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R&D PROFESSIONAL ELECTRICAL AND POWER-ELECTRONIC ENERGY SYSTEMS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

 

The coming years will be characterized by electrification of heating, transport, industrial tools, further improvement of energy efficiency of all kinds of systems, a further increase of renewable energy sources and changing behavior patterns of consumers. This evolution creates a number of technical challenges and will be accompanied by an expontential increase in the application of power electronics and puts pressure on existing components of the power system. To work on these challenges, innovative concepts that can simplify the use and integration of electric storage systems, have to be figured out. These concepts should be tested in realistic conditions, and the required power electronics and electrical components and subsystems should be designed. If you want, together with VITO/Energyville, to put effort into the previous projects, you are our new colleague!

  • Through your excellent knowledge in the field of power electronics (including control and applications), you will shape and elaborate research projects in the field of ‘power equality’, AC/DC and DC/DC converters, distributed control, electric storage etc.
  • Within these domains, you follow the technologies and trends, expand your knowledge, and detect opportunities to our revenue in both the short and the long term (IPR cooperation, industry, …)
  • You are responsible for discovering and understanding the problems of the client and its rapid and relevant analysis: the inventing, designing, developing, testing and benchmarking of innovative prototypes (using programmable transducers) of power-electronic or electrotechnical components and subsystems that will form an essential part of the solution.
  • You report, both internally and externally, to our customers.
  • You take care of the adequate protection for your inventions through patent applications and licensable designs. After the protection is assured, you present the results at internatonial forums.
  • You will find your passion both in working on creative solutions within a project team as in driving such a team and in the guidance of PhD students.

 

New

LEAD FRONT END DEVELOPER

Mol
IT
Description: 

No description available in English since Dutch is required for this position.

New

ORGANIC CHEMIST FOR SYNTHESIS OF BIOBASED BUILDING BLOCKS

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The unit Separation- and Conversion Technology (SCT) developstechnologies for the sustainability of production processes in the(bio)chemical sector, replacement of fossil resources by renewable resources asfeedstock for the chemical industry, and the treatment of waste streams intohigh value chemicals.

The synthesis of (semi)aromatic polymers derived from renewableresources is currently attracting tremendous interest from both academia andindustry, as aromatic compounds are key intermediates in the manufacture ofpolymers and chemicals.

VITO is co-initiator of Biorizon, an industry driven Shared ResearchCenter, focusing on technology development for the production of functionalizedbiobased aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. As theleading institute, VITO coordinates the development of lignin derivedbioaromatics by its own technology and by collaboration with differenttechnology providers. Lignin is the main source of aromatic bio-basedmolecules. Various phenols derivatives with a variety of chemical structurescan be obtained from lignin deconstruction combined with advanced membraneseparation techniques.

VITO has developed a strong expertise in the valorization of biomassthrough conversion of lignocellulose into value-added lignin fragments andbio-aromatic derivatives. More recently, VITO has also started to develop IPand to demonstrate how these new building blocks could be polymerized intovalue-added products. Depending on the bioaromatic substrates obtained from thelignin separation processes, different chemical modifications andpolymerization pathways are envisaged and developed, leading to (semi)aromaticpolymers that could potentially cover a wide range of industrial applications.

 

 

Desired skills and experience

  • Applicants must have obtained a PhD in polymer chemistryor a related field (organic chemistry, biomaterials…) or proven track record

  • An experience in the synthesis of value-addedmolecules derived from biomass or in the synthesis/characterization of (block)co-polymer is an advantage

  • Highly self-motivated individuals who havedemonstrated the ability to conduct scientific research successfully and workindependently are desirable

  • The ability to combined creativity and experimentalresearch together with a focus on applications to generate industry-readysolutions leading to commercialization is a strong advantage

  • Strong written and verbal communication skills arerequired

  • You are strongly interested in cooperation withother partners (industry, SME’s, institutes, universities).

  • The candidates are expected to stay abreast of therecent literature (publications and patents) in the field of lignin-derivedpolymers, develop research ideas and valorized their research in the form ofpatents and research papers

  • You are enthusiastic about both experimental labwork as well about processing of data and reporting.

