Available Jobs

New

SENIOR R&D PROFESSIONAL DATA DRIVEN ALGORITHMS FOR ENERGY FLEXIBILITY

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

In the research group for Algorithms, Models, and Optimization (AMO) in VITO’s Energy Technology Unit at EnergyVille we focus on discovering, harvesting, and valorizing flexibility in energy production and consumption as a key factor in the drive towards a sustainable energy system. In cooperation with EnergyVille’s thermal, electrical, and market centric research groups we investigate, design, and implement pragmatic, data-driven, solutions and build high performance control, scheduling, orchestration, and bidding algorithms that optimize the use of flexibility in all contexts. 

Assignment 

  • You focus on the development of pragmatic solutions for the energy sector that applies these algorithms and models. You will do this together with a team of highly skilled colleagues/specialists; 
  • You lead and conduct research and development of techniques such as supervised learning, computational statistics, neural networks, reinforcement learning, and their applications in forecasting, control and orchestration in the domain of (renewable) energies. You find solutions for scarce data, tractable use of sensitive data, uncertainty quantification and propagation. You can count on the support of specialists in the different techniques and areas; 
  • You actively take part in national and European research projects and responsibly contribute to their deliverables. You communicate produce results with international partners; 
  • You publish research results in international, peer-reviewed, journals in collaboration with PhD students and you present your research results in international forums; 
  • You participate in contract research and support the IP production and valorization within VITO 
  • Together with the team, you are responsible for acquiring new research projects and writing research proposals. 
     

JUNIOR R&D AIR MONITORING

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

VITO is the reference laboratory for air measurements in Flanders. The air measurement team wants to further deploy innovative sensor techniques which, in addition to the reference methods and equipment, provide a multitude of data with large spatial and temporal distributions.  This way, personal exposure of the individual can be mapped out and larger areas can be covered spatially. We are currently looking for an enthusiastic junior R&D researcher to join our air quality monitoring team.

Position: 

  • As a junior researcher, you will be responsible for carrying out several research projects within the themes of air quality and climate.
  • Specifically, you will be working on the improvement and roll-out of innovative sensor measurement systems and networks. This includes measurement aspects, data communication and storage as well as the development of generic data platforms.
  • In addition, your task lies in content-based data analysis, based on a sound knowledge of various data analysis packages.
  • Along with your team, you will generate customer-focused solutions within agreed time and budget limits. You will be responsible for the critical analysis of the results, and will translate the research results into useful advice for the internal project manager and the external client.
  • You will establish and maintain contacts with Flemish/European companies and governments and convert the needs of the client into clear offers and research proposals.
  • Furthermore, you will frequently collaborate in multi-disciplinary teams with other units at VITO, particularly in the field of air quality and health modelling.

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Nanoplasmonic detection of extracellular vesicles in plasma for early diagnosis of stroke.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

Stroke is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Early diagnosis of stroke and treatment initiation is of major importance for patient outcome, but rapid point of care blood tests are lacking.  Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from several cell types of the brain and circulation have been shown to be released into the blood in the acute phase of a stroke event and correlate with the pathophysiology[1]. These hold promise as new biomarker source for acute stroke diagnostics. 
The detection of specific EV subsets in blood plasma is challenging due to their small size, low numbers, low abundance of surface biomarkers, and the presence of other biomolecules with similar properties (size, density, refractive index). This can be overcome by affinity-based methods that target disease-specific EV membrane proteins, thus providing information about rare sub-populations of EVs. Nanoparticles, when surface conjugated with affinity binding ligands, have the potential to enable EV purification from complex biofluids and boost sensitivity of their detection due to their unique physical properties. 

Based on a nanoplasmonic biosensor platform for lectin detection in stroke, developed in the H2020 MSCA-ITN NanoCarb project[2], the goal of this project is to redesign the nanogold-based platform for sensitive detection of plasma-derived EVs for acute stroke diagnostics.

Approach

Gold nanoparticles will be conjugated with antibodies and/or alternative affinity ligands (e.g. glycans, nanobodies), characterized, and used to assess their binding of selected EV biomarkers (e.g. ICAM-1/CD54, CD62E) using localised surface plasmon resonance (LSPR) detection and biolayer interferometry. The nanogold-bioconjugates and binding protocols will be optimized using EV isolates in buffer, and the performance of EV detection (sensitivity, specificity, dynamic range, reproducibility) determined. Next, the bioassay will be further developed to allow direct binding and detection of DRS-specific EV subsets in plasma samples. 

The research project combines multidisciplinary fields of research in physics, biomaterial science, surface chemistry and clinical diagnostics.

[1] Stenz KT, Just J, Blauenfeldt RA, Drasbek KR. Extracellular vesicles in acute stroke diagnostics. Biomedicines 2020, 8, 248.
[2] Pancaro A, Szymonik M, Georgiou PG, Baker AN, Walker M, Adriaensens P, Hendrix J, Gibson MI, Nelissen I. The Nature of Polymeric Glyco-Linker Controls the Signal Outputs for Plasmonic Gold Nanorods Biosensors in Complex Media due to Biocorona Formation. Submitted for publication.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal.

Collaborations

Collaboration with academic and/or clinical partner is planned who bring in their expertise in ischemic stroke and access to clinical samples.

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr. Inge Nelissen, Team leader Nanobiotechnology. 

contact: inge.nelissen@vito.be

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time. 

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

PATENT ATTORNEY

Mol
Support
Description: 

No translation available

PHD POSITION NOVEL AND PRACTICAL DATA SCIENCE TECHNIQUES AND ALGORITHMS FOR LOW VOLTAGE GRID DECISION SUPPORT.

Genk
PhD
Description: 
The PhD research will focus on three complementary challenges in low voltage grid decision support, each of them representing a fundamental hurdle to the realistic-scale roll-out of smart-grid decision systems in the field, and each requiring a considerable progression of the current state-of-the-art in data science technology applied to distribution grids.
The first focus is on optimizing the extraction and stochastic simulation of relevant information from the limited number of available grid data sources. Standard techniques for data-wrangling and data cleaning should be automatically combined in an optimal way and enhanced and/or customized to overcome the domain-specific flaws and deficiencies in the available data. Based on the resulting enhanced data, tools can be developed that stochastically generate relevant synthetic energy profiles.

The second focus is on forecasting the appearance of grid congestions such as under-voltage, over-voltage, and over-current. The main challenge here is in the exceptional nature and therefore the sparsity of occurrences of such congestions. Regression techniques that can make accurate extrapolations from the sparsely available grid data should be investigated, combined, enhanced and if necessary developed from scratch to effectively tackle this challenge.
 

The third focus is on overcoming the difficulties related to the correct interpretation of the collected, enhanced, processed, generated and forecasted data. Domain-specic and versatile representation and analysis techniques will be developed. For this purpose, AI-based clustering and visualization methods will be combined, enhanced and complemented with domain-specific insights and practical experiences in the field.

 

Collaboration with KU Leuven

Registration deadline: 15/07/2021

 

For more information, contact: georg.jung@vito.be or chris.hermans@vito.be

 

R&D PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF ENERGY TECHNOLOGIES

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The Built Environment Team of VITO / EnergyVille asses the environmental impact of building materials and of energy technologies. We conduct research in the field of LCA of innovative products and processes and advise industry and governments on innovative solutions and alternative production methods. We are currently looking for an experienced Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) researcher to join our team.

