Available Jobs

New

LAB PROFESSIONAL CLINICAL PROTEOMICS

België
Lab & Technicians
Description: 
  • You are involved in the operation of high-tech platforms for proteomics and metabolomics. These analytical platforms are located in the Centre for Proteomics (CFP), a joint initiative of VITO and UAntwerpen.
  • You contribute to the implementation and the development of separation techniques combined with high-resolution mass spectrometry. This includes the entire proteomics workflow, going from sample preparation, LC-MS/MS analysis and basic data science. You are responsible for monitoring high quality standards. The applications are situated in the field of diagnostics and (bio) medical innovations.
  • You are responsible for the daily management of the analytical lab (planning, maintenance of the equipment, EHS issues,… ) in collaboration with the researchers.
New

TECHNICIAN SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS - ELECTROMECHANICS

Mol
Lab & Technicians
Description: 
  • As a technical expert you will be part of the team ‘Ceramic Materials and Powder metallurgy’ (KMP) that develops innovative porous and functional structures. 
  • Within projects for the chemical- and material industry you‘re responsible for the development and implementation of technical setups and processes at a laboratory & pilot level. Your focus is on electromechanical and electrical aspects of the devices. You integrate diverse chemical and ceramic techniques (making of suspension, granulating, coating, heat treatment,…) in an innovative way.
  • You keep watch on the requirements regarding the domains of environment, security and quality (MVK) and you are able to translate the technical assignments to MVK-procedures.
  • You work for researchers and in close cooperation with your colleague technicians.
  • Your drive and technical knowledge and insights enable you to work independently after the training period.

New

PROJECT MANAGER INDUSTRIAL SYMBIOSIS

Houthalen
Support
Description: 

VITO (the Flemish Institute for Technological Research) is a leading European independent research institute in the domain of cleantech and sustainable development.

 

VITO advises governments and companies on sustainable materials management and circular economy. We help companies to close loops and develop and evaluate technologies for this end. That enables high quality products to be made using fewer resources, while leading to a better valorization of waste streams. Closing material cycles and avoiding waste are crucial to the sustainable use of raw materials.

 

Cleantech Flanders is a team within VITO that represents the Flemish Cleantech ecosystem by connecting parties and advocating clean technology.  To strengthen our team, we are looking for a professional to support out Industrial Symbiosis project. As such you will facilitate the exchange of materials between companies with excess process residuals and companies that are looking to use them as process inputs. To this end you will involve and interact with stakeholders such as technology providers, research institutes, sector organizations and public authorities.

Tasks:

  • You work in a team that supports the Flemish authority OVAM to enhance the application of Industrial Symbiosis in Flanders.
  • You test, implement and manage a new web-based database which will collect information on offer of and demand for secondary resources and technologies that enable material re-use.
  • You assist in organizing workshops with end-users of this web-tool to train them in its use and to identify new opportunities for industrial symbiosis.
  • You support organizations with the realization of new leads for industrial symbiosis cases.
  • You actively look for opportunities to secure the long-term self-sustaining operation of this new service to facilitate industrial symbiosis.
  • You report the results to OVAM and you communicate them to stakeholders.
New

R&D PRODUCT OWNER THERMAL ENERGY SYSTEMS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

This position is part of the research team ‘Thermal Energy Systems’ of VITO/EnergyVille. The research domains of this team includes district heating/heat networks, thermal storage and conversion techniques.

  • As an R&D professional and product owner you are responsible for the ‘last mile to market’ process of the technologies developed by the team. This means:
    • From development of the technology/product to the TRL 9 (ready for the market)
    • Based and build upon a product valorization- and market plan
    • Actively demonstrating the technology by the use of pilots, nationally and internationally
    • Actively scouting for potential clients within the B2B market
  • Your final objective is successfully introducing the technology/product  to the market (est. 2 year period) with the option to create a spin-off/spin-out that you guard. 
  • You report the progression and results of these projects to the program manager
  • You work closely together with researchers of the ‘Thermal Energy Systems’ team, the business developer and possible technology partners
  • You are motivated to make a durable impact and difference on the market by the use of new technology. You are technical grounded and have a strong commercial drive.
  • Your initial market is Europe.
New

REMOTE SENSING SCIENTIST, ENGINEER OR IT DEVELOPER

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

Do you want to join the world of Remote Sensing?

 

As a part of VITO, an independent research and technology leader, VITO Remote Sensing offers expertise, knowledge, data, services and solutions in Earth observation. We want to bring the added value of remote sensing, a key enabler in our space economy. From user needs to technology and end-to-end EO support, from drones to aero planes to satellites, VITO Remote Sensing provides insights for diverse applications such as agriculture, vegetation, water & coast, climate, security and infrastructure.

 

VITO Remote Sensing doesn’t only observe the world, it’s also very much a part of it. From Belgium to Italy or China to Africa, our team serves an expansive network of customers and partners. With more than 80 national and international partners and active in more than 115 countries we offer Earth Observation solutions for both public organizations and industry.