  • The candidate will contribute to the acquisition ofnew projects/funds via writing research proposals

 


 

MARKETING & COMMUNICATION ASSISTANT

Mol
Support
Description: 

No description available because good knowledge of Dutch is required. Link to the Dutch vacancy.

MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc Fractionation and monitoring of extracellular vesicles with inflammatory biomarkers.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Research challenge:
Lipid membrane-packed extracellular vesicles (EVs) released by living cells are able to transfer their molecular cargo to recipient cells, which is accompanied by the reprogramming of the recipient cell functions. The release of EVs in the different body fluids in health and disease thus represents a biologically significant communication system, rendering them a promising tool for early detection and monitoring of diseases. The presence of EV-associated inflammation biomarkers and their link with underlying inflammatory processes in cardiovascular, neurological and immune diseases, cancer, and infection has been established. In conditions of serious illness the continuous and sensitive monitoring of inflammation biomarkers can be life-saving. 

A novel technology for continuous biomarker monitoring based on Particle Mobility Sensing (PMS) with single-molecule resolution is being developed by Eindhoven University of Technology and spin-off company Helia Biomonitoring. The technology allows for detection of mobility changes of micron-sized particles conjugated with specific affinity molecules for the targeted biomarkers [Visser et al., Nat Commun (2018) 9(1): 2541]. Assays for detection of inflammatory biomarkers are presently being developed on the PMS platform. In this IF project, the in-line sample fractionation system for EV isolation will be combined with PMS in order to study the feasibility of continuous EV-based inflammatory biomarker monitoring.

Approach:
The project will focus on developing a filter membrane-based column combining size selectivity with affinity for isolation of small EV subsets (50-150 nm), which can be directly coupled with the PMS platform. This fractionation system will initially be optimized using reference vesicles (synthetic liposomes and/or recombinant cell-derived EVs) spiked in buffer. Next, tests will be run with EVs secreted by a well-defined in vitro cell culture system showing reproducible inflammatory marker release kinetics after external stimulation (e.g. endothelial cell line stimulated with bacterial endotoxin to evoke an inflammatory response), and finally, with reference EVs spiked in plasma samples derived from different healthy donors to simulate real-life user conditions. System parameters (e.g. flow rate, column volume, membrane pore size, surface functionalization, etc) will be evaluated by assessing quantitative and qualitative aspects of the isolated EV fractions using state-of-the art methods (e.g. nanoparticle tracking analysis, western blot, transmission electron microscopy, small-particle flow cytometry). Inflammatory cytokine levels will be determined on intact versus lysed EV fractions using antibody arrays and/or ELISA as benchmarking technologies. Finally, proof-of-concept measurements will be performed with the PMS technology coupled to in-line fractionation of EVs to demonstrate the detection of 1 or 2 selected EV-associated inflammation markers in human plasma.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.

 

Deadline application to VITO: Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 - 17h Brussels time.

 

Deadline MSCA-IF 2020: Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

 

MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc Genomics in Clinical Practice

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The term “precision medicine” is coined to define health and disease on the individual level in great detail, in an effort to maintain health and prevent/delay the onset of disease(s). The crucial aspect in this endeavor is to be able to collect diverse and meaningful longitudinal data for each individual to define systemically, health and disease by assessing both genetic and environmental factors as well as the interactions among them. The central hypothesis of precision medicine is if we can map these factors on the individual level we can come up with tailored therapies for this individual.


Challenge:

So the ideal of precision medicine highly depends on accurately assessing the unique features that separates this individual from his/her peers. In practice however, clinical tests ( offered by professional accredited labs) are designed with the purpose to diagnose diseased individuals from healthy individuals. The first technology that is mature enough to become part of daily clinical practice is personal genome. If genomics and clinical lab. tests are integrated correctly, it has the potential to impact on every aspect of clinical practice where clinical laboratory tests are used including preventative measures, diagnosis, therapy to interpretation of the results of clinical trials.

Approach:

In this state-of-the-art project we are going to integrate genomics level differences across individuals with the clinical level data, with the aim of interpreting the clinical laboratory tests more accurately taking genomic differences in to account. For this purpose we are going to use a unique longitudinal dataset (including 100+ monthly clinical lab tests and Next Generation Sequencing [NGS]) collected via the “I am Frontier” pilot cohort at VITO and other cross sectional datasets available.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals. 

