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  3. 1 PhD on bringing 3D food printing to the next level

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1 PhD on bringing 3D food printing to the next level

Do you have affinity with 3D printing, food, rheology, and computational methods, and you are in for a challenge, then this project fits you!

ongeveer een maand geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and Wageningen University (WUR) will soon start the PRINTYOURFOOD project that aims to create personalised and healthy
3D-printed food. Researchers will develop a digital twin: an intelligent model that can cope with variations in recipes due to consumers choices. The project will consist of a team of researchers from TU/e and WUR around three PhD positions.

The PRINTYOURFOOD project should make it possible to create personalised and healthy
3D-printed food with a printer successfully every time. To achieve this, researchers will develop a digital twin: an intelligent model that can assess whether a recipe will be successful. In the future, it will be possible to implement this model in other printers.

During the project, the researchers will focus on the healthy composition of 3D Food. 'There is a lack of knowledge in this area,' says Maarten Schutyser, associate professor at Wageningen University and project leader of PRINTYOURFOOD.

'Some companies can already print 3D Food in nice shapes, but few successful printing processes have been developed in which the healthy compositions of food can be modified. This is why we will research the possibilities of protein structures, carbon hydrates, fats, and fibres and how they can be incorporated in 3D Food successfully and flexibly. At the moment, things often go wrong which means the end product is not right. We will study the printing behaviour and the textures to gain a better understanding of the process and the end product.'


To successfully print personalized food in one attempt requires a multidisciplinary approach', says Patrick Anderson, professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. "Within this project, the knowledge in the field of structure, rheology and mechanics of food from Wageningen is linked with the expertise in the field of high-tech systems and material processing from Eindhoven.

The research should result in an intelligent model that provides recommendations about the optimal printing process and assesses whether recipes are feasible and will result in the desired product texture or not. 'This digital twin will be able to control 3D printers and ensure that
3D Food is printed successfully every single time. Faulty prints will become a thing of the past.'

3D Food Printing is a technology uniquely suitable for the creation of healthy, personalised food, says Schutyser. 'Adding a vitamin, a different amount of protein or carbohydrates: it may encourage the elderly as well as people in recovery or athletic people to follow a healthy diet. This is the promise that we are working towards. The objective of the DFPI collaboration is to jointly implement more digital technologies in the food production industry. It is a community in which knowledge is shared, and the funding we were awarded means that we can now set up a long-term project.'


The universities and TNO have been working together for a while under the form of the Digital Food Processing Initiative. The new funding, which was granted as part of the Open Technology programme of NWO, will allow three PhD students and a team of experienced researchers to bring the research in 3D food printing to the next level.

The researchers will be collaborating with the companies Lamb Weston, Ruitenberg Inredients, and Gastronology | 3D Food Works, who have shown interest in the use of the digital twin and will contribute to the project financially. The result is a new collaboration between the science and business communities. The PhD students will work on a vegetable puree (Gastronology |
3D Food Works) and potatoes (Lamb Weston) to develop prototypes for new 3D Food.


For the current advertised position, we are looking for a PhD student to work on the development of a multi-scale computational model to determine the rheology, and flow behaviour of the complex food ink.
The multiscale rheological model is then linked to a finite-element macroscopic flow model to determine the main characteristics of the filament depositing process of the food inks. The project is highly challenging since it bridges many length scales where ratios of macronutrients determine rheology and hence printability of these personalized food inks. Integration is tight with the other PhD projects working on decoupling composition and texture and digital twinning.


  • A master's degree (or an equivalent university degree) in engineering, physics or mathematics
  • A research oriented attitude.
  • Ability to work in a team and <interested in collaborating with the industrial partners.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
prof.dr.ir. Patrick Anderson (p.d.anderson[at]tue.nl) or prof.dr. Ruud van der Sman (ruud.vandersman[at]wur.nl)

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact HRServices.Gemini[at]tue.nl

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
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.
  • Brief description of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it.
Screening will continue until the position has been filled.