PhD Student Electrochemical Methods for Sustainable Nutrient Recovery

Gepubliceerd op
2 juli 2018
Locatie Wageningen
Expertisegebied Natural Sciences
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We are looking for

We are looking for a highly motivated and ambitious PhD student to design, synthesize, and characterize polymer-based electrodes for ion-selective removal and recovery.

Electro-driven separation processes have the potential to offer a sustainable way to recover high-value materials, like nutrients, from waste water. This project focusses on phosphate and aims to develop tailor-made, ion-selective electrodes that will be integrated with such processes. Polymer-based electrodes are a strong candidate to achieve ion selectivity. One of the challenges is finding a proper balance between selectivity and reversibility, which will be addressed by polymer and surface chemistry. Another challenge is to understand and control ion transport into and out of the electrodes, which will be studied by electrochemical approaches, combined with mixed ion sorption studies. The project is part of the ERC Consolidator program of Dr Louis de Smet and will be carried out in close collaboration with two other PhD students and a postdoctoral researcher.

We ask

The candidate requires an MSc degree in Chemistry / Chemical Engineering / Molecular (Life) Sciences. You should have a solid background in (physical) organic chemistry with strong analytical and problem-solving abilities. Experience with surface chemistry and/or electrochemistry would be advantageous. Furthermore, you should be a team player with good written and oral communication skills in English.

We offer

We offer you a temporary position for a period of 1.5 years with extension of 2.5 years after successful evaluation. Gross salary per month € 2222,- in the first year rising up to € 2840,- 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.

More information

For more information about this position, please contact Dr Louis de Smet telephone number +31 317481268 and email adres: (more info also on
For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact mrs Marjolijn Steffens, HR advisor, telephone number +31 317489882,

You can apply online at Vacancy is open until Aug 30, but candidate selection will start from July 5 onwards on the basis of all applications received until then.

We are

The Agrotechnology & Food Sciences Group is part of Wageningen University & Research, an organisation that brings together fundamental and applied scientific research. We work on creating ‘healthy food in a biobased society’ with private sector companies, research institutes and government agencies in the Netherlands and abroad. Our innovations play a crucial role in solving the major issues which affect society today. Entrepreneurship and professionalism are key in all that we do. In short, we are a major international employer offering considerable potential for your career.

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.

The Organic Chemistry group ( constitutes a large, interdisciplinary research team involved in teaching and research on organic chemistry, with an emphasis on surface-based reactivity. The group aims to excel in the research and teaching of organic chemistry. The laboratory is extremely well-equipped with a unique set of analysis instruments for bio-organic materials and surfaces, and the group consists of around 20 PhD students and postdocs, a permanent staff of 7 technical employees, two part-time professors with external expertise, 6 assistant and associate professors and one full-time chair. In addition to this, the embedding within Wageningen University & Research adds ample biological input into our focus on chemistry-based bionanotechnology. Currently ca. 1700 students/year take part in one or more Organic Chemistry study elements provided by our faculty.

For further information about working at Wageningen UR, take a look at

Acquisition regarding this vacancy is not appreciated.