  • In this position you will work as a researcher in funded research projects (e.g. HEUROPE) and scientific work for governments or industry.
  • You asses environmental impacts and help in the analysis of the financial-economic impact of energy technologies, in particular batteries, solar cells, HVAC systems.
  • You ensure innovation in the field through further development and improvement of LCA/LCC methodologies, scenario analysis, digitalization , data processing techniques.
  • You want to make a concrete contribution to science and sustainability through innovation trajectories in which new solutions are developed on the basis of your research, and subsequently tested and brought to the market.
  • You are responsible for cooperation within national and European researchconsortia and you expand your network with Belgian and European governments and industrial partners.
  • You also contribute to acquiring new research projects and to writing research proposals.

PHD POSITION CHEMICAL RECYCLING OF OXYGENATED POLYMER MATERIALS INTO HIGH-ADDED PRODUCTS

Mol
PhD
Description: 

Host institute:
The Unit of Separation and Conversion Technology (SCT, Flemish Institute for Technological Research, VITO) develops technologies for the sustainability of production processes in the (bio)chemical sector, replacement or reuse of fossil resources for the chemical industry and the treatment of waste streams into high value chemicals. A strategic research theme is focusing on the reuse of carbon as an alternative feedstock for the production of materials. In this perspective, chemical recycling of waste plastics is in line with VITO’s goal which is to accelerate the transition to a sustainable world where sustainability is the norm.

More information available on www.vito.be and www.ugent.be

Up to now, VITO  has developed strong expertise in chemical depolymerization technology. Indeed, VITO has renowned reputation in the field of biomass valorization through conversion of lignocellulose into value-added lignin fragments and bio-aromatic derivatives. Furthermore, VITO holds a solid knowledge in polymer formulation using depolymerized complex mixtures as building blocks.

We are looking for a master student for a 4 years PhD research to work within our Sustainable Polymer Technologies (SPOT) team with a focus on the development of a chemical recycling method to chemically recycle oxygenated polymer waste into multifunctional depolymerization products which will be subsequently re-polymerized to generate a wide array of functional materials. The activities of the research work will be performed at the locations of VITO and UGhent.

Closing date for applications: 30/06/2021 
Starting date (after positive evaluation): 1/10/2021

Project Description:
This position fits within a national collaborative project between VITO and Ghent University. This research project will involve aspects of catalysis, characterization of complex depolymerization mixtures, chemical modification and evaluation in polymer formulations.

The following tasks/actions are foreseen in our project to be conducted by the candidate, focusing on the chemical recycling of oxygenated polymer waste with a focus on polyesters, polycarbonates and polyethers:

  • Active literature survey, keeping up to date with relevant articles and patents in the fields
  • Detailing out the work protocol after discussion with the experts involved
  • Execution of the work in laboratory 
  • Data interpretation and plan for next possible steps: in discussion with experts
  • Execution of the experiments/tasks in a timely and efficient manner according to the overall project planning
  • Preparing presentations for the meetings/reports.
  • Scientific output and/or patent submission as a result of the work would be highly recommended
  • Ensure compliance with VITO/UGhent’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensure all experimental work is safe

Contact person for more information: Elias feghali (elias.feghali@vito.be

SENIOR R&D PROFESSIONAL ALGORITHMS, MODELS AND OPTIMIZATION IN THE ENERGY DOMAIN

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

In the research group for Algorithms, Models, and Optimization (AMO) in VITO’s Energy Technology Unit at EnergyVille we focus on discovering, harvesting, and valorizing flexibility in energy production and consumption as a key factor in the drive towards a sustainable energy system. In cooperation with EnergyVille’s thermal, electrical, and market centric research groups we investigate, design, and implement pragmatic, data-driven, solutions and build high performance control, scheduling, orchestration, and bidding algorithms that optimize the use of flexibility in all contexts. 

Assignment 

  • You focus on the development of practicable solutions for the energy sector that applies these algorithms and models. You will do this together with a team of highly skilled colleagues/specialists; 
  • You lead and conduct research and development of techniques such as mathematical optimization, combinatorial optimization, pragmatic mathematical modeling of physical systems, optimal control and model predictive control, and their applications in the domain of (renewable) energies. You can count on the support of specialists in the different techniques and areas; 
  • You actively take part in national and European research projects and responsibly contribute to their deliverables. You communicate produce results with international partners. You are willing to manage the contributions and work at VITO side; 
  • You publish research results in international, peer-reviewed, journals in collaboration with PhD students and you present your research results in international forums; 
  • You participate in contract research and support the IP production and valorization within VITO 
  • Together with the team, you are responsible for acquiring new research projects and writing research proposals. 

R&D PROFESSIONAL ELECTRICITY MARKET MODELLING

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

You will be involved in research and knowledge-intensive consultancy projects related to the electricity market and system modelling. The markets in scope include day-ahead markets to system services (flexibility) procurement and unit commitment and economic dispatch models. You will apply your modelling skills on a wide range of topics, such as energy communities, peer-to-peer markets, tariff design and TSO-DSO coordination.

Your responsibilities:

  • You are responsible for the electricity market and system modelling in several research and consultancy projects.
  • You translate the operational principles of electricity and service trading into mathematical models, implement them in algorithms, and formulate the modelling results as real-life conclusions understandable to the stakeholders without a modelling background. 
  • You communicate research and project results in clear and high-quality reports, scientific papers and presentations.
  • You actively extend your network to improve scientific excellence and to expand the team’s portfolio of knowledge-intensive consultancy projects within your area of expertise. 

R&D PROFESSIONAL ECONOMIC MODELING

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

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

POSTDOC Sustainable bio-based polymer materials using lignin-first biorefining

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Scion (New Zealand) and VITO (Belgium) are seeking a skilled and enthusiastic chemist to investigate the synthesis and performance of novel thermoplastic and thermoset bio-based polymers derived from depolymerised lignins. The project will involve aspects of depolymerising lignin to platform chemicals, synthesis and characterisation of novel bio-based polymers, and material property and applications testing. A successful candidate will have a PhD and research experience in polymer and/or organic chemistry with a track record of publication in international journals. 

The Postdoctoral fellow will undertake research work at Scion and VITO supported by a team with expertise in lignin chemistry, polymer chemistry and formulation, and materials science. This unique opportunity will provide you with internationally recognised skills and knowledge in the field of sustainable chemistry and processing for value-added biomaterials that will advance your research career. 

Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, is committed to enhancing the environmental and economic transformation of New Zealand, working toward a more sustainable, bio-based future. With more than 60 years of heritage in forestry science, Scion today demonstrates national leadership, world-class innovation and excellence in research and development. Scion’s head office is located in Rotorua, at the edge of the world-famous Whakarewarewa Forest. This location is close to lakes, forests, geothermal areas, beaches and volcanic ski-fields making it a great working environment with many opportunities to balance work with other things that are important in life. 

VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (www.vito.be), is an independent research organisation with a staff of approximately 760 employees. It implements customer-oriented research and develops innovative products and processes for both the public and private sector in the areas of chemistry, materials, environment, energy and health. The multidisciplinary skills and technological know-how of VITO’s employees make this organisation a crossroads of research & development, where state-of-the-art technologies are successfully blended into practical applications. 

This is a full-time position for two years, available as a two fixed-term one-year contracts with Scion and VITO, with one year spent in New Zealand and one in Belgium.
 

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Technical and clinical validation of urinary EV protein biomarkers for the early diagnosis and follow up of bladder cancer.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

The current gold standard methods to diagnose a bladder cancer are cystoscopy and urine cytology. Cystoscopy has a low sensitivity for flat carcinoma in situ, which resembles an inflammation site. Cystoscopy is also operator dependent, especially for the detection of recurrence. This procedure is invasive and patients encounter anxiety. Urine cytology is non-invasive but fails to provide strong negative predictive value for low-grade tumors. Cytological interpretation is also user dependent and can be hampered, for example, by low cellular yield, urinary tract infections, and stones. Due to the high risk of relapse, intensive follow-up of these patients is recommended.

Urine biomarkers are an attractive alternative for the detection of bladder cancer.

In a previous phd project at VITO, non-targeted shotgun tandem MS was used to identify potential protein biomarkers in urinary small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) for (1) the diagnosis of a first bladder cancer tumor and (2) the follow-up of patients to detect a bladder cancer relapse. This resulted in a list of proteins that were differentially expressed. These data now needs technical and clinical validation, since protein biomarkers allow the easy and fast diagnosis of biomarkers in antibody-based assays.

Approach

  1. Urine samples of related urological pathologies will be collected in the clinic to filter the biomarker candidates for BC selectivity
  2. In parallel, an independent cohort of BC patients will be selected in a multicenter study and urine samples will be stored for validation purposes
  3. Diagnostic performance of a statistical model that will be based on a selection of best performing biomarker will be validated on the independent BC patient cohort
  4. An easy to use urine based diagnostic test (including a new statistical model) will be developed together with an external partner + benchmarked to the LC-MS based statistical model
  5. Clinical validation of the POC test
  6. Commercialization of the test

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

Collaborations

The PhD project that proceeded this project was a collaboration with UAntwerpen. For the collection of clinical samples, we have ongoing collaborations with UZA, AZMM Gent, AZ Herentals and Turnhout. The network of hospitals will be further extended.

For the development and clinical validation of the PoC test, we ongoing collaborations with companies.

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Prof. Inge Mertens, coordinator of the Centre for Proteomics, a collaboration between VITO and UAntwerpen.

 Further information can be obtained from Prof. Inge Mertens: Inge.Mertens@vito.be

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

 

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Extending the Lifetime of Lithium-ion Batteries for Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G/V2X) Applications based on Robust Feedback Control.

Genk
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

Renewable energy technologies allow for clean and sustainable energy to be harnessed from widely available self-renewing resources. However, their variable and intermittent nature leads to challenges to keep supply and demand in balance in the electricity grid at different physical and economical levels. To preserve this balance with an increasing share of renewables in the energy system, there is a growing need for flexibility. Next to the flexibility provided by conventional power plants, (inter)national interconnectivity, demand response, curtailment, energy storage is proving to be a potential valuable solution[1].

Batteries, being a form of electrochemical energy storage, are drawing more and more attention since they present promising characteristics to be applied at different physical locations, at different scales and for multiple services[2]. Around the world, batteries are being deployed for wider ancillary services such as frequency regulation, and also for peak shifting and supporting renewable energy production plants, to name but a few [3].

The state-of-the-art Li-ion technologies that are used for energy storage solutions are to a large extent the result of the developments made in an ever growing market for electric vehicles (EV),driven by international sustainability goals, market competition and more stringent mobility regulation. Demand for batteries in the EV market, and hence for critical materials they are partly made of, are largely exceeding the demand in the stationary energy storage market, which indicates a growth risk. Moreover ,prices for batteries have been declining over the recent years as production volumes are ramped up. However, investment costs are too high for offering economically viable use cases, especially at the residential level[4]. Therefore, questions are raised on the rate of deployment of batteries for energy storage purposes.

A smart integration of electric vehicles in the electricity system might be the solution. While they are in the first place acquired to answer a mobility need, they can also serve a flexibility need. More and more automotive OEMs are presenting vehicles that not only can be charged from the grid but also can deliver energy back to the system, being at a home, building or the electricity grid in general[5-6]. The latter process of discharging energy from the EV battery via a bidirectional charging system is referred to as vehicle-to-grid/home/building (V2G, V2H, V2B), in general V2X[7-8].

In addition to the provision of ancillary services,V2Xtechnologies can allow the integration of renewable energy sources in smart grids, save energy costs, and open new energy trading markets, using energy storage as a service[9].The economic viability of V2X services, however, depend on the financial profitability of the service for the end customers and aggregators, to name but a few. While some EV-types that facilitate such services using V2X technologies are commercially available, the influence on the lifetime of Li-ion batteries is often disregarded[10]. However, this has a big impact on the financial profitability of the service and therefore the uncertainty has to be tackled so that end-users can be convinced to use their EVs in V2X services.

Approach

This research will address a new approach of using optimal control in using the EV battery for trade on the electricity market, maximizing revenues and lifetime extension while preserving the level of comfort and safety for the end-user. This has to ‘warm’ the owner to provide his EV for these services.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

Collaborations

This research work will be performed in the multi-disciplinary energy unit within VITO connecting e.g. battery expertise with knowhow on optimization and control. This work also positions itself in existing and to be acquired international research and innovation projects.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr Sajjad Fekriasl. Dr Fekriasl has over 20 years of experience leading, conducting and communicating research, with both academia and industry, in the domain of Electrical Engineering and its wider real-life applications. Sajjad’s research interests cover modeling, development of estimation algorithms and advanced control systems with focus on robust control. His current activities include state estimation and control systems design for lithium-ion battery management systems, for both mobile and stationary battery energy storage applications.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Sajjad Fekriasl via e-mail: sajjad.fekriasl@vito.be.

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17:00 Brussels time.

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17:00 Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

MSCA-PF-2021 CALL: Genomics in Clinical Practice.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

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. 

Collaborations

Within the context of this project, we are collaborating with University College London (UCL), University of Hasselt and Domus Medica (The association of General Practitioners in Flanders) where secondments/ research visits will be encouraged.

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr. Gökhan Ertaylan. Dr. Ertaylan has completed his PhD in the Computational Science department at the University of Amsterdam. After working in Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine, as a Marie Curie fellow and in Maastricht University, as a Senior Researcher, he has joined VITO to lead the efforts in Data Analysis and Integration in Systems Biology projects.

Email: gokhan.ertaylan@vito.be; Tel: +32 14335270

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

 

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Multiplex assay for extracellular vesicles-based early diagnosis of dementia-related syndromes.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

The current clinical approach for differential diagnosis of Dementia-related syndromes (DRS) is based on an arbitrary distinction between the time of onset of motor and cognitive symptoms. However, the need of more specific biomarker-based technologies for early diagnosing and following up DRS in affected patients is becoming imperative. 
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been shown to play a role in the mechanisms behind neurodegeneration and neuronal loss, and to hold promise as new biomarkers and therapeutic targets for DRS. Adequate technologies to fully exploit the potential of specific EVs subsets in the clinic are needed. The goal of the project is the development of a multiplex biomarker-based toolkit for targeted isolation and detection of EV subsets from liquid biopsies for DRS differential diagnosis.