 

Deadline application to VITO: Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 17h Brussels time.

Deadline MSCA-IF 2020: Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

 

 

 

MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc Clinical application of small-particle flow cytometry in extracellular vesicle-based diagnostics

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Research challenge:
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are a promising source of diagnostic biomarkers for a range of diseases. A key challenge for EV-based diagnostics is the heterogenous nature of EVs - biological fluids contain a mixture of vesicles originating from different cell types and produced via various biological mechanisms. In many cases only a small fraction of the EV population contains clinically relevant biomarkers. This limits the usefulness of bulk analytical methods which only measure averaged characteristics of the EV population.

In contrast, single-particle measurements which can directly provide information about rare sub-populations of EVs hold great promise. Flow cytometry is one such approach, potentially allowing the robust and quantitative measurement of EV number, size, and per-particle surface marker expression with a wide dynamic range with high throughput. However, the small size of EVs and low abundance of surface biomarkers challenges conventional flow cytometry approaches, leading to the development of vesicle-specific instruments, assays and protocols.

Approach:
To enable the translation of small-particle flow cytometry into the clinical diagnostics laboratory, standardization of the EV analysis workflows is required. This includes calibration procedures and materials, as well as control experiments to confirm the vesicular nature of the detected events and assay the contribution of non-vesicular contaminants. Furthermore, the small size of EVs means that only a small number of antigens is present per particle. Their detection thus requires high sensitivity, demanding the combination of brighter and more stable fluorescent dyes, high-quality affinity probes and optimized labelling protocols.

These key technical issues will be tackled in the proposed project using the BD FACS Celesta SORP system recently acquired by VITO. The novel workflows will be demonstrated for their applicability in cancer patient-derived clinical samples and compared to baseline EV profiles in healthy donor samples. Sample collections will be obtained from a local hospital in close collaboration with clinicians, who will also act as future end-users.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.

 

Deadline application to VITO: Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 - 17h Brussels time.

 

Deadline MSCA-IF 2020: Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

MSCA-IF-2020 call: Postdoc Machine Learning methods for Probabilistic Forecasting in Energy Applications

Genk
Postdoc
Description: 

Research challenge:
Current state-of-the-art approaches for probabilistic forecasting are either incapable of considering time-correlation, or make use of (too) rough assumptions about the Gaussian character of the involved stochastic disturbances. The research challenge is to develop performant and accurate probabilistic forecasting methods that overcome these drawbacks and use novel stochastic Machine Learning (ML) techniques to capture time-correlation without resorting to approximations, tackling the difficulties of scenario-based forecasting. Such ML techniques may include Deep Learning Networks, Neural Processes, Approximate Bayesian Inference, Hybrid Models etc.

 

Approach:
To be most efficient, the selected candidate will develop of these techniques focusing on the challenges emerging in a specific and particularly innovation driven domain of smart management and operation of low voltage distribution grids. In practice, these techniques will include novel beyond-state-of-the-art stochastic forecasting methods that can support the construction of live-scale, accurately finetuned and reliably robust digital twin (statistical simulation models) that capture the electrical aspects of the low voltage distribution grid. From the point-of-view of the distribution network operator, this approach tackles the most urgent challenges caused by the energy transition (electric vehicles, distributed electricity production, residential demand response, etc.), and has the added advantage of a high valorisation potential.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.

• Collaborations
The need and opportunity for collaboration with other research institutions and with relevant partners in industry will certainly emerge and are even a necessity. This can potentially result in secondments at the premises of one or more such partners. Collaboration with Belgian and European DSO’s will probably turn out to be of the highest importance for relevant data-access.

• Deadline application to VITO
Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 17h Brussels time.

