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  3. PhD student High Gravity High Shear for Intensified Chemicals Production

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PhD student High Gravity High Shear for Intensified Chemicals Production

TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we …

9 maanden geleden


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


TU/e is a leading international university of technology specializing in Engineering Science & Technology. Through excellent teaching and research we contribute to progress in the technical sciences, to the development of technological innovations, and as a result to the growth of prosperity and welfare in the region and beyond. TU/e maintains close links with industry, healthcare and the building and logistics sectors.

Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

The Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry provides academic education and research at the highest international standards. Staff develop technology and scientific knowledge, thereby meeting long-term societal needs. Scientific curiosity and new insights in the department's field are the points of departure for constant improvement of its three areas of expertise: molecular technology, materials technology and process technology. The department was founded in 1957, and has some 500 staff members, 13 full-time professors, 370 Bachelor's and Master's students, 20 Post-Master's students and 170 doctoral candidates.

Project description

The HIGHSINC project at the Laboratory of Chemical Reactor Engineering at TU/e aims to develop the science and technology that is needed for the design of the safest, most energy and capital efficient, and most versatile plant for the sustainable production of chemicals. The project is carried out in close collaboration with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals. As a major producer of specialty chemicals with leadership positions in many markets, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals makes sure that industries worldwide are supplied with high quality ingredients and process aids for the manufacture of life's essentials. With ca. 10.000 employees and an annual turnover of approximately 5 billion Euro AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has an ambitious innovation agenda aiming to develop new applications and products that deliver sustainable value to our customers; use energy and raw materials more efficiently through the development and introduction of intensified manufacturing processes; enabling good product stewardship and proactive regulatory compliance for our customers, and implement innovation processes which embrace open innovation with universities, customers, suppliers and other innovation partners.

Project background

The chemical industry aims to apply the safest, most efficient, and most versatile plant for the sustainable production of chemicals. Recently, spinning disc technology has been developed which uses high gravity and high shear conditions to obtain orders of magnitude higher mass transfer rates and heat transfer rates, thus enabling a shift from diluted reaction systems to process intensified, concentrated reaction systems operated at high temperatures and pressures. This allows for a significant reduction of chemical plant sizes. The relatively small size of the equipment enables the use of exotic construction materials and coating procedures, safely extending the operating conditions even further and improving the durability of the equipment. The program aims to develop sustainable and resource and energy efficient production technologies for base and specialty chemicals. The program contributes to the innovation agendas of the Dutch TOP sector Chemistry and Energy and to Europe's grand challenges Climate Change & Energy. The program promotes excellence in research as key competences and globally recognized strengths of the TU/e department of Chemical Technology and Chemistry will be combined with (complementary) key competences of AkzoNobel. AkzoNobel is globally recognized as leading in base chemical production processes and specialized products.

The program size allows the development of substantial critical mass in the field to maintain and obtain frontrunner positions for TU/e and AkzoNobel and thereby its technology and sustainability leadership position. The aim of the program is to develop and pilot spinning disc technology and processes that will improve the sustainability of targeted chemical production processes. The program is scoped on pilot process development as well as fundamental research that focuses on understanding and modelling of the extreme conditions encountered. The following areas of interest are identified: I. Electrochemical processes; II. Spinning Disc Technology; III. Rotating Packed Bed Technology.

Ultimately, all unit operations present in chemical production plants, i.e. reactors, extraction columns, distillation columns, crystallizers, settlers, even pumps and compressors, are integrated with this novel technology in a single compact device, consisting of discs stacked on a single rotating axis, in the functionality order required for the production of a specific chemical product. Each chemical production process then has a specific stacking of discs. The device can be quickly assembled and disassembled and is easily used for the production of different chemicals, leading to more flexibility and sustainability of chemical production plants. Moreover, the small size allows for easy relocation and safe, distributed production of chemicals at the customer's site. Also, the investment costs are relatively low, leading to high return on investment rates. These combined characteristics will allow the chemical industry to quickly respond to customers' and society's demands and needs.


The HIGHSINC project constitutes several sub-projects
each carried out by a PhD student. These sub-projects are heavily interrelated
and are carried out in close collaboration with the industrial partners. The
ideal candidate has an M.Sc. degree in Chemical Engineering or related
discipline. A sound background in physical transport phenomena, chemical
reactor design and/or applied catalysis is required. Other requirements are
excellent analytic and communicative skills. You are fluent in English and you
like to work in a multidisciplinary team.


We offer a challenging job for four years in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious University. You will work with innovative analytic equipment and will be part of a highly profiled multidisciplinary collaboration where expertise of a variety of disciplines comes together. The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world and part of the European technology hotspot 'Brainport Eindhoven'; well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. The gross monthly salary in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU), starts with € 2.222,- in the first year to € 2.840,- in the fourth year. Besides this the TU/e has holiday- and end-of the year allowances, an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees and a modern sports complex. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given.

Additionele informatie

More information about the project can be obtained from Assoc.Prof. J. van der Schaaf (e-mail: j.vanderschaaf@tue.nl). Information about the Chemical Reactor Engineering group can be found at www.chem.tue.nl/scr. Personnel information can be obtained from Mrs. L.J.C. van den Boomen, HR Advisor, e‑mail: l.j.c.v.d.boomen@tue.nl.


Please upload your application (consisting of a motivation letter, curriculum vitae, list of courses followed (with grades) and the name and email address of at least two references).

Applications will be considered as of this moment until July 15, 2018.