 

To support our growth, we are seeking to strengthen our service-oriented teams with scientists, engineers and IT developers who have an interest in image processing, big data analysis, machine learning and deep learning techniques in the context of Earth Observation.

New

POSTDOC DEVELOPMENT BIOPOLYMERS

Mol
Postdoc
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 bio-based aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. As the leading institute, VITO coordinates the development of lignin derived bio-aromatics 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 2 years postdoctoral position to work in our lignin-derived polymers program. The purpose of the position is to carry out technological research into producing, characterising and testing novel, high-performance polymeric materials derived from lignin. The research will involve aspects of:

  • separation and purification of depolymerised lignin fractions (for instance via membrane-processes);
  • chemical modifications and synthesis of lignin bio-oils and lignin model compounds (preparation of polymerizable synthons derived from lignin fragments);
  • chemical characterization;
  • polymer synthesis and formulation and evaluation of the materials (in collaboration with an industrial partner).

The target products are new bio-aromatic based building blocks that could potentially substitute petrochemical-based resins, adhesives, films and/or coatings.

 

Key accountabilities:

  • Development of a detailed work plan for the project
  • Develop and optimise experimental protocols for the key aspects of the project including:
    • Preparing, purifying and characterising depolymerised lignins fractions and lignin model compounds
    • Pre-polymer synthesis and characterization
    • Polymer formulation, synthesis and applications development
  • Undertaking experiments outlined in the detailed work plan in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Present regular progress report to VITO and its industrial partner, and externally (international conferences).
  • Be lead author in the preparation of patents and scientific manuscript(s).
  • Ensure compliance with VITO’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensuring that all work practices are safe. 

PHD POSITIE BIOMARKER DISCOVERY FOR PRESYNAPTIC DEGENERATION IN NEURODEGENERATIVE DISEASES

Mol
PhD
Description: 

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is the most common neurodegenerative disease affecting approximately 35 million people worldwide. To date, the only available treatments address symptoms and have no effect on the disease progression. As there is overwhelming evidence that there is lengthy period prior to symptom development, there is an increasing need for novel biomarkers with increased sensitivity that can facilitate earlier disease diagnosis, disease progression and treatment response. Promising candidate biomarkers include SNAP-25, GAP-43, LAMP, NP1 and Synaptotagmin-1. However, these protein markers need to be validated in larger patient’s cohorts using more sensitive and specific methodology. In addition, exosomes have been shown to play an important role in AD progression and therefore further research is required to fully explore their potential role in pathological transmission between connected brain areas. Exosomes are small nanosized vesicles that are secreted by most cells in the CNS and they carry various molecules such as like lipids, proteins and RNA. In this project, we aim to validate the candidate biomarkers in a larger patient cohorts in addition to isolating and characterizing exosomes derived from AD patient CSF/plasma samples. The molecular content of exosomes may not only deliver novel biomarkers, but could also provide new insights in the development and progression of AD.

The project is a collaboration between VITO, University of Antwerp and 3 industrial partners. The experimental works will be conducted at different locations (mainly Mol, Antwerp and Ghent), so good planning skills are needed. The main technology you will use in your project is mass spectrometry based proteomics as well as advanced microfluidic separation and purification methods for exosome isolation and fractionation, so interest in analytical tools is a must. Also interest in data science and statistics is a plus.

 

Deadline for registration: 31/01/2019
Start date of the project:  1/09/2019


 

PHD POSTION DEVELOPING IN-SILICO TOOLS TO DESCRIBE AND PREDICT AFFINITY SEPARATION OF MOLECULES ON FunMenTM CERAMIC MEMBRANES

Internationaal
PhD
Description: 
As up to 90% of chemical production processes contain a separation procedure, these separations account for 40 to 70% of the global capital and operational costs incurred by the process industry. There exists a clear need for the development of cost efficient separation techniques. Intensifying chemical/biochemical separation processes will have a huge impact on cost and energy savings leading ultimately to greener manufacturing.

Recently Vito and UAntwerpen developed a new ceramic functionalization methodology, FunMemTM, that can be applied to metal oxide based ceramic membranes known for their excellent structural, thermal, physical and chemical stability explaining their broad organic solvent stability. The innovative Grignard grafting method of VITO/UA provides a stable hybrid organic-inorganic material, and allows a broad range of functionalities next to hydrophobisation.

These membranes can lead to affinity-based separations governed by the affinity of the functional groups. Particularly, molecules with very similar size can be separated based on their membrane-molecule affinity difference, and preferential transport (i.e. negative retentions) is observed for molecules with a specifically high solute-membrane affinity in organic solvent nanofiltration.

The cheminformatics team of ICOA, CNRS-Univ Orléans led by Pr. Pascal Bonnet develops and applies in silico tools to understand molecular systems and interactions involved in several areas. The research of ICOA/VITO in this project, will aim at understanding the fine interplay between solute, solvent and surface at the atomistic level by developing modelling tools. Understanding the interaction of organically modified metal oxides with the environment is key to develop predictive models that could be implemented during the design of tailor-made ceramic membranes for specific processes.