 

Deadline MSCA-IF 2020: Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

VITO contact details:
Dr. Koen Vanthournout
Unit ETE / Group AMO / VITO - EnergyVille
VITO: Boeretang 200, 2400 Mol, Belgium NV (Headquarters)
EnergyVille 1: Thor Park 8310, 3600 Genk, Belgium (place of work)
tel: +32 14 33 59 16

 

MSCA-IF-2020 call: Postdoc EO data for climate adaptation of cropping systems

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The global challenge of food security is to balance increased agricultural production with environmental concerns and climate resilience. Unravelling these grand challenges necessitates an understanding of constraints, synergies and trade-offs in crop production at different spatio-temporal scales. Crop monitoring and modelling have played a crucial role in our understanding of this triple challenge, for example through the analysis of crop yield gaps and climate vulnerability of particular regions. Much less understood are the often devastating impacts of extreme weather events that can be attributed to climate change.
Soil has an important capacity to regulate water supply, and may help crop resilience to climate extremes. Extreme weather impacts of both excess rainfall and drought could be buffered with increased soil water retention capacity to govern the dynamics between runoff, infiltration, storage, evapotranspiration, drainage and percolation. Improved knowledge of soil-crop interactions enables more accurate simulations of crop growth dynamics and yields across a wide range of environments, and in turn may further contribute to improved knowledge of soil and crop processes, including crop yield, carbon and nitrogen dynamics and greenhouse gas emissions.
Digital agriculture is known to boost knowledge and yields, reduce inputs and investment and increase resilience to risks such as changing weather and price volatility. Characterisation of different events that influence the soil-crop interaction during crop growth development can be achieved through data mining of remote sensing images that have become available at unprecedented temporal, spatial and spectral scales with the advent of Europe’s Copernicus program of Earth observation. The research hypothesis is that soil characteristics, major field operations and crop development can be detected across a regional scale, and that these inputs can improve the quantification of soil-crop processes to elucidate climate resilience in terms of combined adaptation and mitigation measures.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.
 
• Collaborations
Possible collaborations are envisaged with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Faculty of BioScience Engineering, University of Leuven.

• Deadline application to VITO
Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 17h Brussels time.

Contact details: anne.gobin@vito.be

• Deadline MSCA-IF 2020
Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc How material passports and blockchain enable information travelling across the value chain in a circular and digital economy

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

In a CE, materials and products are reused as much as possible through recycling, repair, refurbishment and sharing of products and materials. However, a lack of data concerning the usage history and physical state of the products (or its components) and materials and sharing of data between the different partners of the value chain, often hinders the uptake of these CE strategies. Especially because of reluctance to share (sensitive) data among value chain actors, a blockchain can address the data-related issues as it allows to access other value chain actor’s data without revealing each other’s identity. In short, blockchains store data on the transaction of products, and data on the product itself in a distributed ledger, a system widely accepted for its data accuracy and data authenticity. In case the blockchain technology is combined with track and trace technology (e.g. monitoring or sensor technology), the blockchain can provide a means to guarantee the trustworthiness of the product data and ensure a link between the physical product and the accompanying data. As such, blockchain can assist in determining the (geographic) location, physical condition, track record of defects & repairs, and ownership status of materials, products, or products parts in the value chain.

The disclosure of this information is essential in order to allow the transactions within a circular economy which would previously be hindered by a lack of data. It is still to be investigated how this information should be processed and disclosed in real-time in order to allow optimal steering of circular transactions. At present, the circular economy struggles with these kind of questions, and often needs a middleman to answer them. This however increases the number of parties involved in the circular value chain and hence increases a circular system’s complexity and cost. The implementation of blockchain technology can avoid the introduction of the additional layers in the circular value chain (i.e. the role of middlemen) in case the blockchain technology can provide the necessary information to efficiently answer the repair or replace question.

Expectations:
The goal of the envisaged project is three(four)fold:

1. Identify potential circular economy innovations (business cases) which are currently complicated due to a lack of trust during the transaction phases, or currently rely upon the intervention of a middlemen;
2. Assess the potential of  blockchain as enabler of the endangered circular transactions, or reduce complexity by decreasing the need for a middle-men as transaction facilitator;
3. Assess the potential of a kind of automated circular decision making tool: the tool will make use of blockchain technology to distribute (e.g. sensory) data among the involved parties in a circular value chain. Artificial Intelligence will then be applied in order to automate the decision making, based upon the gathered data. Once the potential of these tools is analyzed, the project will investigate to what extent this kind of innovations will disrupt the current value chains and create new business model opportunities.
4. If deemed relevant for the research: Conclude a first estimate of the environmental impact of a blockchain driven circular innovation, balancing the environmental gains of increased circularity and environmental costs related to for example the energy use of the blockchain itself.