Approach

Starting from a DRS-related EV biomarker profile, identified by clinical discovery proteomics at VITO, high-affinity binders will be selected and an adequate labeling approach designed to obtain optimal signal output for biomarker detection at the single EV level using high-sensitivity flow cytometry. Based on successful detection of individual biomarkers, a strategy for multiplexing will be designed and tested. Using the acquired knowledge of DRS-specific targeting molecules, also a sorting method for direct, selective purification and enrichment of EV subsets from liquid biopsies will be optimized. The performance of the toolkit components will be assessed on a set of EV isolates from different sample matrices (cerebrospinal fluid, plasma) of the original biomarker discovery and validation studies, and compared with targeted LC-MS and other, conventional techniques (ELISA, Western Blot).

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 
 
Collaborations

For the clinical test case of DRS, the EV biomarker panel and clinical sample access, collaboration with the team of Prof. Inge Mertens (VITO/UA Centre for Proteomics) is established. Furthermore, we foresee collaboration with Amsterdam University Medical Center (The Netherlands) for a dedicated secondment on standardization of high-sensitivity flow cytometry workflows for EV analysis in clinical samples.


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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr. Inge Nelissen, Team leader Nanobiotechnology. 

contact: inge.nelissen@vito.be

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time. 

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Exploring new analytical frontiers in the characterisation of micro- and nanoscale non-metallic particles.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

The characterisation of micro- and nanoscale particles is of great interest to a broad spectrum of industrial and environmental applications. The continuous technological improvements in analytical instruments have ignited new analytical ideas and pathways to assess and explore several key characteristics, such as concentration, composition, particle size, shape and other surface characteristics. The in-depth mass spectrometry and size separation chromatography knowledge present in the VITO laboratory, has been successfully used to explore new characterization approaches for nanoscale metallic particles in different VITO related R&D case studies (e.g. (a) (bi-)metallic nanoparticles used for reductive catalytic depolymerisation of lignin, (b) glycan-functionalised gold nanorods used in health diagnostics).
This does however not fulfil the characterisation needs for non-metallic nano- and micro scale particles. They require another approach due to the nature of the molecules involved. The goal of this project is to open up new frontiers regarding characterization of non-metallic micro- and nanoparticles (1nm-20µm). The achievement of these goals will require a wide set of complementary tools such as analytical and instrumental chemistry, physics and nanometrology.

Approach

Method development will be performed on existing instrumentation available at GOAL . This includes mass spectrometry based instrumentation, i.e. single particle ICP-MS and pyrolysis–gas chromatography–MS; size separation chromatography instrumentation, i.e. size exclusion chromatography – UV/VIS – multi angle light scattering and FT-IR.  

The (not-limitative) envisaged VITO R&D applications/collaborations are : 
Characterisation of microplastic particles/fibres during development phase of a VITO microplastic filtration unit for washing machines.  Microplastic pollution caused by washing synthetic textiles is one of the main sources of primary microplastics (~ a third of all primary microplastics released to world oceans).

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 
 

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisors

Successful candidates will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Stefan Voorspoels and Dr. Kristof Tirez.

Prof. Dr. Stefan Voorspoels is team leader of the analytical team and project manager of several research projects in the field of chemical analysis and method development, human exposure, chemical and material characterization. He is also visiting professor “Analytical Chemistry” at the Faculty of Engineering and Architecture at Ghent University. He is specialized in organic analytical chemistry and chromatography.

Dr. Kristof Tirez works as a researcher and project leader in the inorganic analytical department of Vito. His main experience and research interests are situated in the quantitative determination and speciation of elements in a variety of matrices. Besides, he acts as a science - policy bridge person and analytical expert for different Flemish agencies dealing with environmental regulatory monitoring. 
For any inquiries please contact: kristof.tirez@vito.be

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Microfluidic device for self-sampling of blood for human biomonitoring applications.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

VITO plays an important role in human biomonitoring on the Flemish (FLEHS studies) and European level (H2020 HBM4EU project), and is involved in the preparation of the European Partnership for the Assessment of Risks from Chemicals (PARC).  In one of the work packages of PARC, ‘Innovative methods and tools for monitoring and surveys’ will be developed. VITO and KUL will collaborate to develop a self-sampling device for analysis of chemicals in small blood volumes. The technology is ideal for use by non-trained personnel and allows mass production fabrication (i.e. roll-to-roll), which lowers its production cost to < 5 €/device.

Approach

An existing microfluidic chip will be adopted to allow user-friendly and remote (at home) self-sampling of capillary blood. This chip can be used, as nowadays assessment of chemicals is possible in small blood/ plasma volumes of tens of microliters. The sampling chip is patented by KUL, based on the (i)SIMPLE technology (see picture). (i)SIMPLE combines a microfluidic channels network with passive paper-based pumps, enabling precise pushing and pulling of liquids. In particular, on the chip, two different modules will be developed and eventually integrated. First, a blood to serum/plasma filtration module is optimized. Second, a module is optimized to mix on-chip standards of a chemical, needed for LC-MS/MS analysis. Sampling cartridge performance (e.g. serum/plasma volume, type of standards, storage conditions) is optimized towards maximum compatibility with the downstream laboratory analysis.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

Collaborations

Secondment (3 months, spread over the 2-years) to Department of Biosystems – Biosensors Group 
KU Leuven – 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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Mail your interest to: Dr. Ir. Gudrun Koppen, project leader in Human Biomonitoring projects, and Dr. Stefan Voorspoels, project leader in Chemical Analytics. E-mail addresses: gudrun.koppen@vito.be and stefan.voorspoels@vito.be.

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time. 

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

DEVOPS ENGINEER

Mol
IT
Description: 

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

R&D EXPERT REMOTE SENSING - LAND COVER MONITORING

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

You will be full time employed as an R&D expert in projects related to land cover/land use monitoring. These will be projects for institutional clients like the European Commission, the European Space Agency, or UN bodies. Occasionally there could be commercial customers. This function requires senior skills in data science, image processing, artificial intelligence and coding in operational context. Prior knowledge of remote sensing data processing and land cover/land use monitoring would be an advantage. The tasks should be executed with high degree of independency, though in close collaboration with the internal and external team members. In VITO you will report on the progress of your work to the Team lead of the Vegetation monitoring team, outside VITO you will communicate on your work in meetings with clients or partners.

Concerning the projects, you will operate in an international setting and take initiative to liaise with project partners of different consortia. Good communication skills with project partners, end-users and stakeholders are needed. There is an opportunity to deploy your data science skills to other topics in VITO’s Remote Sensing unit.