The PhD candidate will develop in silico tools to analyse and understand on a molecular basis the flow mechanism of solutes through the functionalized ceramic membrane. By using statistical models and molecular dynamics simulations, the candidate will determine which descriptors and parameters are the most relevant for affinity separation using membrane nanofiltration. Understanding, quantifying and predicting interactions makes a direct contribution to further understand and control the performance of these materials that will be used in membrane-assisted process intensification.

 

Collaboration with University of Orleans

Registration deadline: 17/12/2018 

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

Mol
IT
Description: 

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

PHD POSITION ACTIVE LEARNING FOR SOLID WASTE CHARACTERIZATION

Mol
PhD
Description: 

VITO and UGent are looking for candidates for a PhD research position on active learning for solid waste characterization.

Research question:

  • Improved training strategies: How to train a classification model for solid waste characterization by multimodal images (x-ray, 3D and color) with minimal or no training data labeling by humans.
  • Active and semi-supervised learning: How to reduce the time spent by humans on training the deep learning networks, by clever 'human-in-the-loop' strategies. This also involve research into efficient interactive tools, for visualizing and interacting with the learning process.
  • Transfer learning: how to optimally make use of older training data and/or older trained networks in retraining for a new use case. How to “teach” or to steer how the algorithm calculates particle “similarity” for unseen particle classes?
  • Low level image preprocessing to reduce the input parameter space of deep learning and hence reduce the number of required labeled training samples.

Background:

The characterization of waste has many important applications in recycling processes:

Process engineering: determine the technical and economical feasibility of waste sorting processes and design of new waste sorting processes
Online process optimization: measure, control and optimize sorting processes
Quality control: warrant the quality of recycled products to establish market trust

 

Currently, waste characterization is still often done manually. This approach is slow, subjective, expensive, unpleasant and eventually it delivers only little information. There is a need for a fast, objective and automated method that delivers data on a much more detailed level. Therefore VITO started the development of a multi-sensor characterization device and the required machine learning algorithms. Installed sensors include dual energy x-ray transmission, 3d laser triangulation and a high resolution color camera.
Currently, the algorithms have been trained to successfully recognize about a dozen of material types within mixed waste streams. Algorithm training was performed by feeding the device “pure“ material streams, of which many were manually prepared to ensure correct labeling of the data. Not surprisingly, this preparation of “pure” (mono-material) streams turned out the be a major challenge in the training process of a waste characterization device.

 
Therefore VITO wants to investigate how to develop a semi-supervised learning framework that can learn to classify waste particles with a minimum of labeled particles, while still learning from the similarities between unlabeled particles. This approach is known as active learning.
During the training process, the system should classify particles in existing classes and suggest new classes to the user. For this, interactive visualization tools should be developed that allow the user to explore and interact with the particle similarity that the algorithm calculates (e.g. t-SNE).

 

Collaboration with University of Ghent

Scientific Promotor: Prof. dr. ir. Wilfried Philips

Scientific co-promotor: Prof. Peter Veelaert

 

Registration deadline: 17/12/2018


 

PHD POSITION DEVELOPMENT OF COMBINED LIXIVIANT AND PASSIVE METAL CAPTURE SYSTEMS FOR INDUSTRIAL WASTE VALORISATION

Mol
PhD
Description: 

VITO, in collaboration with Cardiff University (UK), is looking for a motivated Ph.D. candidate with, preferentially, a Master in Chemistry, Mineral Engineering, Biochemical Engineering or Metallurgy. The proposed Ph.D.. is hosted both by VITO (Belgium), in particular the Waste Recycling Technologies team, and the School of Engineering at Cardiff University (U.K.). The student will have the opportunity to work at the state-of-the-art laboratories of both institutes.

Low metal grades and the enormous volumes of mineral waste materials do not allow for traditional metallurgical processes to process the material and recover metals. Low-cost and low-intensity technologies that can process large volumes of material are urgently needed for wastes. Whilst in situ metal leaching approaches such as heap leaching have been developed and utilised for metal recovery from primary low-grade Cu, Au and U ores the application of heap leaching technology to much more complex mineral waste materials is new and constitutes a promising research gap to be explored. The development of the heap leach technology for waste is a question of research and development of (i) appropriate (environmentally benign and effective) lixiviants which can be used in conjunction with (ii) low-intensity metal capture systems. In 2016, VITO was one of the first research institutes to report experimental research regarding heap leaching of mineral waste using lab scale column leaching tests that provide information on the leachability of metals from the material and permeability of leaching liquors through the material. As yet corresponding low-intensity metal capture systems have not been developed. Thus this PhD seeks to (i) further develop appropriate lixiviants for application to waste, and (ii) develop low-intensity metal capture systems that work with the lixiviant/waste chemistry. This is a truly ground-breaking area of research and will lead to important technical and scientific development.