With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.
 
• Collaborations
Discussions are running.

• Deadline application to VITO
Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 17h Brussels time.


• Deadline MSCA-IF 2020
Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc How digital twins for improving design, production and processes, enable service-based business models in a circular and digital economy.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The production of materials, components and final products can be energy- and resource-intensive and lead to significant amounts of waste. Digital tools can optimize processes by preventing waste and emissions and reducing energy and resource consumption, both during production and the use-phase. Digital twin, a digital replica of a physical entity, provides both the elements and the dynamics of how an Internet of things device operates and lives throughout its life cycle. It is the idea to set a digital twin already at design phase and use it for assisting towards more sustainable/circular products over its full life span. 

Also during use phase, the product is still connected with the digital twin. So that real life data produced by the sensors are processed. For the company, it is essential to keep track of the usage-history and performance of the leased items, or performance of some essential components, for a few reasons:

- Correct misuse: misuse can result in early defects and increased costs for the leasing company. Examples of misuse are putting too much clothes in a washing machine or using too much detergent;
- Anticipated replacements: some components need to be replaced once they are used a number of times in order to avoid defects of these components, and possibly collateral damage to other components. E.g. replace a washing machine’s suspension after YY washing rounds.
- In case of an unexpected defect, data-based decisions can best determine whether it is worthwhile to repair the leased items, or instead replace them.
Real-time, and on-distance, monitoring of the usage, and the performance of the items (components) can help to determine the optimal timing for the replacement of essential components. Machine learning algorithms can provide economic gains for the leasing companies in case they can further optimize the process of anticipated replacements, and determine the correct use pattern for the leased items. In the end, this must increase the lifetime of the leased items. In case of defects, the monitoring of the usage history, and track record of potential other defects, can assist in the complex repair or replace decisions to be made. Also in this case, the goal is to extend the items’ lifetime keeping in mind the profitability of the leasing companies. 

This operation model can only function optimally in a service-oriented business models such as product service systems. In private lease, the leasing company (which potentially, but not necessarily, is also the producer of the appliance/vehicle) remains owner of the appliance.
Expectations:
In close collaboration with the leasing company and the partners, the post doc will:

- Develop a digital twin for a product at design phase
- Identify what information needs to be monitored during the use phase in order to harness data at the source of data
- Develop AI methods for detecting misuse or automotive and predictive maintenance
- Translate information monitoring into useful advice for technicians in the field and towards service-oriented business models, including potential end-of-life decisions (e.g. repair a broken device or dispose, dismantle and recover materials and components)
- Derive learning and compare with case 2 outcomes, for example by means of a twin network to create a valuable ecosystem.
As such, the post doc aims to contribute to the further digitization of the design of products and circular decision making concerning the future destination of products. 


With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals. 
 

• Deadline application to VITO
Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 17h Brussels time.


• Deadline MSCA-IF 2020
Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.
 

CHEMICAL PROCESS ENGINEER

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

We are looking for a creative and driven chemical process engineer to strengthen the sustainable chemistry department in VITO for the development, upscaling and piloting of sustainable chemical processes.


Within the sustainable chemistry department we develop innovative separation and conversion technologies that tackle the industrial and societal challenges of process optimization/intensification and a shift towards alternative resources (biobased chemical building blocks). VITO derisks the industrial uptake of these processes by demonstrating them at lab and pilot scale.

In the position of chemical process engineer you translate the innovative and sustainable chemical processes into lab and piloting equipment.


Do you want to contribute to this? Read ahead.


Tasks and responsibilities:

  • You are responsible for translation of chemical processes into hardware for lab scale equipment and for upscaling these processes to pilot scale.
  • You participate in the design of a process unit, including establishing process design basis, trade-off of process options and optimization of selected design.
  • You direct activities to ensure that construction, installation and operational testing are conform to functional specifications, recognized codes and standards, legislation (ATEX, PED, …) and customer requirements. You ensure all documentation is prepared, checked, reviewed and approved adequately.
  • You maintain effective communication with the project team (internal colleagues, subcontractors, partners) and stakeholders/customers.
  • You specify process flow sheets and you model processes and units operations. You develop  process flow diagrams to define heat and material balance and you perform simulations with tools like ASPEN.
  • You prepare specifications for processing equipment, e.g. pressure vessels, pumps, compressors, heat exchangers, …
  • You prepare operating instructions for the installations.
  • You participate in planning, cost development, management and scheduling for assigned projects.
  • You design small lab scale test installations, select suppliers of the components, supervise the construction and write the acceptance test and operational procedures.
  • You carry out reviews of vendor’s bids and documentation for technical acceptability.
  • You provide technical assistance to other design groups as necessary.