R&D PROFESSIONAL DATA SCIENCE

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The Remote Sensing unit processes petabytes of earth observation data. We primarily specialise in Big Data analysis with the use of numerical/statistical analysis, computer vision, machine learning and deep learning techniques in the application workflows.  That is our passion: the extraction of information from the vast amounts of incoming images, information required by our clients. Our extensive group of clients can be found within the domains of land use, civil infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, water management, heritage and ecological development. Visit https://remotesensing.vito.be/  for more information about our activities.

 

We are currently seeking a motivated

 

R&D Data ScienCE Professional

 

As a Data Scientist, you will work within a group of software developers and application engineers. You will move in international circles with clients such as the European Space Agency, the European Commission, federal and regional governments. Our research is often carried out in partnership with foreign research groups and companies.

 

THE ROLE

 

  • You have a great affinity with the domains agriculture, civil infrastructure, forestry, water management, sustainable development
  • You translate user requirements into a system design
  • You cooperate in the development of back-end and front-end systems
  • In close collaboration with the application scientists, you design and implement algorithmic components by using Python, Java , R and C++.
  • You collaborate on cluster computing and workflow components
  • You constantly monitor the benefits and user experience quality for the customer
  • You manage subcontractors
  • You report your progress and results to our customers and our management
  • You will be actively involved in the creation of project proposals
  • You follow the trends within your field of expertise and use the obtained knowledge in order to build prototypes.

R&D PROFESSIONAL HYDROGEOLOGIST / HYDROLOGIST

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The drought problem presents our society with major challenges in terms of the quantity and quality of available water. VITO is working for government and industry on solutions to guarantee sufficient water of good quality for the various users, both now and in the longer term. We are looking for a passionate colleague with knowledge of surface water and groundwater systems. This also includes expertise in hydrological and hydrogeological modeling. Insight into water issues and water challenges is also a plus for this vacancy.

  • You are part of a team of water experts and IT specialists who work in an open environment on innovative assignments for government and industry in a Flemish and international context.
  • You have experience in the water domain and you are prepared to specialize (further) in performing qualitative and quantitative modeling. One of the important aspects here is the integration of (sensor) measurements in these models. By integrating (sensor) measurements and models, we want to maximize our efforts to understand and control complex water systems.

R&D PROFESSIONAL ENVIRONMENT - ECONOMY

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

No English text available. Link to the Dutch vacancy

PROGRAM MANAGER HEALTH

Antwerpen
Management
Description: 

This vacancy is not available in English since Dutch is required for this position.

Link to the Dutch vacancy.

 

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Drone and tractor-based image analysis to support precision farming.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

The fruit sector's competitive position in Flanders can only be retained by an increase in rentability of the fruit growing companies. While human judgment might always be needed to some degree, autonomous robots, including drones, could take a lot of the hard, repetitive work out of fruit farming. By using the power of the digital age to handle large amounts of data, crops can be dealt with as individual plants rather than on a field-wide basis. Applying fertilizer, irrigation, herbicides, and pesticides in more targeted ways could reduce costs for farmers and ensure plants get the right amount of each treatment. Furthermore, efficient and accurate flower and fruit counting supports yield prediction. This latter has importance to the industry in planning market needs and resources, such as crop insurance purposes, packing materials, planning harvest, and employees. Furthermore, the industry needs to book transport, estimate cash-flow budget, and plan delivery estimates to ensure a faster turnaround to lessen the waste of time and resources.

The required data can be generated by sensors mounted on tractors/robots or drones or through satellite images. Camera and sensor technology have recently been evolving steadily and offer many opportunities to increase the fruit sector's competitiveness. The applicability or success of precision agriculture depends on the availability of appropriate data and how information is translated into treatment measures.

Approach

Hyperspectral and RGB drone and tractor-based data is available from ongoing projects in which the aim is to (1) detect Red Palm Weevil (RPW) infestations in palm trees in Spain and Saudi Arabia; (2) detect fire blight infections in pear orchards in Belgium; (3) monitor pear fruit production throughout the season in Belgium. 

By extending existing artificial intelligence algorithms for hyperspectral imagery, this research topic aims to develop a method to detect different objects in a fruit/ palm tree.

  • A map of leaf objects can be used to steer pruning and precision spraying in fruit trees and to analyze the spectral behavior of different leaf age classes in palm trees
  • A map of fruit objects will help in predicting yield
  • A map on flower objects can steer flower/ fruit thinning
  • A map with healthy and diseased objects can steer precision herbicide and pesticide spraying, precision irrigation and fertilization.

An expected outcome is the development of an AI based image processing chain for (diseased) object detection in fruit orchards.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

 Collaborations

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), Saudi Arabia - Phoenix research Station (PRS), Spain - Pcfruit, St Truiden, Belgium - WUR, the Netherlands - KULeuven, Belgium - IMEC, Belgium - FlandersMake, Belgium

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by dr. Stephanie Delalieux (Scopus h-index: 18): Stephanie Delalieux obtained her PhD degree in Bioscience Engineering, Department of Biosystems in 2009 from the KULeuven (BE). During her PhD, she zoomed in on early stress detection in fruit orchards using hyperspectral image analysis. Today, Stephanie continues her passion for the field as a senior researcher at VITO Remote Sensing. Her main research interests include the use and application of high spectral, high spatial and high temporal resolution remote sensing data for precision agriculture and biodiversity applications. She has coordinated several research and commercial projects and has supervised more than 10 MSc and 4PhD students.

Further information can be obtained from dr. Stephanie Delalieux via e-mailStephanie.Delalieux@vito.be

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Monitoring drought and drought impact with satellites.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

Climatic changes seemed to have a generally positive impact on agricultural productivity when water was not limiting. However, future climate changes are likely to include further increases in mean temperature (about 2–4 °C globally) with significant drying in some regions, as well as increases in frequency and severity of extreme droughts, hot extremes, and heat waves. Recent studies of increased crop mortality and die-offs triggered by drought and/or high temperatures suggest that at least some of the world’s agricultural ecosystems may be already responding to climate change. This raises concern that crops may become increasingly vulnerable in response to future warming and drought, even in environments that are not normally considered water-limited such a Belgium.

In Belgium, water use for irrigation has increased significantly the past years, putting additional pressure on the already limited water resources. To properly understand the impact of drought in agricultural production, advanced remote sensing systems will be developed. Main focus will be on the detection and monitoring of stress phenomena across a wide range of site conditions, as well as the quantification of yield losses as a result of these stresses. It holds a strong potential for identifying priority areas for implementing suitable adaptation strategies.

Approach

Use of satellite image processing techniques to monitor drought stress (temperature, evapotranspiration) as well as quantify yield losses.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

 Collaborations

Belgian agronomical research centres, Insurance companies

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Laurent Tits. He obtained his master in Bioscience Engineering in 2009 and his PhD in 2013 at the KU Leuven, Belgium, where he focused on the use of EO data in orchards. He is currently the team leader of the agricultural applications team at VITO Remote Sensing, Belgium. With his team, current agricultural applications of EO data encompass the broad range of very precise UAV data for detailed monitoring and phenotyping, up to the general monitoring of all the agricultural production areas on a global scale and everything in between. The activities encompass both reseach and feasibility studies as operational services.

Further information can be obtained from Laurent Tits via e-mail: Laurent.tits@vito.be

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Succesful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following months and no later than summer 2022.

