I am a second-year master’s student in Biosystems engineering and currently, I am doing my master thesis at Biobased Chemistry & Technology (BCT). During my thesis, I research the valorisation of urban biowaste streams to higher valued chemicals with the use of biorefineries. By creating a model I can investigate the economic feasibility of using urban biowaste for the near future. Since I have an engineering background I mostly focus on the techno-economic analysis, for the chemical conversion process I consult experts on bioconversion.
As you might notice from my thesis subject, the BCT group focuses on the efficient conversion of a biomass based feedstock, with a focus on agricultural side streams and waste streams. Using these streams for the valorisation of higher valued products will reduce the amount of waste and contributes to the biobased economy. To create this economy we need knowledge about mechanisms of conversion and separation, and how to control these mechanisms. However, these processes also need to be optimized to run as efficiently as possible and with the lowest possible environmental load. All of this is achieved with the use of computer models and simulations. By combining both experiments with modelling work more insight can be achieved by these mechanisms.
As a biosystem engineer student, you can be involved in a broad array of projects such as potato storage, aquaponics, EcoFerm, algae bio-refinery, optimizing a digester and many more. You will mainly focus on modelling and systems theory, however, lab research is also possible. A thesis subject is usually encompassed by a project, therefore you will collaborate closely with fellow students and Phds. The BCT group also accommodates students from other studies so you will be working multidisciplinary, with people from different scientific disciplines.
In order to do your thesis at the BCT group you will need to follow either the Biobased Technology or Systems and Control track during your master.