letter:

  • Previous experience/affinity with air flow research modeling (CFD) and/or measurement.
  • Previous publications and scientific communications
  • Conditions of employment

    A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self- aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • Information and application

    About us

    Eindhoven University of Technology 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.

    Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


    Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact the hiring manager Marcel Loomans, associate professor, [email protected] or +31 40 247 4651.

    Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Scott Jacops, HR Advisor, [email protected] or +31 40 247 3161.

    Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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