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Orchard digital twins from drone- and tractor-based imagery.

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

Growers are expected to increase their fruit production with higher quality at lower expenses in a sustainable way that is less dependent on labour force. By 2050, the agri-food sector must generate 50% more food and feed due to increased demand.[1] Fruit growers need many seasonal workers to perform tedious manual tasks, including pruning, thinning flowers or fruitlets and harvesting. However, society has moved away from living in rural areas to people living in cities now; as a result, agricultural companies are facing the challenge of workforce higher costs or even shortages. The EU agricultural outlook of the European Commission (2018) predicts that labour outflow from the agricultural sector will continue until 2030. The outlook suggests that the agricultural workforce will reach 7.7 million workers in 2030, with a yearly decline of 2% by 2030. The recent new coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak causes a dramatic shortfall in workers because of the border restrictions put in place to stem the spread of the virus. The restriction of the movement of seasonal workers could cause far-reaching and long-term impacts on the agri-food sector and could extend “well beyond this year.”[2] Not to mention that besides a lower availability of seasonal workers, labour costs only increase, which is not compatible with low fruit prices. A promising solution to help with this shortage of workers and high labour costs is the use of agricultural robots integrating Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The main challenges for current state of the art robotics in agriculture include (1) operating in varying and unstructured environments (e.g., occlusion, fruit clustering, changes in canopy and light conditions), (2) assuring operational safety and efficiency, (3) interaction with deformable plants, (4) adequate skill and knowledge required to implement robotic field operations effectively and efficiently[3]. To tackle these challenges, simulation environments and methods can provide an alternative for experimenting with different sensing and end effectors to verify the performance functionality of the robot in such diverse scenarios. This offers a reliable approach to bridge the gap between innovative design and field trials, and therefore can accelerate the development of a robust agricultural robotic platform and the evaluation of novel sensing and control algorithms. Technological advances over the last few years have greatly increased our ability to collect, collate and analyse data on a per-tree basis at large orchard scales. This can also be called a “Digital-Twin Orchard”. A digital-twin is a virtual model of every tree and surroundings. The pairing of the virtual and physical worlds allows analysis of data and continuous monitoring of orchards production systems, and to develop new opportunities for end-to-end learning. Monitoring of orchards is not a new concept but the digital-twin is a continuously learning system that could be queried automatically to analyse specific outcomes under varying simulated environmental and orchard management parameters. So, to avoid expensive redesigns and shorten the critical time to market, virtual prototyping and testing in a virtual digital twin world opens up tremendous opportunities for robotics in agriculture. 

Approach

Drone and tractor based image processing. Use of a stereo camera mounted on a small tractor platform to automatically build depth maps of the orchard, extracting 3D information for structural parameter extraction,  and accurate flower and fruit counting to predict yield.  Information extraction will involve using deep learning algorithms for object detection, building on the deep learning expertise of VITO from other projects.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

 Collaborations

Udl, Lleida, Spain - Pcfruit, St Truiden, Belgium

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

 Successful candidates will be supervised by Bart Beusen. Bart has been using deep learning since 2015 on various projects involving satellite, aerial and UAV data.

Bart Beusen – bart.beusen@vito.be/Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Processes/Phone: +3214335843

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

 

[3] Zhang, Q., Karkee, M. and Tabb A. (2019), The use of agricultural robots in orchard management, in Robotics and automation for improving agriculture, J. Billingsley, Ed. Burleigh Dodds Science Publishing, pp. 187–214. http://dx.doi.org/10.19103/AS.2019.0056.14

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Embedding Physics-Based Modelling in Battery Management Systems to Improve Battery State Estimation and Control.

Genk
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

More and more applications are powered or supported by batteries. Think of electric cars, bikes, buses and trucks but also ships, cranes and forklifts and stationary energy storage systems enabling higher shares of renewable energy in the electricity system.

More than 80% of newly installed battery capacity is based on lithium-ion battery technology, primarily based on LiFePO4 (LFP)or LiNixMnyCo1-x-y (NMC) cathode materials, given their superior combined techno-economical characteristics over alternative technologies. However, their operation inherently comes with a safety risk since those batteries contain flammable material. Therefore the battery shouldn’t be operated outside a Safe Operating Area (SOA), or safe operating window, typically expressed in terms of voltage, current and temperature limits. To enable safe battery operation, the battery is equipped with a battery management system (BMS) that is not only monitoring the battery parameters but typically also providing control and protection functions, communication interfaces and battery diagnostics. The total system approach for batteries as defined in our group is given in Figure1.

In nowadays applications, the SOA and its limits are at best set in a dynamic way and dependent on the actual use of the battery, the operating conditions and the state of the battery. The latter can refer to the State of Charge (SoC) but also the State of Health (SoH) of the battery and those battery states are often estimated by the BMS based on simple battery models with low computational burden that can be hosted on BMS processors. However, given the uncertainties on the actual state estimation of the battery, the SOA limits, or boundaries, are chosen in a conservative way limiting the intrinsic possibilities of the battery in terms of power and/or energy capabilities. This limiting factor ultimately has an impact on the economic viability of the battery based solution.

Approach

The end goal of the research track on advanced physics-based battery modelling is to have the models embedded in BMS algorithms that can be applied in real-time battery control for various applications(e.g.(fast) charging of vehicles and ancillary services with energy storage) leading to an improved techno-economical offering as compared to the state-of-the-art.

This research work builds on the current expertise of the team and will focus on different aspects. The first task will to be reduce the computational burden of the physics-based battery model so that it can be embedded on a BMS to assist in an improved battery state estimation, SoC, SoH and SOA. Another task will be the support of the battery control based on those models so that eventually a closed loop control can be hosted or at least contributed by the BMS taking into account accurate state estimation. A third task will be situated in the adaptation of the model based on the comparison of battery monitoring and model prediction to continuously improve on the offering.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

Collaborations

This research work will be performed in the multi-disciplinary energy unit within VITO connecting e.g. battery expertise with knowhow on optimization and control. This work also positions itself in existing and to be acquired international research and innovation projects.

Supervisor

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr Sajjad Fekriasl. Dr Fekriasl has over 20 years of experience leading, conducting and communicating research, with both academia and industry, in the domain of Electrical Engineering and its wider real-life applications. Sajjad’s research interests cover modeling, development of estimation algorithms and advanced control systems with focus on robust control. His current activities include state estimation and control systems design for lithium-ion battery management systems, for both mobile and stationary battery energy storage applications.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Sajjad Fekriasl via e-mail: sajjad.fekriasl@vito.be.

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17:00 Brussels time.

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17:00 Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

 

MSCA-PF 2021 CALL: Hybrid Deep Learning control to support the participation of aggregator of a large number of prosumers.

Genk
Postdoc
Description: 

Context and research challenge

Recent years have seen an increasing interest in Demand Response (DR) as a means to provide flexibility and increasing the penetration of renewable resources in the power system. Aggregators are being lauded as critical in enabling DR to provide these valuable electricity services at scale.  At the aggregator level,  where there is a multitude and variety of devices and appliances across the aggregator’s portfolio (building HVAC, PVs, EVs, water tanks etc), the process of control and scheduling is rendered infeasible without automating a big part, or the whole process.