FULL STACK SOFTWARE DEVELOPER FOR ENERGY FLEXIBILITY

Genk
IT
Description: 

EnergyVille is a collaboration between the Belgian research partners KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt in the fields of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems.


VITO is looking for a driven Software Developer to strengthen the research group Algorithms, Models, and Optimization (AMO) at EnergyVille. Currently 18 researchers and developers focus on discovering, leveraging, and valorizing flexibility in energy supply and demand as a key to increasing the use of renewable energy sources. They develop and implement advanced, data- and model-driven control algorithms and software systems for energy devices, energy management systems, and energy markets. More information: www.energyville.be


Interested to contribute? Read on!

  • You work in a team of researchers advancing mathematical, model based, decentralized, and/or data driven techniques that enable a higher share of renewables and developing novel solutions for the practical challenges within the energy infrastructure. You contribute actively to the team with your software development expertise, IT administration skills, and overall resourcefulness.
  • You interface with researchers in the domain of electrical grids, electrical storage, thermal energy systems, energy markets, e-mobility, etc., and provide performant and practical algorithmic solutions for their challenges.
  • You support the development and implementation of specialized software from inception/prototype stage up to production grade.
  • You take responsibility for software quality and availability, data engineering, and porting of algorithms to web services and cloud solutions.
  • You continuously learn and improve your skills in software development and IT as well as in the neighboring energy domains. You actively explore novel technologies and frameworks.
  • You work as part of the team as well as independently, you share your expertise and proactively advise on methods and components.


MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc Smart production of active oligosaccharides mixtures through tailored functionalized membranes

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Research challenge:
Pectin, a very common by-product of agro-industrial processes, is one of the polymers constituting the cell wall of higher plants. It is mostly constituted by galacturonic acid units linked by a-1,4-glycosidic bonds (polygalacturonan) that can be interspersed with rhamnose units (rhamnogalacturonan). Galacturonic acid hydroxyl groups can be partially methylated or acetylated. Other neutral sugars that can also be present in pectins are represented by galactose and arabinose. Different vegetal species have different pectin structures, generated by the combination of the different sugars, making pectin a very diverse and very heterogenous class of biopolymers.
Pectin can be exploited for the production of pectin oligosaccharides (POS). POS are usually generated by directed and tailored enzymatic hydrolyses, using different enzymes to degrade the different pectin regions. POS have been proven to have interesting biological properties, which mostly reside in their ability to positively interact with the gut microflora, and to give a specific stimulation of probiotic gut bacteria.
Unfortunately, the properties of POS very much depend on the specific composition, which, given the high diversity of pectin and the diverse enzymes used for POS production, can enormously vary among different starting materials and preparations. Given this diversity, the assessment of the biological properties is to be firmly related to the actual composition of the POS mixtures, in order to make clear links between the structure and the observed activity, and to define the most active POS. This in turn can allow to define which pectin is to be used as starting materials for POS. Moreover, the isolation of the targeted

Approach:
The project will have a twofold target. The first aim is to assess the potential prebiotic effect of diverse POS mixtures by microbiological tools and detailed analysis, allowing to define the most active POS structures. This task will partially rely on already existing in-house expertise, which will be complemented by specific expertise of the candidate in this field and a possible secondment in a specialized group. The second aim is to enrich the POS-preparations with the identified active compounds by fractionation using a new generation of functionalized membranes, purposely developed in the framework of this project, able to separate the different compounds in POS preparations according to charge, length and other physico-chemical properties. This main aim is to prepare prebiotic mixtures having high specific activity.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.

 

Deadline application to VITO: Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 - 17h Brussels time.

