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PhD in steering droplet agglomeration in spray dryers

PhD in steering droplet agglomeration in spray dryers

Irène Curie Fellowship
Chemical Engineering and Chemistry
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Reference number

Job description

Project description

The energy use in industry due to drying operations is significant and approximately 15% of the total industrial energy use. Energy prices are increasing especially with the current geopolitical situation, driving energy costs for the industry.

Therefore, the industry is under heavy pressure to make big steps in increasing process efficiency of dryers, specifically spray dryers, being one of THE most energy intensive unit operations. Increasing the energy efficiency of spray dryers will reduce the need for heat. To create a breakthrough in the efficiency of spray drying plants, we believe that better understanding of spray drying and agglomeration processes will enable us to develop smart strategies to steer these processes to optimum process efficiency. Specifically, more control on sticky and agglomeration behaviour for varying products allow us to steer spray dryers towards increased capacity, higher process efficiency and less off-spec product formation.

Currently, the spray drying operational conditions are determined by trial and error in combination with empirical experience. We estimated that energy use during spray drying may be reduced with 20% directly, while additional reduction in wasted raw materials can provide even more energy savings (up to 62%).

In this project, Eindhoven University of Technology, Wageningen University and the industrial partners join forces to accelerate understanding of spray drying technology and facilitate implementation of improvements to realise these energy savings. This project will focus on the fundamental understanding of individual droplet drying and binary droplet collisions of drying particles.

The PhD student working at Eindhoven University will work on the modelling part of the project. The project will be in close collaboration with a PhD student at Wageningen University, who will perform experiments on the same subject.

Job requirements

We are looking for an experienced candidates with a master in chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, thermal engineering, physics or a related field.

The prospective researcher is expected to have experience in Computational Fluid Dynamics for fluids or fluid-structure interactions. An affinity with the process industry is preferred.

In addition, experience in programming is preferred.

The ideal candidate has good scientific skills as well as excellent soft skills related to verbal and written communication.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.541,- in the first year to € 3.247,- in the fourth year.
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Information and application

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. 

The TU/e offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. We combine scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager dr. M.W. Baltussen email: M.W.Baltussen[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Mrs. P.J. van de Weijer, HR Advisor, email: p.j.v.d.weijer[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. Candidates possessing both suitable experience and qualifications are invited to apply. The application should include a:

  • a motivation letter.
  • a curriculum vitae (including contact details of at least two references).
  • a list of BSc and MSc courses and grades.

Review of applications will start as soon as applications are received and will continue until the position has been filled.

Both national and international applications to this advertisement are appreciated. Promising candidates will be contacted by email.

You can upload a maximum of 5 documents of up to 2MB each. Only applications that are submitted in this way are taken into account.