Collaboration with University of Cardiff

Registration deadline: 17/12/2018

R&D PROJECT MANAGER THERMAL ENERGY SYSTEMS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • In this position you will be a part of the research team ‘Thermal Energy Systems’ in VITO/EnergyVille. The research domain of this team includes district heating/heat networks, thermal storage and conversion techniques.
  • Your job responsibilities are (with a 60/40 ratio respectively):
    • defining and managing ground breaking integration projects and/or pilot-projects as a part of the demonstration and valorization component of the research lifecycle.
    • participating and contributing as a researcher/expert in the execution of these projects.
  • You report the progress and results of these projects to the program manager and/or client/sponsor.
  • You work closely together with researchers of the ‘Thermal Energy Systems’ team and are able to interact with other teams to maximize the valorization potential.
  • You are acquainted with the possible funding channels on European level and, are experienced in bringing partners together in a triple helix setup (industry, government and research).
  • You actively maintain your network and create sufficient visibility for the ongoing initiatives.

MANAGER SUSTAINABLE MATERIALS MANAGEMENT

Mol
Management
Description: 

In the Sustainable Materials Management unit, approximately 100 passionate employees are committed to speeding up the transition towards a circular economy, whereby materials retain as much value as possible. We focus on social innovations with policy-makers and companies, as well as technological innovations. In order to do so, we rely on our leading technology platforms involving waste and recycling technology, powder processing and moulding and ceramic materials. We collaborate with industrial companies and other knowledge institutions to develop applications in this field and bring them to market. Examples include new building materials from industrial residual flows, catalysts with 3D printing, materials for batteries and green chemistry, as well as functionalized sorbents. We are seeking an additional manager to further develop this innovative technological research.

 

  • You coordinate and manage one or more project groups within the SuMAT unit (approx. 20 employees) in order to ensure that the specified objectives relating to the acquisition and implementation of contracts and projects are achieved.
  • You determine, test and implement the strategy of the assigned project groups in the long term; in addition, you also help establish the unit's strategy.
  • You manage the employees and supervise and motivate them to achieve the specified objectives. You attach great importance to their continual development, a positive attitude and a good working environment.

  • You promote research and the development of new services and products. You ensure that the right competencies are developed and that the necessary infrastructure is provided.

  • You supervise the researchers in the acquisition of contracts and maintain good relationships with clients.

  • You are responsible for monitoring and planning expenditure and income from the ongoing projects.

  • You represent and promote, both internally and externally, projects and services offered by the project groups assigned to you, and carry out the necessary networking activities for this. 

  • You liaise with both internal and external clients (such as the scientific community, international institutions, industry and the government).

  • You report to the unit manager and are a member of the management team.

  • You draw up the annual budget.

SENIOR R&D PROFESSIONAL INNOVATIVE ENERGY MARKETS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • In the team of ‘Energy Markets’ you will be the expert on Innovative Energy Market design. You elaborate your research expertise in the field of innovative market designs, taking into account regulation of energy markets with high shares of (distributed) renewable energy sources, storage and demand response.
  • You are able to pinpoint the regulatory, societal, and technical challenges in the energy sector and devise creative concepts to solve them.
  • You position yourself as an expert regarding innovative energy market design and you apply your knowledge to academic and industrial/business research projects in an international context.
  • Your drive is to contribute to the energy transition by devising and scrutinizing new concepts and implementing them in different projects.
  • You are skilled to write project proposals within your area of expertise and lead various innovative smart grid projects in multidisciplinary teams. 

TECHNICUS KERAMISCHE VORMGEVING VAN GESTRUCTUREERDE MATERIALEN

Mol
Lab & Technicians
Description: 
  • Je maakt deel uit van het team keramische materialen en poedermetallurgie (KMP) binnen VITO’s unit Duurzaam Materialenbeheer. Het KMP-team ontwikkelt innovatieve poreuze en functionele structuren voor toepassingen in onder meer de chemische industrie.
  • Als technisch operator sta je in voor het vormgeven van keramische structuren, voor een industriële klant. Daarbij zorg je voor de suspensie aanmaak, het vormgeven van de structuur, het afstellen, optimaliseren en onderhouden van de installaties, kwaliteitscontrole, etc.  
  • Je technische kennis en inzicht stellen je na een inwerkperiode in staat om zelfstandig de opdrachten uit te voeren. 
  • Je waakt over de vereisten op gebied van milieu, veiligheid en kwaliteit.

R&D PROFESSIONAL ORGANIC CHEMISTRY

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • You apply your academical knowledge of chemistry for the development of durable industrial processes (synthesis, surface modification, catalysis, separation processes) 
  • You transform theoretical concepts to practical applications. E.g based upon reaction models, process flows,… a practical application is formed.
  • You analyze and control the economic feasibility and relevance of your research.
  • Your work is strategical-goal oriented: you maintain attention towards the real-life applicability of your research.
  • Your research implies transdisciplinary teamwork: with a multitude of scientific disciplines and the synergy effect as a key asset, you co-create results.
  • You valorize your research results; you protect and/or publish them using different means

SENIOR PROJECT COORDINATOR ENERGY IN BUILDINGS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • As part of the ‘Built Environment’ team in VITO/EnergyVille you will facilitate the transition towards clean energy within the urban environment focusing on the buildings, districts and urban energy- and climate planning
  • You coordinate challenging research projects, either financed or in a consulting set-up.
  • You manage the progression of the project team within our organization, aligned with the (international) partners involved
  • Being a Project Coordinator, you are the first point of contact for the customer and act as representative at public events
  • You take the lead regarding the operational organization within our team: monitoring of contracts, team planning and the financial follow-up of the different projects

R&D PROFESSIONAL BIO-ECONOMY SUPPLY CHAINS

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

VITO (the Flemish Institute for Technological Research) is a leading European independent research institute in the domain of cleantech and sustainable development.

