PhD position on Multi-Scale Modelling for Pharmaceutical Reactor Design

Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
December 02, 2022
Offerd Salary:Negotiation
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
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PhD position on Multi-Scale Modelling for Pharmaceutical Reactor Design

(ref. BAP-2022-747)

Last modification : Friday, October 28, 2022

We offer a full-time PhD position in the CREaS group at the Department of Chemical Engineering at KU Leuven. Our core activities are related to (bio)Chemical Reactor Engineering and Safety. We aim to innovate and apply (bio)chemical reactor technologies to a few carefully selected and industrially relevant target areas to push the boundaries of our discipline and increase the performance and safety of (bio)chemical processes. The Department of Chemical Engineering aims to provide a balance between creative fundamental and applied research by integrating expertise, methodologies, and techniques from different domains in chemical engineering. These range from micro-to macroscopic process analyses through modelling and design, optimization and control, and advanced experimentation. Given the prevalence and economical importance of the chemical process industry in Belgium, the societal role of our department in the education and training of chemical engineers (MSc Eng and PhD) is very important. At KU Leuven, we offer a competitive and international working environment with access to the latest technologies and expertise. At our university, department, and group, we commit to create an inclusive, respectful, and safe environment. KU Leuven ranks among the top 10 universities in Europe (top 50 worldwide) in the major university rankings.

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The pharmaceutical industry is transitioning from batch to continuous manufacturing. Performing reactions in flow reduces waste streams and allows safer operation. However, transitioning from traditional batch reactors to flow reactors comes along with various challenges. In flow reactors, solvents should be carefully selected to avoid precipitation and operating conditions should be optimized to telescope synthesis steps and limit the need for intermediate separation.

This project aims to tackle these challenges with advanced modelling tools, combining fundamental approaches with data-driven design. At first, the project aims at predicting solubility for pharmaceuticals in organic solvents and solvent mixtures, improving on and extending the SolProp package. In a later stage, similar technologies will be used to model and optimize organic syntheses of new and existing pharmaceuticals in flow.

  • A master's degree in Chemical Engineering, Process Engineering, Bioscience Engineering, Chemistry or a related field

  • A good computational background

  • Experience in modelling of chemical processes, programming in python, data science and/or performing quantum chemical calculations

  • Independence, perseverance, a critical and creative mindset

  • Interest to collaborate with top level international researchers and innovate chemical industry
  • Proficiency in both written and spoken English
  • Offer
  • A full-time PhD position

  • Support to successfully obtain a PhD degree after 4 years of research and attending courses

  • A dynamic, exciting, multidisciplinary, and international research environment

  • A competitive salary and many more benefits at KU Leuven
  • Interested?

    For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Florence Vermeire, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Ilse Smets, mail:

    Please submit (1) a detailed Curriculum Vitae including obtained grades and a transcript of courses, (2) a concise motivation letter, and (3) a list with at least two references (name, function, email) through the online application portal.

    KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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