PhD position on process analytical technology for synthetic co-cultures
This project is focused on synthetic defined co-culture bioprocesses because these possess advantages for complex biological conversions over mono- and undefined mixed-cultures, such as the “division of labor” principle and the ability to produce non-native products, leading to higher productivity. This is relevant for sustainable biotechnological bioprocesses as these can become increasingly more difficult to perform with mono- or undefined mixed-cultures when tackling, for example, the conversion of CO2 to complex added-value products.
This project will employ in-line process analytical technology (PAT) for real-time identification, characterization, and monitoring of defined co-culture bioprocesses. PAT consists of analytical techniques that monitor parameters in-situ during cultivation without sampling, to retrieve both chemical and biological data with a single measurement point. Thus, PAT facilitates (near) real-time information, creating a better understanding of processes, as well as the opportunity to use cultivation data for process optimization to maximize productivity.
This project is part of a department-wide consortium and in close collaboration with the section Industrial Microbiology.
Key focus points
- Standardize synthetic defined co-culture processes
- PAT implementation for (bio)chemical and biological measurements
- Apply state-of-the-art model building techniques to develop accurate PAT models
- In-depth characterization of synthetic co-cultures using (near) real-time signals
- Process optimization strategy development based on real-time data
The core of this project is experimental and computational work is required to develop (near) real-time monitoring models. You will have the opportunity to further develop your scientific career by 1) gaining hands-on experience with lab-scale co-culture process development, 2) expanding your skill set with setting up in-situ monitoring and PAT-based modelling for process understanding and optimization, and 3) the ability to apply creativity and conceptual thinking to answer pressing research questions for synthetic co-culture bioprocesses. In addition, you will participate in educational activities as a (MSc or BSc) course assistant and supervisor of BSc/MSc graduation projects.
The position will be in the research group Data-Driven Bioprocess Development which is part of the Bioprocess Engineering section at the Department of Biotechnology. This group focusses on unravelling the connection between raw materials, process parameters, and product quality, and using that information to optimize or design for a wide variety of bioprocesses.
The ideal candidate is an ambitious, proactive, and result-driven researcher. We are looking for the following requirements:
- A Master’s degree in an area relevant to the subject, such as biotechnology, biochemical engineering, microbiology, or biochemistry
- Recent fermentation/upstream processing experience is considered essential (mammalian or microbial)
- Data analysis and programming experience (Python, Matlab, or equivalent) is considered essential
- Comfortable taking the lead and dealing with multiple stakeholders
- Fluent in English (written and spoken)
- Excellent communication/reporting skills and presentation capabilities
Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.
Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.
At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.
Challenge. Change. Impact!
Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.
For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.
Only for more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr.ir. Marieke Klijn, Assistant Professor, per e-mail, email@example.com
Only for more information about the application procedure, please contact Ms. Kawieta Ramautar, Management Assistant, per e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
**It is our aim to have the interviews on 4 or 11 April 2024.