PhD position Reduction Fine-Dust Poultry Production Systems

The world is facing interesting challenges in the years to come: a growing population that needs to be fed, less people interested in working in agriculture, limited natural resources (e.g. fertilizers) and a growing ...

ongeveer een maand geleden


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


The world is facing interesting challenges in the years to come: a growing population that needs to be fed, less people interested in working in agriculture, limited natural resources (e.g. fertilizers) and a growing concern about the impact of food production, and especially animal production on the environment. As one of these concerns, the emission of fine dust from poultry houses and its impact on the health of neighbouring residents has become a hot topic in the Netherlands. These emissions have to be reduced significantly in the near future, and more knowledge of involved processes is needed to improve existing and develop new mitigation options. Mitigation is possible through adaptation of current barn systems, or through redesign of the housing system. Wageningen UR Livestock Research and The Farm Technology Group have built up an extensive and unique portfolio in experimental research, monitoring in practice, understanding emission processes and developing reduction strategies. We wish to further develop this position with this PhD position. You will be appointed at the Farm Technology Group, and will closely work together with Wageningen Livestock Research.

As a PhD candidate, you will work on a selection of the following research topics (to be determined based on your interest and qualifications):

  • The origin and process of particles becoming airborne, both for litter and manure on the belts;
  • Physics of particles in an airflow and how they can be captured and removed from air;
  • Measurement methodology to determine fine dust emission from an outdoor yard for poultry;
  • The source and conditions for growth of micro-organisms in feces, manure and litter, and subsequent formation of endotoxins;
  • Working principles of fine dust removal in a heat exchanger with indirect adiabatic cooling;
  • The components that determine human perception of odour from poultry sources, their sources and volatilisation processes
  • Exact demands of laying hens for dust bathing and foraging, e.g. the required floor material, frequency and time periods, and synchronisation.
Your work will consist of literature studies, laboratory and small scale experimental work, data analysis and modelling. You will be member of a larger team of researchers within and outside Wageningen UR working on this topic, and have strong interaction with various stakeholders in the poultry industry, equipment suppliers and local, regional and national governmental organisations. Your project results will be disseminated through papers in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.


The ideal candidate has:

  • A university degree (MSc) in (agricultural/biosystems) engineering, physics, technology and/or animal sciences,
  • Experience with sensors and electronic measurement equipment,
  • Experience in systems engineering and experimental research,
  • Affinity with stakeholder interaction and cooperation with other scientific disciplines,
  • Affinity with agricultural or biological systems, and genuine interest in the sustainability challenges of this domain,
  • Proven scientific ambition, proven performance in scientific writing, and strong ambition to publish future work,
  • A goal oriented nature,
  • A team player who can work independently and who also communicates well with colleagues,
  • Proven (project) leadership skills will be an advantage.
    Excellent writing and oral communication skills in English and preferably also in Dutch.


We offer a full-time position (38 hours), initially for 1 year after which a go/no-go decision will be taken. You will be appointed to the CAO of the Dutch Universities. In case of a go, the contract will be extended up to 48 months. Gross salary per month € 2.222,-- in the first year for a fulltime appointment.

Additional information P.W.G. Groot Koerkamp (, +31 (0)317-48 08 31, or dr. ir. N.W.M. Ogink (, +31 317 48 03 93.

You can apply up and until September 25, 2017
For this position you can only apply on line:


The Farm Technology Group is part of Wageningen University and embedded in the Plant Sciences Group of Wageningen UR. The Farm Technology Group aims at enhancing, exploiting and disseminating technology in primary agricultural production processes with the aim to fulfil the needs of mankind and nature in a sustainable way. This mission is achieved by combining knowledge, methodologies and tools from technical sciences with biological, environmental, agricultural and social sciences in order to study, understand, manage and design biosystems. The group covers arable farming, (greenhouse) horticulture and livestock farming and variations and mixtures of these application domains as they emerge in response to challenges posed by moving towards a more bio-based economy. Typical research instruments and expertise in our field include sensor technology, data analysis, systems analysis, continuous time and discrete time modelling, systems engineering, integral systems design, systems optimization and management and control of production processes, robotics and precision agriculture techniques. More information about the Farm Technology Group can be found on

Wageningen Livestock Research is a contract research organisation within the Animal Sciences Group of Wageningen UR. The organisation covers animal breeding, innovation of livestock production systems, nutrition and environment. Its Systems & Environment Group, with 40 staff members, deals with developing knowledge and systems solutions for animal husbandry that integrally improve on multiple dimensions of sustainability. The Reflexive Interactive Design (RIO) approach is developed and applied within this group. Another significant part of this group is specialized in finding solutions for all environmental issues in livestock production, i.e. in areas like gaseous emissions, bioaerosols, manure treatment and bioenergy production. Its approach is based on process understanding from which mitigation technology is developed and evaluated on farm. The group makes use of an extensively equipped air laboratory and other facilities that enables both experimental and farm research. Part of the research is dedicated to improvement of measurement methodology in its working areas. Information about Wageningen Livestock Research can be found at\livestockresearch


Middels onderstaande knop kun je direct solliciteren op deze vacature.

Reageer op deze vacature