PhD position on Recovery of valuable minerals

University of Twente
March 26, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Negotigation
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

Are you going to build a new generation of membranes to recover metals like lithium from wastewater streams? Are you result-oriented and like challenges?

We are looking for a PhD student to reinforce our team!

One of the main growing concerns worldwide is the reliable and unhindered access to valuable metals and minerals for the production and further development of many modern technological products, such as smartphones, computer chips, and renewable energy devices. A significant and growing amount of those materials is present in liquid sources such as seawater, brines (geothermal, desalination, etc.), and wastewater streams in the form of dissolved solids.

Membrane crystallization is a groundbreaking technology with the potential to recover those materials. This project strives to develop highly porous ceramic membrane supports using ecologically benign feed materials instead of organic solvents and harmful additives, thereby studying the effect of the pore size, pore size distribution, and porosity on the membrane performance. On top of the support, a super-hydrophobic layer will be built, and the influence of the membrane roughness varied via in-situ growth of hierarchical micro-nano structures, and hydrophobization will be investigated.

The proposed approach will enable a set of novel super-hydrophobic, environmentally friendly hybrid ceramic membranes to recover minerals from highly concentrated aqueous streams and provide a fundamental scientific understanding of the effect of different parameters on the MCr performance.

In the project, the Inorganic Membranes (IM) group and the Molecular NanoFabrication (MNF) group of the University of Twente work close together. A PhD student will work in both groups and also work together with a Postdoc at the Institute on Membrane Technology (CNR-ITM, Rende, Italy). CNR-ITM is a leading research center in the field of membrane crystallization.

Your profile
  • You are a highly motivated and enthusiastic researcher (F/M)
  • You have an MSc degree in chemical engineering or a closely related subject area.
  • We encourage strong communication skills and curiosity about sharing knowledge, presenting at conferences and (project) meetings, and publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Creativity, with a hands-on mentality, is valued highly.
  • Proficiency in English is required, both spoken and written
  • Our offer

    We want you to play a key role in a results-oriented project in an inspiring and stimulating international work environment.

  • You will have an employment contract for four years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers.
  • Monthly salary ranging from € 2.541,- gross at the start to € 3.247,- gross in the 4th year.
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-the-year bonus of 8.3% and a solid pension scheme.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating, state-of-the-art research environment with world-class facilities.
  • The research will result in a Ph.D. thesis at the end of the employment period.
  • We offer an excellent and stimulating scientific environment with an attractive campus and lots of facilities for sports and leisure. The university provides a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.
  • The research will result in a Ph.D. thesis at the end of the employment period.
  • Information and application

    For more information, please contact Dr. Mieke Luiten-Olieman ([email protected]).

    You can apply by clicking on the button below "Apply now".

    Applications should include the following documents:

  • A motivation letter describing why you are applying for this position (no more than 1 A4).
  • Description of your research interests.
  • A detailed CV.
  • Email addresses of at least two references who want to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf.
  • About the department

    The Inorganic Membrane group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, which offers advanced characterization and fabrication tools on nanoscale, as well as a stimulating environment with more than 250 PhD students working on various aspects of nanoscience and technology.

    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more? Luiten-Olieman, M.W.J. (Mieke)

    Senior reseacher

    Luiten-Olieman, M.W.J. (Mieke)

    Senior reseacher

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Mieke for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Steenbergen, W. (Wiendelt)
  • Personal page

  • Pizzoccaro - Zilamy, M.D. (Marie-Alix)
  • Personal page

  • Vargas Llona, L.D. (Laura)
  • Personal page

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  • Our university is a public institution that serves society. We are accountable to society for the ways in which we use our academic freedom. We are responsible for ensuring that the power of science and technology is harnessed to achieve the best possible impact in a changing world. We cherish our rich tradition of combining technical and social sciences in our five profiling themes: Improving healthcare by personalized technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

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