 

Deadline MSCA-IF 2020: Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

MSCA-IF-2020 call: PostDoc New class of biobased esters: process modeling combined with experimental validation

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Research challenge:
The subject of this project is the integration of enzymatic (trans)esterification with pervaporation. In cases where sensitive substrates are used, lipase catalysis has the edge over conventional catalysis. However, completion of a (trans)esterification requires continuous removal of by-products. The required technology depends on the physicochemical properties of the substrates and products. Nitrogen stripping of the mixture may lead to simultaneous removal of other close boiling substrates and products. Thermal separations are complicated by the presence of azeotropes and may require an auxiliary solvent acting as entrainer. Pervaporation has some distinct advantages in comparison to distillation to separate azeotropic mixtures. However, design rules and heuristics for systems where pervaporation is integrated with catalysis are scarce. Trial-and-error approaches can be applied in initial investigations when design parameters are scarce or even absent, but this often leads to disappointing or suboptimal results. Therefore, a trial-and-error approach should be complemented with more fundamental biochemical engineering principles to allow a quantitative understanding and finally, to allow the rational upscaling of such integrated systems.

Approach:
The first objective of the project is a further experimental exploration of:
1. the esterification of sensitive substrates where lipase catalysis has the edge over conventional catalysis.
2. Membrane characterization in terms of flux and separation factor for a relevant concentration range.

The second and main objective is the technical integration of pervaporation with enzymatic ester synthesis leading to an improved quantitative understanding of such integrated systems. Currently, heuristics and rules-of-thumb for such integrations are scarce. Therefore, design rules based on sound (bio)chemical engineering principles will be developed to allow: 1. an economic evaluation in an early development phase, 2. sizing all components for such integrated concepts.

With this call, we invite researchers to submit their resumé (including track-record) and a one-page project description, that will be the basis for selecting candidates with whom we will collaborate for developing competitive MSCA-IF proposals.

 

Deadline application to VITO: Interested candidates should submit their resume (incl. track record) and a one-page note describing the project for which a Marie Curie grant will be applied, before Friday 17 April 2020 - 17h Brussels time.

 

Deadline MSCA-IF 2020: Wednesday 9 September 2020 17h Brussels time.

EMBEDDED SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Genk
IT
Description: 

Geen Engelse vacaturetekst beschikbaar aangezien kennis van het Nederlands noodzakelijk is voor deze vacature. Link naar de Nederlandse vacature.

REMOTE SENSING SOFTWARE DEVELOPER / DESIGNER

Mol
IT
Description: 

No description available in English since Dutch is required for this position.

 

 

R&D PROFESSIONAL ENERGY IN BUILDINGS AND ENERGY TRANSITION IN CITIES

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

No vacancy description available in English, since knowledge of Dutch is required for this position. Link to the Dutch vacancy.

 

SENIOR EXPERT/PROJECT COORDINATOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES AND BUILDING MATERIALS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The Built Environment team at VITO/EnergyVille assesses the environmental impact of building materials and energy technologies. We provide industry and governments with advice on innovative solutions and alternative methods of production. We are currently seeking an experienced life-cycle analysis (LCA) expert to strengthen our team.

  • In this role, you will act as the senior expert for funded research projects (such as H2020), as well as consultancy assignments for industry or governments.
  • You will bring innovation to our field of expertise by contributing and developing new methods and expertise in relation to the digitisation of LCA/LCC assessments, innovative data strategies and machine learning technology. In this regard, you will make tangible contributions to the development of innovative tools and solutions that meet current and future client needs.
  • In your role as project coordinator, you will direct the progress achieved by the in-house project team and ensure that this is in alignment with the relevant external partners. You will form the first point of contact for the client and will also be the external face of those projects at stakeholder forums and public events.
  • You will be responsible for partnerships within national and European consortia, and you will expand your network to include Belgian and European authorities and industrial partners.
  • You will also play a role in the acquisition of projects and in writing tenders and project proposals.

EXPERT ENERGY MARKET MODELLING

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

EnergyVille is a collaboration between the Flemish research partners VITO, KU Leuven, imec and UHasselt in the field of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. VITO is looking for an excellent researcher to add competence to the  interdisciplinary energy market team (economics, business administration, applied mathematics, electrical & mechanical engineering).