 

The production of sustainable chemicals, materials and energy is at the core of the bio-economy. Biomass is the raw material that has been chosen to replace the known fossil resources. The bio-economy existed even before the age of fossil fuels, but it needs to be reintroduced today. Numerous new supply chains, value chains and business models are currently being developed, which may be able to contribute to the transition towards a bio-economy.

In order to be successful, sufficient biomass must be available throughout the supply chain. This biomass must be of a high quality and come at the right time and price. In short, the right mobilisation strategy is needed. Without it, the whole chain, or parts of it, are at risk of being organised in an inefficient or suboptimal manner. Our team is seeking the best possible organisation of supply chains, taking the transport, storage, various process steps and specific wishes of the client into consideration. In order to do so, we are using a combination of geographical information (GIS) and optimisation models.

 

To strengthen our team, we are looking for a R&D professional Bio-Economy Supply Chains that will help us to develop mobilization strategies for innovative supply chains in the bio-economy.

 

Tasks

  • You will mainly provide desktop research and you combine scientific research with consulting for the private and public sector.
  • You implement (inter)national projects with a focus on further development of current internal know-how and models.
  • You report the results to our clients (Flemish and European) and to the scientific community.
  • You take into account the valorisation options for your research results, in order to providing relevant information, solutions, recommendations, processes or products to SMEs, authorities and industry.
  • You will work in a team, will also carry out research projects independently on a longer run, and will be able to identify routes for new developments.
  • At a later stage, you assist in drawing up offers and in seeking funding opportunities.

SENIOR R&D CONSULTANT ENERGY STRATEGIES AND POLICY

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • As a senior consultant, you will advise industry and policy makers operating at Flemish and international level on the development of their energy and climate strategy.
  • You are responsible for coordinating and conducting consultative assignments within time and budget.
  • You will contribute to the further development of optimization and simulation models of the energy system, using internationally developed software such as VEDA-TIMES, among other tools.
  • You will interpret the model results and on this basis, formulate scientific recommendations tailored to the client's needs. You will report the research results to our clients (authorities and industry).
  • You will take the lead in writing client offers, research proposals and seeking funding opportunities.
  • You will continue expanding your knowledge of energy system/strategy/models on the basis of literature, courses and on-the job experience. Within your area of expertise involving energy modelling, you will be an active follower of the trends and the studies carried out by other consultants, research institutions and universities.
  • You will work in a team, but will also be responsible for carrying out consultative assignments independently. You will identify routes for new developments, playing an active role in exploring research questions for industrial sectors and federations.

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 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 translate user requirements into a system design
  • You develop back-end systems, web services and APIs
  • In close collaboration with the application scientists, you design and implement algorithmic components by using Java, Python, 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 (data science, machine learning, public cloud, cluster/grid computing, etc.).

PHD POSITION ADJOINT-BASED TOPOLOGY OPTIMIZATION OF THERMAL NETWORKS

Genk
PhD
Description: 
Thermal networks are an important means to decarbonizing building heating supplies. When designing such thermal networks, several competing objectives arise. At the one hand, investment costs are decisive for the achievability of the project, while also energy-efficiency and dimensioning of pump capacity, at the other hand, are important elements in the design process. With the transition to 4th generation district heating networks, the design challenge becomes ever more challenging. That is, to achieve the best energetic efficiency, a balanced combination of heat storage, energy conversion units, and a diverse collection of (waste) heat sources at different temperatures should be pursued. In scientific literature and within our own research in the EnergyVille framework, automated design methods based on numerical optimization are therefore developed.

Using these methods the configuration (topology) of the entire network is hereby fully parametrized and optimized for the above mentioned goals, leading to a complex optimization problem with many design variables. The state-of-the-art in district heating network design therefore resorts to linearized models to optimize the network configuration. These model assumptions sincerely restrict the applicability of these methods to true 4th generation networks. Moreover, design of large-scale networks is not possible due to the exponential scaling of the computational cost with the network dimension.

Recent research in our group has shown that adjoint-based optimization techniques can provide a solution to this problem. In short, the adjoint method is an approach that enables sensitivity calculation of an objective function to large amounts of design variables at a fixed computational cost of about only two simulations. In addition, its applicability ranges well beyond linear problems and is used within our research group for the optimization of complex flow and heat transport problems. As such, it potentially enables automated large-scale thermal network design, including an accurate nonlinear network model.

The task of thel PhD candidate is to elaborate this research track and develop a tool that automatically proposes efficient and affordable thermal network designs.

