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PhD Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter

This project aims at understanding the rheology of complex emulsions and their stability under flow. While there is much empirical knowledge about emulsion rheology and stability, the microscopic physical mechanisms that govern emulsion behaviour are ...

11 maanden geleden


Bornsesteeg, Wageningen, Gelderland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur


This project aims at understanding the rheology of complex emulsions and their stability under flow. While there is much empirical knowledge about emulsion rheology and stability, the microscopic physical mechanisms that govern emulsion behaviour are still poorly understood. This lack of understanding greatly hampers the rational design of more complex emulsion-based products and processes. In this project we address how the rheological properties and stability of emulsions depend on the interactions between the droplets. We focus in particular on the dual mechanical nature of emulsions: even while flowing steadily, complex fluids can behave as a solid or as a liquid. This duality emerges in the spatiotemporal fluctuations in the flow behaviour. Such microscopic heterogeneity has important consequences. For example, solidification can occur at unpredictable moments in emulsions. This phenomenology is observed already for "simple" model systems with only repulsive interactions between particles, and arguably becomes an even more important issue in the context of multi-component mixtures, where particle interactions become attractive or strongly frictional or otherwise dissipative. Measuring and understanding the spatiotemporal microstructure of complex fluids in flow is therefore of growing importance, especially in applied complex fluids. To address these questions, the candidate in this position will combine macroscopic rheology with novel microfluidic tools and imaging techniques to establish the relation between the macroscopic flow behaviour and stability of emulsions and the microscopic structure and interactions. The results will lead to an increase of our understanding of flowing emulsions beyond the current empirical models. This project is part of a collaboration of TU Delft, University of Amsterdam, Utrecht University, Shell, Unilever and Evodos, funded by NWO.


We are looking for a candidate with a background in (applied) physics or physical chemistry, who feels at ease with complex instruments and data analysis in e.g. Matlab or Python.
We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate who will use video imaging, 3D printing, rheology and mechanical measurements to elucidate the complex flow behavior of suspensions.


We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. You will enroll in the VLAG graduate school at Wageningen University, which offers a wide range of excellent career broadening and deepening courses. As this project is part of a broader industry collaboration, you will interact with and be able to learn from both academic and private sector professionals. Gross salary per month €2.222,00 in the first year rising up to €2.840,00 per month in the fourth year.

We not only offer a competitive salary but also good (study) leave and a pension of the ABP Pension Fund.

Additional information

For more information about this position, please contact dr. Joshua Dijksman, assistant professor, at joshua.dijksman@wur.nl. For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor, telephone number +31 317 489882 .

You can apply online at www.wur.nl/en/Jobs/Vacancies.htm until 15 December 2017


Physical Chemistry and Soft Matter at Wageningen University is interested in phenomena at the nanoscale, where creative chemistry is essential, complex physics is a rule rather than an exception and biology comes the life. The laboratory works on Soft Matter in the broadest sense of the word, combining experiment and theory, chemistry and physics and fundamental and applied science. The laboratory has a large range of state-of-the art equipment. See www.pcc.wur.nl

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research where fundamental and applied sciences complement each other. As an important European player, we carry out top-level research and work alongside authoritative partners within the international business world as well as the government on "Healthy food in a biobased society". We have a crucial role in innovations within the market. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are what define us. In short, we are an interesting, international employer of stature.

Wageningen University & Research
Delivering a substantial contribution to the quality of life. That's our focus - each and every day. Within our domain of good and safe food & food production, food security and a healthy living environment, we search for answers to issues affecting society - such as sustainable food production, climate change and alternative energy. Of course, we don't do this alone. Every day, 5000 people work on 'the quality of life', turning ideas into reality, on a global scale.

Could you be one of these people? We give you the space you need.

For further information about working at Wageningen University & Research, take a look at www.wur.nl/career.

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.