 
You will be involved in several research and consultancy projects as expert on modelling and assessment of  energy markets including e.g. clearing mechanism, product system, spatial and temporal organization. Concrete, the markets in scope cover electricity extended to multi-carrier markets for gas and heat: from day-ahead markets to real-time balancing including system services. You will model markets as mathematical problems formulated as optimization problems, and also as games capturing market participant behavior. Modelling language include Python and Julia. You will be based in VITO/EnergyVille in Thor Park Genk, Belgium.

 

As Expert Energy market modelling, you will

  • Collaborate within the energy market team on varied projects.
  • Develop and assess new concepts for energy markets and products, and create insights on innovative market design for all the involved stakeholders in the energy landscape.
  • Formulate mathematical problems for different (multi-carrier) energy market designs applying optimization and game theory, optionally including the individual decision-making of market participants.
  • Implement and develop solutions/algorithms for the formulated problems in Python/Julia using mathematical solvers.
  • Translate your findings in relevant policy and strategy advise to relevant stakeholders including regulators, policy makers, system operators and industry.
  • Contribute to writing (parts of) project proposals and offers to tenders.
  • Manage defined tasks and budget related to your area of expertise. 

 

ADVISOR ECONOMIC FEASIBILITY AND SUSTAINABILITY OF INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES (BIOBASED AND CCU PROCESSES)

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

Are you interested in new, sustainable processes and are you particularly curious about the economic feasibility and environmental impact of these processes? Then performing a techno-economic analysis is for you. With new technologies, there are many uncertainties about which options are most promising. Is the investment cost decisive or should we focus on energy reduction or increase the productivity? Our team tries to formulate answers, in close collaboration with technology-developers, to these questions and looks for the most promising value chains with the use of our techno-economic analysis. We also extend these analysis with life cycle analysis (LCA) to have a good view on the environmental impact.


In a techno-economic analysis we examine the processes simultaneously from a technical and economic point of view – and by extension from an environmental point of view. We do this analysis based on desktop research, but also through intensive communication with project developers and external experts.

 

With this position we want to strengthen our team with a colleague who is fascinated by technological innovations, economic feasibility and environmental impact and who rather develops a helicopter view of the value chain instead of specializing him/herself in specific processes.


We offer a challenging job where a diversity of processes and value chains are evaluated from a broad, multidisciplinary perspective with our internally developed techno-economic analysis method.

 

Specific job content:

  • You combine desktop research with intensive communication with internal and external experts and you evaluate, communicate and report results to our clients (Flemish and European) and the academic world (i.e. via scientific publications and conferences).
  • You take into account the valorization potential of the technologies to provide relevant information, solutions, advice, processes or products for SMEs, governments and industry.
  • You carry out (inter)national projects with focus on the further extension of our internally developed techno-economic analysis method.
  • You work closely together in a team.
  • In the long term you will autonomously look for new research projects and processes for the further development of our techno-economic analysis method. You contribute to proposals and you look for opportunities to finance proposals.

BIOPROCESS ENGINEER (postdoc)

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

VITO is a leading research center in Flanders (Belgium) in the field of technology development for sustainable processes. The Unit of Separation and Conversion Technology (SCT), has a strong focus on bio- or CO2-based routes. VITO’s biotechnology team has a long-standing and unique expertise in gas fermentations, and in design, operation and optimization of enzymatic and whole cell bioconversion processes, tested either in stand-alone mode or coupled to membrane technology. The team consists of permanent researchers, engineers, technicians, PhD and postdoctoral students and wishes to expand with an extra postdoctoral researcher. More information available on www.vito.be or https://vito.be/en/theme/sustainable-chemistry.

 

Equal opportunity position

 

Job Description:

  • You will be working on multidisciplinary projects aiming at developing, optimizing and intensifying biotechnological processes (both whole cell and enzymatic conversions)
  • You will perform lab work as well as design and set up experiments and analyze data
  • You will handle several projects running in parallel
  • You are eager to run complex lab installations and long-term challenging biotech experiments
  • You will work independently towards the project goal, take responsibility for high quality results and reporting
  • You will work in an international team and context

R&D PROFESSIONAL ENERGY IN BUILDINGS AND DISTRICTS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

No English vacancy available since knowledge of Dutch is necessary for this position. Link to the Dutch vacancy.