The bigger challenges of the whole control and scheduling problem for the aggregator are:

  • real-life DR systems are increasingly an aggregation of a large number of heterogeneous systems, users and devices. Modelling such heterogeneous system is infeasible for three main reasons:  (i) the lack of complete information and data from the different components, (ii) the traditional approaches (mainly from the mathematical optimization and control theory) results in complex and intractable problems as the number of devices and therefore the variables involved increase, and (iii) there are many sources of uncertainty (e.g. dynamic prices, user behavior,  availability of renewables etc.) which introduce additional complexities to the ones described to the previous point;
  • the increasing integration of renewable resources in the electric power grid has increased the need for producers and virtual producers (i.e. aggregators) to offer/trade or correct their offer close to real-time in order to better deal with the high uncertainty due to the availability of renewables. However, the  current approaches (MILP, MPC etc.) cannot guarantee a good ‘anytime’ solution for real-time control and scheduling due to the aforementioned computational issues.

Approach

In this project, innovative methods need to be researched and initiated to design to optimally schedule and control aggregator’s portfolio with a numbers of heterogeneous prosumers for DR schemas.

Particularly, the successful candidate will have the aim to research and design new hybrid approaches that combine modern machine learning methods (e.g. deep reinforcement learning) and optimal control approaches (e.g. model predictive control) to address the challenges faced by the uncertainty and  the complexity of coordinating a large number of prosumers.

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 a competitive MSCA-PF proposal. 

Collaborations

This research is performed within the framework of EnergyVille, a research collaboration on sustainable energy between VITO, KU Leuven, Imec and UHasselt.

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, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 30 April 2021 17h Brussels time.

Supervisor

Dr. Carlo Manna is a researcher in applied artificial intelligence for energy systems. He  had experience as senior researcher in academia (University College Cork 2011-2017) and as R&D scientist in industry (ZF-Automotive AG 2017-2019). Hi is co-authored of more than 30  journals/peer-review proceeding publications listed in Scopus and 7 German/US patents applications.

Successful candidates will be supervised by Dr. Carlo MannaFor any inquiries please contact Dr. Carlo Manna at carlo.manna@vito.be.

Deadline MSCA-PF 2021

Wednesday 15 September 2021 17h Brussels time.

Target start date

The EU informs the results on the MSCA-PF applications in February 2022. Successful candidates are expected to be available to start within the following two months and no later than summer 2022.

WATER INNOVATOR

Kortrijk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

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

PhD Position "Designing metal oxide-based stationary phases for the separation of 225Ac and 213Bi for biomedical applications

PhD

DIGITAL COMMUNICATION EXPERT

Mol
Support
Description: 

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

TECHNICUS KERAMISCHE VORMGEVING VAN GESTRUCTUREERDE MATERIALEN

Mol
Lab & Technicians
Description: 

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

LEAD SOFTWARE ENGINEER OF SPIN-OFF COMPANY

Antwerpen
IT
Description: 

As the Lead Software Engineer you are responsible for the overall development of the solution. You are an experienced Software Developer with a proven track record and ready help building a new spin-off.
 
VITO, an independent Flemish research organization, is looking for a lead software developer for ENPERAS. ENPERAS is a VITO Spin-off that will commercialize a new developed software. It concerns  B2B SAAS application that empowers the customer to assess his product life cycles (LCAs) and to communicate its environmental footprint, or impacts, through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). With this digitalization we reduce months of consultancy work into a few clicks. It also allows the customer to expand his sales markets  and apply eco design according to the European Green Deal guidelines. The company will be located in Antwerp region.

 

  • You, Lead Software Engineer, are responsible for the overall development of the solution.
    • You lead the design, development and testing of the entire software solution.
    • You are responsible for analysing end user requirements, adapting the application architecture & analysis workflows, and developing improvements and new features to meet these requirements.
  • You lead the product development and organize the releases and version management.
  • You will gradually grow towards management of a software development team.

POLYMER CHEMIST

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The unit Separation- and Conversion Technology (SCT) develops technologies for the sustainability of production processes in the (bio)chemical sector, replacement of fossil resources by renewable resources as feedstock for the chemical industry, and the treatment of waste streams into high value chemicals.
The synthesis of (semi)aromatic polymers derived from renewable resources is currently attracting tremendous interest from both academia and industry, as aromatic compounds are key intermediates in the manufacture of polymers and chemicals.
VITO is co-initiator of Biorizon, an industry driven Shared Research Center, focusing on technology development for the production of functionalized biobased aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. As the leading institute, VITO coordinates the development of lignin derived bioaromatics by its own technology and by collaboration with different technology providers. Lignin is the main source of aromatic bio-based molecules. Various phenols derivatives with a variety of chemical structures can be obtained from lignin deconstruction combined with advanced membrane separation techniques.
Up to now, VITO has developed a strong expertise in the valorization of biomass through conversion of lignocellulose into value-added lignin fragments and bio-aromatic derivatives. Our next goal is to develop IP and demonstrate how these new building blocks could be polymerized into value-added products. Depending on the phenol substrates obtained from the lignin separation processes, different chemical modifications and polymerization pathways will be envisaged and developed, leading to (semi)aromatic polymers covering a wide range of industrial applications.
We are looking to recruit one PhD graduate for a senior polymer chemist to work in our lignin-derived polymers program.

 

The main tasks of the candidate will be to:
• Synthesize polymerizable synthons derived from lignin fragments;
• Design co-polymers from these functionalized lignin monomers;
• Contribute to the structure-properties characterization of the obtained materials.

CONSULTANT TECHNICAL AND ECONOMIC INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGIES

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

No English version available.

For more information : https://vito.be/nl/jobs/adviseur-technische-en-economische-haalbaarheid-van-innovatieve-technologieen

 

 

PROGRAM MANAGER BIOPROCESSEN

Mol
Management
Description: 

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

R&D PROFESSIONAL RECYCLING AND SUSTAINABLE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

  • As VITO, we have clear ambitions to further strengthen our research programme ‘Sustainable Materials Management’. We strive towards a more circular economy, by developing zero-waste solutions to sustainably transform residues into resources and products. One of our core research activities is the development of innovative processes to develop sustainable construction materials (SCMs, fine sand, aggregates,….) from industrial residues (slags, ashes, sludges….). In our vision, it is key to find safe and added-value applications for the voluminous matrix that remains after the extraction of valuable metals and/or minerals from industrial residues. Applications as cement, fine and coarse aggregate of both high technical and environmental quality do not only provide a stable and large volume market, but also add value to mineral waste streams, instead of landfilling these.
  • We are looking for an experienced researcher to strengthen this visionary research track. As a researcher, you will explore the relationships between the raw material properties, the processing steps and the technical/environmental quality of the construction materials in relation to construction applications. As an example, you will work on the activation of sludges (calcination) to produce supplementary cementitious materials and the granulation of processed tailings to produce fine sand or aggregates.
  • You are responsible for the acquisition, the execution and the coordination of applied scientific research projects. As a VITO expert in this field, you present results at (inter)national for a and you publish these in peer reviewed journals. You can rely on a strong network of relevant partners and you are eager to find opportunities for setting up concrete (demo) projects with industrial partners.  