Collaboration with University of Leuven
Registration deadline: 17/12/2018

R&D PROFESSIONAL ATMOSPHERE

Mol
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

As a researcher, you will contribute to the Flemish, European and international environmental policy relating to air quality.

  • You develop models that simulate and predict the presence of pollutants in the atmosphere. These models will be used to support the environmental policy of Flemish and foreign authorities and the industry. Urban air quality is a focus area of the team. 
  • You are responsible for analysing model results and reporting to the client or the end user. Processing of (large) data sets therefore plays an important role.
  • You integrate your knowledge and expertise in collaborative projects with your fellow researchers, report the results of these and publish them in academic journals.

POSTDOC POSITION DEVELOPMENT BIOPOLYMERS

Mol
Postdoc
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 bio-based aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. As the leading institute, VITO coordinates the development of lignin derived bio-aromatics 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 2 (or 3) years postdoctoral position to work in our lignin-derived polymers program. The purpose of the position is to carry out technological research into producing, characterising and testing novel, high-performance polymeric materials derived from lignin. The research will involve aspects of

  • separation and purification of depolymerised lignin fractions (for instance via membrane-processes);
  • chemical modifications and synthesis of lignin bio-oils and lignin model compounds (preparation of polymerizable synthons derived from lignin fragments);
  • chemical characterisation;
  • polymer synthesis and formulation and evaluation of the materials (in collaboration with an industrial partner).

The target products are new bio-aromatic based building blocks that could potentially substitute petrochemical-based resins, adhesives, films and/or coatings.

Key accountabilities

  • Development of a detailed work plan for the project
  • Develop and optimise experimental protocols for the key aspects of the project including:
  • Preparing, purifying and characterising depolymerised lignins fractions and lignin model compounds
  • Pre-polymer synthesis and characterisation
  • Polymer formulation, synthesis and applications development
  • Undertaking experiments outlined in the detailed work plan in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Present regular progress report to VITO and its industrial partner, and externally (international conferences).
  • Be lead author in the preparation of patents and scientific manuscript(s).
  • Ensure compliance with VITO’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensuring that all work practices are safe.

PHD POSITION REDUCTION OF RETURN TEMPERATURES BY MORE EFFICIENT CONTROL OF THE SUBSTATION

Genk
PhD
Description: 

Reduction of the return temperature of substations enables a higher efficiency of the substations, but also enables a better heat usage in a complete heating network. In 4th generation heating networks, the aim is to reduce the supply temperatures radically, which mean that substations need to operate with higher efficiency. A low return temperature is a requirement to reduce the supply temperature, since the capacity of the network is proportional to the difference between both temperatures. Therefore, to be able to decrease the supply temperature while guaranteeing the network capacity, the return temperature should be minimized.

In this project the aim is to operate and control a substation as a multivariable system embedded in a larger network. Using a multi-objective optimization approach where the return temperature of the substation is one of the components in the objective function, the supply constraints and demand requirements will be jointly optimized.

The resulting operation and control scheme will consist of multiple levels, which will jointly act, thus low-level control and supervisory levels will not act independently. It can also be assumed that the substation design with respect to actuators and sensors might need to be updated.

Although most of the components in a substation are known and models are available, the parameters for these models need to be updated using a system identification scheme, which can also be used in the resulting substation concept as an online scheme with subsequent automated controller and optimized update.

 

Collaboration with the Lulea University of Technology (Sweden)

Registration deadline: 17/12/2018

 

 

PHD POSITION RISK-AWARE QUANTIFICATION AND AGGREGATION TECHNIQES FOR OPTIMAL VALORIZATION OF ENERGY FLEXIBILITY

Genk
PhD
Description: 

This PhD will considerably advance the state-of-the-art in optimal valorization and aggregation of energy flexibility by developing, integrating and exploiting novel algorithms for the dynamic quantification of uncertainty and risks regarding energy flexibility.

· In the state-of-the-art of flexibility research, emerging uncertainty is explored and sampled when modelling and optimizing flexibility, but precise definitions and quantifications are lacking.

· This uncertainty will be quantified during this PhD research, using appropriate data science techniques to calculate the risk-of-unexpected-unavailability of the flexibility that was offered earlier, and that take this risk into account when valorizing the energy flexibility in different applications and markets. The result will be that a larger scala of flexibility carriers and types can be valorized.

· The risk factors will be explored and quantified from the points-of-views of the flexibility buyer and the flexibility provider, and applied/adapted to a broad spectrum of energy generating/consuming device types. Ultimately the goals is to provide an approach that can be applied to any type of energy flexibility carriers, including those that cannot be explicitly modelled using a white box or grey box approach

· Novel optimization algorithms will be developed that maximize the reward functions for either and both points-of-view in the context of current and future energy and energy-flexibility markets.

 

Collaboration with University of Ghent
Registration deadline: 17/12/2018

 

IT DEVELOPER BIG DATA SCIENCE

Mol
IT
Description: 

The Remote Sensing unit of VITO processes petabytes of earth observation data. We primarily specialise in Big Data analysis with the use of 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.

