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PhD Dense polyelectrolyte complexes as stable anion exchange membranes for H2O2 production

Job description

A PhD project is available regarding the production and characterization of new and sustainable ion-exchange membranes. Membranes play a critical role in the production of safe drinking water and the treatment of human waste streams, but they also take on an increasingly important role in industrial electrochemical processes. This projects will investigate a highly novel approach allowing the production of the highly stable anion exchange membranes through simple hot-pressing of polyelectrolyte complexes. In the project, these new membranes will be designed, fine-tuned and produced to combine high stability with excellent separation properties. There will be a focus on connecting material properties to membrane performance. Moreover, the performance in electrically driven processes will be studied in detail to be compared with commercially available membranes. Anion-exchange membranes with a high chemical stability are essential to allow electrochemical conversion of water into H­2O2 under the required alkaline conditions. This PhD project is part of the larger HYPER project where we will work closely together with the chemicals and materials company Solvay and experts in catalysis (Wageningen University) and process design (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research).

This project will take place in an international research group with a strong collaborative atmosphere. As part of the PhD program, you would have the opportunity to receive further education within the Twente Graduate School. Furthermore, you may actively contribute in the teaching program, e.g. by supervision of BSc and MSc assignments and teaching assistance.

Your profile

You have a Master’s degree, preferably with distinction (or international equivalent), in Physical Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science or a closely related discipline. You are motivated and enthusiastic about working on the interface of fundamental and applied research.

Preferably you have experience with complexation driven processes, phase separation, membrane science and/or electrochemistry. You have the ability to work independently and as a member of a research team, while demonstrating a collaborative attitude.

You are able to review and engage with interdisciplinary studies and are driven by curiosity. You have excellent analytical skills and an analytical mind-set, excellent communication skills, written as well as spoken. English language proficiency is a must and a written test, as well as a scientific presentation, will be part of the interview procedure.

Our offer

The University of Twente offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. When fulfilling a PhD position at the UT, you will get the status of junior scientist. You will have an employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.434,- in the first year and increases to € 3.111,- in the fourth year of your employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amount to 8%), an end of year bonus of 8.3%. A high-quality training program is part of the agreement. The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period. The positions are available from the 1st of September 2021.

Information and application

Questions regarding these positions can be directed to Prof. Wiebe M. de Vos (w.m.devos@utwente.nl, phone: +31 53 489 4495) and Dr. Saskia Lindhoud (s.lindhoud@utwente.nl, phone: +31 53 489 3161)

Please send your application with c.v. (including contact information for at least two academic references), via the link below. If possible, please add a list of grades of both your BSc and MSc diploma.

About the department

Within the Membrane Surface Science Group (MSuS), part of the Membrane Science & Technology (MST) cluster (www.membrane.nl), and the Molecular Nanofabrication group, part of the department of Molecules and Materials, of the University of Twente, The Netherlands we have a vacancy for a PhD student

About the organization

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD Dense polyelectrolyte complexes as stable anion exchange membranes for H2O2 production
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