R&D HYDRO INFORMATICUS DIGITAL WATER

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

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


R&D EXPERT & PROJECT MANAGER REMOTE SENSING

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

You will be full time employed as an R&D expert & project manager in projects related to monitoring of agricultural resources. These will be projects for institutional clients like the European Commission, the European Space Agency, or the UN-FAO, but also for commercial clients active in the agro-food industry.


  • You act with a high degree of independency and in in close collaboration with your internal and external team members.
  • You report on the progress of your work to the team leader of the VITO agriculture team. Outside VITO you will communicate on your work in meetings with clients or partners.
  • You  operate in an international setting and take initiative to liaise with project partners of different consortia.
  • Next to the running projects you search for new projects, establish strong partnerships and compile proposals/offers.
  • As a scientist there is an opportunity to develop big data skills and integrated analysis combining different spatio-temporal datasets stemming from remote sensing, GIS and agricultural statistics.
  • As a project manager there is the opportunity to grow as a project leader of large international projects.

LINEAR PROGRAMMER SUPPLY CHAIN

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

No English version available

SENIOR EXPERT DECENTRALIZED FLEXIBILITY INTEGRATION AND MARKET DESIGN

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
You will be involved in several research and knowledge-intensive consultancy projects as an expert on decentralized flexibility integration and market design, including energy communities, local markets, innovative local flexibility services, and network tariff design. Your drive is to use your expertise to help the stakeholders (utilities, regulators, system operators,…) in the decision making process. You will be based in VITO/EnergyVille in Thor Park Genk, Belgium.

Your responsibilities
  • You are involved in several research and knowledge-intensive consultancy projects as an expert team member, possibly as a task or project leader within your area of expertise. 
  • You formulate policy and strategy advice to relevant stakeholders including regulators, policymakers, system operators and industry based on your research.
  • You communicate research and project results in clear and high-quality reports, scientific papers and presentations. 
  • You actively extend your network and to expand the team’s portfolio of knowledge-intensive consultancy projects within your area of expertise or to improve scientific excellence and visibility of the team. 
 


SENIOR R&D PROFESSIONAL ENERGY MARKETS AND PRODUCT OWNER ELECTRICITY MARKET SIMULATOR

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

You will be involved in several research and knowledge-intensive consultancy projects as an expert on energy market (clearing) modelling and assessment of energy markets. The markets in scope cover electricity markets extended to multi-carrier markets for gas and heat: from day-ahead markets to real-time balancing including system services (flexibility). You will coordinate the development of the energy market clearing simulator in Python and Julia over different projects. You will be based in VITO/EnergyVille in Thor Park Genk, Belgium.


Your responsibilities

  • In the team of ‘Energy Markets’ you will be the expert on electricity market design and modelling. 

  • You are responsible for the electricity market clearing software and manage its development and roadmap. You are responsible for the definition of priorities of functionalities to be implemented. In cooperation with a business developer, you are able to derive and implement market-ready solutions and/or products from this software toolbox.

  • You supervise colleagues in tasks related to the electricity market simulator development.

  • You elaborate your expertise in the field of electricity market design and modelling, taking into account technical, economic, societal and regulatory aspects. 

  • You communicate research and project results in clear and high-quality reports, scientific papers and presentations.

  • You actively extend your network to improve scientific excellence and to expand the team’s portfolio of knowledge-intensive consultancy projects within your area of expertise. 

COPERNICUS DATA PROJECT MANAGER

Mol
Business Development & Sales
Description: 

 

As a dynamic and highly motivated Project Manager you will manage international projects with the European Commission and the European Space Agency as most important stakeholders.


You are the driver in an ecosystem of remote sensing data and platforms and ensure project execution from proposal to final review meeting. You work within a team of software developers and operation engineers. Together with the team you translate the project requirements in an efficient and operational service. You scan the market for opportunities to contribute to and to execute the internal vision and roadmap on Copernicus services.

 

You'll become part of a talented, dedicated team working in a fast-paced, challenging international environment. We thrive to develop added value products on cutting edge technologies that will be used by a broad public, industry, the public sector and universities.

 

The Remote Sensing unit of VITO processes petabytes of Earth Observation data. We specialize in the extraction of information from the vast amounts of incoming images. Information required by our customers worldwide. Our extensive group of customers can be found within the domains of land use, civil infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, water management, heritage and ecological development.


Your responsibilities:

 

 

  • Project management in its broad context: Responsible for tasks, deliverables, risk assessment and mitigation, project administration, documentation within time and within budget. This in close cooperation with international partner companies and institutions. Reporting towards management and customers.
  • Representation of your project portfolio on international, mostly scientific conferences
  • Translation of project opportunities to actual proposals.
  • Planning of necessary resources including subcontractors
  • Keep track of a strong user-oriented approach
  • Team coaching: setting project strategy and keeping the team aligned to the goal and vision
  • Continuous improvement in the project and IT development processes
  • Stay on the leading edge of the evolving remote sensing and IT world

 

SOFTWARE DEVELOPER AZURE/IoT

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.


For EnergyVille, VITO is looking for a driven Software Developer for Azure solutions/ IOT specialist to strengthen the research group Algorithms, Models, and Optimization (AMO). Our 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 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 advise and participate in the development of (IoT) solutions for research, deployment in field trials and valorization.
  • 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 research applications to PaaS cloud and/or on-premise solutions together with infrastructure engineer(s).
  • You continuously learn and improve your skills in software development and IT and are open to learn more on 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.

R&D EXPERT ENVIRONMENT & HEALTH DATA

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

Do you want to help determine the direction in Europe for the use of complex environmental health data in support of European sustainability policies?


With its research program 'Sustainable health', VITO is committed to supporting the social transitions to a more preventive health system. We want you in our team to strengthen our expertise in data management and analysis, to facilitate environmental health research and to translate research into solutions for local, Flemish and European governments and companies. Does the following range of responsibilities appeal to you?


Within a large European partnership you will be responsible for developing and applying guidelines with regard to data management (storage, sharing and linking of data, standardization, harmonization, quality control, security) and data analysis. You maintain an overview of experts and organizations within and outside VITO who practically organize the management of data on chemical substances, environmental distribution, human exposure, toxicity, health, living environment and lifestyle.
Your research focus is on the development and application of new methods to improve the integration and analysis of complex, heterogeneous, person-related and decentralized environmental and health data in Europe.
You are also familiar with concepts such as FAIR data and Open data, and you know the requirements of GDPR.


We expect the following from you:

  • You lead the implementation of a work package in European research for policy support, coordinate the international team and ensure the timely delivery of results.
  • You work closely with the program manager, your colleagues from the project team, as well as with the customer to determine needs and define customer-oriented solutions within agreed time and budget limits. You translate the research results into advice for colleagues and customers.
  • You convince partners and customers with your knowledge of data analysis, vision on data management and with an eye for innovation.
  • You take the initiative to include “data thinking” and integration of various environmental and health data in new research proposals, in consultation with your team members.
  • You present research and project results on international forums and also ensure knowledge transfer to team members.
  • You expand your international network with research partners and governmental clients, in order to create new opportunities for VITO in the field of environmental health.