  • You will join our service-oriented R&D team and contribute to the development of Remote Sensing products & services, mainly in the context of environmental applications. 
  • In close collaboration with the application scientists, you will support the algorithm development but mainly bring existing algorithms into an operational stage and implement them into production workflows by using Python, R and C++.
  • You collaborate on cluster computing, machine learning and deep learning.
  • You help translating user requirements into a system design.
  • You report your progress and results to your colleagues-scientists, our customers, and our management.

TECHNICAL LAB SUPPORT

Mol
Lab & Technicians
Description: 

No English version because Dutch is requiered,  https://vito.be/nl/jobs/technical-lab-support

R&D PROFESSIONAL ENERGY AND CLIMATE STRATEGY - SOCIAL ASPECTS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

Our energy system is undergoing a fundamental transition and end-users and other stakeholders undoubtedly play a role in that process. As part of an interdisciplinary team, we make use of integrated energy system analysis to collate knowledge from a variety of fields (technical, economic and socio-scientific) and to make it available for the purpose of policy-making and strategy development. With this position, we are seeking an expert to strengthen our team who has experience in the social aspects of the energy system, especially end-user behaviour, end-user participation, technology acceptance and investment behaviour.

 

  • As an expert, you will support the development of Flemish and European energy and climate policy, focusing on the role of social stakeholders within the energy system.
  • You will work in a team, but will also carry out research projects independently and will be able to identify routes for new developments.
  • You actively expand your knowledge of energy efficiency and renewable energy policy on the basis of literature, courses and on-the-job experience. Within your area of expertise, you will actively follow the trends and studies carried out by other research institutions and universities.
  • You contribute to the writing of tenders and research proposals, assist with seeking out funding opportunities for proposals, and undertake projects on a national and international level focusing on the further development of the existing models.
  • You report the results of research to our clients (Flemish and European) and to the scientific community.

SENIOR EXPERT/PROJECT COORDINATOR ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT OF BUILDINGS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The team ‘Built environment’ of VITO/EnergyVille evaluates the environmental impact of building  materials, -elements and buildings and energy technologies. We advise industry and governments regarding innovative solutions and alternative production- and construction methods. We are looking for an experienced lifecycle analysist (LCA) to strengthen our team. 

  • In this function you work as a senior expert in financed research projects (e.g. H2020) and in addition in consultancy assignments for governments or industry.
  • You bring innovation to our domain of expertise by providing and building up new methods and knowledge regarding circular economy, alternatives for digitalization of LCA/LCC assessments, innovative data strategies (link with GIS, BIM,…). You contribute to the development of innovative tools and solutions in regards to the (future) needs of our customers.
  • As a project coordinator you guide the progress of the internal project team and you align with the concerned external partners. You are the first point of contact for the client and the representative for these projects at stakeholders forums and public events.
  • You take care of the collaboration within the national and European consortia and expand your network with Belgian and European governments and industrial partners.
  • You contribute to the acquisition of projects and to the writing of tenders and project proposals.

COORDINATOR PROCUREMENT

Mol
Support
Description: 

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

LAB PROFESSIONAL ORGANISCHE ANALYSES

Mol
Lab & Technicians
Description: 

No description available in English. Link to the Dutch vacancy.

BUSINESS DEVELOPER ENERGY

Genk
Business Development & Sales
Description: 
  • As member of the commercial team of the unit Energy Technology (part of VITO/EnergyVille) you support national and international commercial trajectories with respect to the integration of sustainable energy in an urban environment.
  • You manage a contract portfolio through active prospection of new opportunities, setting up and coordinating quotation processes, while monitoring market developments.
  • You create and maintain a portfolio of key accounts in function of your R&D product portfolio (flexibility models and optimization algorithms fortrading flexibility, tools for value assessments of flexibility, SW algorithms for intelligent control, …) to achieve successful valorization of R&D. You are responsible for a portfolio of national and international industrial clients
  • In  cooperation with the commercial team, you ensure a smooth commercial process within the unit. You can count on the support of a multidisciplinairy team of researchers, project managers, administrative assistants and other business developers fot the preparation of quotations and research proposals.
  • You criticaly evaluate submitted quotations and proposals and make adjustments for future quotation processes.
  • In consultation with R&D product managers, you define commercial strategies and valorisation plans for various R&D products, technologies and services. You initiate en coordinate actions to successfully implement and follow up valorisation plans (contract research, licenses, …).
  • You position the VITO/EnergyVille research in external bilateral and multilateral contacts and enthuse companies and research centers for this.
  • You are responsible for the commercial results and report them to the management team.

POSTDOC LIGNIN DERIVED POLYMERS - in collaboration with SCION (New Zealand)

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship for a polymer chemist to engage in an international research collaboration.
  • We want to give you the opportunity to research novel high performance polymeric materials derived from lignin.
  • Full time, two year, fixed term position, based in Mol, Belgium and Rotorua, New Zealand.

