ETE has gained funding for two new tenure track positions. The new employees will strengthen the team with new expertise, filling in important knowledge gaps.
ETE has made clever use of funding from the Ministry of Education to boost innovation. ‘ETE has excellent opportunities for developing innovative technologies. Wageningen UR academic board has asked us to propose and describe potential positions’, ETE Professor Huub Rijnaarts says. ‘Together with my colleagues, especially Jouke Dykstra, we made an inventory of new expertise needed. Luckily we were granted funds for two junior tenure track positions.’
One of the tenure trackers will deal with improving the infrastructure and technology around wastewater treatment. ETE has excellent expertise in this field. ’But we have to deal with increasingly concentrated, slurry-like waste streams, with a varying and sometimes high viscosity’, Rijnaarts says. ‘This influences the chemical and biological processes in our wastewater treatment and resource recovery reactors.’ This means that conditions may differ within the same reactor and consequently, so do different processes. The new tenure tracker should have and build expertise regarding fluid mechanics and effects on processes, to smartly benefit from these differences in more efficient resource recovery.
The other tenure tracker will deal with challenges in urban engineering, by
using so-called smart grids: a network of transport lines that optimizes supply and demand of resources, using advanced models and monitoring. ‘In the circular economy, sustainable energy, but also resources recovered from wastewater treatment, are produced at different locations’, Rijnaarts explains. ‘To efficiently distribute these towards the customers smart grids can be used: how do you adequately match supply and demand in time and space?’ Developing and applying models to optimize production, storage, transport and delivery will be an important task of this new position.
By April 1st 2020, ETE expects to welcome the new colleagues.