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PhD on development of forward osmosis membranes for clean water production

PhD on development of forward osmosis membranes for clean water production

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry


The main objective of the European H2020 project DESOLINATION is to decarbonise desalination processes in arid regions to produce drinking water from seawater. The ultimate goal of this multi-partner project is to demonstrate in a real environment the efficient coupling of a concentrated solar power plant to a Forward Osmosis (FO) desalination system. Based on project innovations in multiple areas, e.g. heat recovery technologies, thermal cycles and water purification methods, the DESOLINATION system will show high waste-heat-to-freshwater conversion efficiency.

Membrane filtration is an indispensable link to limit water scarcity, improve quality and enable more efficient use of water. The contribution of the Membrane Materials and Processes (MM/P) group at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is the development of an improved FO membrane support by electrospinning. This improved support will be coated with a selective separating layer in collaboration with a Spanish project partner and should result in increased drinking water productivity.

For this project we are recruiting a chemical engineer that has affinity with polymer processing and/or membrane technology. Electrospinning will be used to tailor the membrane support structure in order to reduce the internal concentration polarization, a process that reduces the driving force for water through the membrane. On top of this optimized support a selective polyelectrolyte Layer-by-Layer (LbL) coating will be applied which is responsible for separating the salt and water. The first milestone in this project is de development and production of the electrospunbound support, followed by the coating and integration of the different unit operations and evaluation on location with real streams by the partners.

Membrane Materials and Processes at Eindhoven University of Technology

The research will be conducted at the research group MM/P, Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the TU/e (The Netherlands) and is executed within the European H2020 programme ‘DESOLINATION” within a consortium of 19 partners from 9 different countries in the eurozone and 3 gulf countries.

The research group MM/P focuses on the design, development, characterization and application of polymer membranes and porous electrodes to control mass transport in sustainable processes. The research combines and integrates materials chemistry, materials engineering and process technology. Application areas are water and energy, with a strong focus on the recovery and reuse of resources, the valorization of waste streams and energy efficiency. ‘Closing cycles’ and ‘value from waste’ are leading themes in the research program. Next to fundamental academic research, application-oriented research in close collaboration with the industry is stimulated.

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.


  • We are looking for a talented, motivated and enthusiastic researcher
  • Preferably, candidates have a strong background and interest in both chemistry and chemical engineering with experience in physical chemistry or an equivalent at master (MSc) level
  • Candidates should have a scientific attitude combined with a hands-on mentality and interest for application-oriented research at industrial partner locations
  • Analytical skills, initiative and creativity are valuable properties
  • You are a naturally curious person who is eager to learn more and has a strong interest in research.
  • Excellent communication skills in English are a prerequisite.
  • We prefer candidates with a good team spirit, who like to work in an internationally oriented, social environment.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Kitty Nijmeijer (e-mail: d.c.nijmeijer[at] , phone: +31 (0)40 247 28 71).

Further information about the research group Membrane Materials and Processes (MM/P) can be found at and more information about Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and the department of Chemical Engineering & Chemistry is available at

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact ms. P.J. van de Weijer (Sandra),
HR-advisor, p.j.v.d.weijer[at]

Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


Candidates possessing both suitable experience and qualifications are invited to apply by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of two references.
  • A list of BSc and MSc courses and grades

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

An interview, a scientific presentation and a writing assignment are part of the selection procedure.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.