 

VITO (Belgium) and Scion (New Zealand) seek a skilled and enthusiastic polymer chemist to investigate the synthesis and performance of novel thermoplastic and thermoset polymers derived from depolymerised lignins. The project will involve aspects of lignin depolymerisation, lignin model compound synthesis using enzymes, polymer synthesis and characterisation, and materials property testing. Optionally the candidate will have research experience in biocatalysis and/or organic chemistry with a track record of publication in international journals.

 

The Postdoctoral fellow will undertake research work both in Belgium and New Zealand (2 x 6 months) supported by expertise in enzymatic catalysis, lignin and biopolymer chemistry, and materials science at VITO and Scion. This unique opportunity will provide you with internationally recognised skills and knowledge in the field of biopolymer processing for value-added biomaterials that will advance your research career.

 

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.

 

Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, is committed to enhancing the environmental and economic transformation of New Zealand, working towards 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.

R&D PROFESSIONAL ANALYSIS AND MODELING OF ELECTRIC ENERGY STORAGE SYSTEMS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • You will be responsible for developing, analysing and modelling electric energy storage systems. The activities undertaken will range from simulating (including finite element simulations) to the technological design and development of innovative systems based on electric energy storage (including publications and patents).
  • The extensive field of research in which you will work involves the production, storage and consumption of electric energy. Within that field, you will focus upon electric energy storage systems and the service life of these systems.
  • You will develop a sufficiently broad and, at the same time, in-depth knowledge and utilise this in your research, enabling you to study, analyse and evaluate the problems and technical feasibility of innovative electric energy storage technologies in the context of smart grids.
  • You will publish and present research findings, both internally and externally to our clients.
  • You will publish and present research findings in peer-reviewed international journals. You will present research findings at international forums.
  • You will provide general support within ongoing projects and enthusiastically participate in the development of the 'smart systems for intelligent energy networks' program.

PRODUCT MANAGER LVDC GRIDS AND INNOVATIVE GRID DECISION SUPPORT TOOLS FOR SYSTEM OPERATORS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 
  • In the team of ‘Strategic Energy Research Roadmaps and Valorisation’ you will be responsible for the coordination of our research activities in the field of LVDC grids and grid decision support tools for system operators.
  • You develop, coordinate and follow up the successful implementation and valorisation of a strategic research roadmap in the field of LVDC grids and grid decision support tools for system operators in the context of smart grids for future sustainable energy systems with high shares of distributed renewable energy sources.
  • Within your roadmaps, you  bridge the gap between fundamental academic research and applied, pre-commercial research by detecting current and future business needs and connecting them to academic research questions and results.
  • You acquire and maintain a good knowledge and view on technology and research tendencies in the field of LVDC grids and system operation, and you are able to translate them into a vision, a concrete roadmap and an implementation plan.
  • You are able to inspire and motivate research teams across different projects and teams to actively contribute to the successful execution of those roadmaps with societal and technological impact on international level.
  • You pay attention to long term and short term business opportunities, and associated research valorisation strategies in close cooperation with business developers at EnergyVille. You actively protect IPR through the development of patentable technology and you are able to valorise them through licensing, as well as through strategic contract research with industry and technology users.
  • You position yourself both internally in the research team, as well as externally as a polyvalent project leader regarding the topics of LVDC grids and grid decision support tools in the context of future energy markets and power systems.
  • You represent EnergyVille for the abovementioned research activities and roadmaps on both national and international level at scientific and business forums.
  • You are able to independently write large research proposals, acquire and manage international research projects end-to-end.
  • You are actively working on broadening your scientific (inter)national network.

POSTDOC MINERAL PROCESSING

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The Waste Recycling Technologies (ART) team of VITO is looking for a creative and motivated postdoctoral researcher to pioneer the recovery of valuable metals and minerals from mineral waste streams (like metal slags, incineration ashes, industrial sludges,…) through innovative mineral processing technologies.  

As a post-doctoral fellow you will be part of an experienced and well-equipped research team at  advanced material processing techniques, to provide  a clear view on how to  recover resources for both industry and government. Using innovative approaches and a thorough knowledge, we strive towards a sustainable transformation of waste into high-quality products which contributes to the circular economy

The proposed 2 year post doctoral research will focus on the removal and recovery of (valuable) metals/minerals from mineral waste materials by means of physical separation techniques. Traditional techniques for extraction and separation of valuable metals/minerals have often been designed for primary ores and can be hampered by undesirable features (high energy costs, not flexible, low yields or generation of large waste streams,...) when applied to complex waste streams. Therefore, VITO investigates alternative flexible process concepts suitable for treatment of complex waste streams that present opportunities to increase productivity and lower environmental impact and operating costs. Based upon our thorough knowledge of the chemical and physical properties of mineral waste materials, optimal recovery and beneficiation processes are designed which encompass concentration/removal of metals by physical treatment of the waste (density, magnetic, surface properties…). Test work will be complemented by a techno-economic feasibility evaluation.

SALES CONSULTANT CHEMISTRY

Mol
Business Development & Sales
Description: 

Our unit Separation- and Conversion Technology (SCT) develops technologies for the sustainability of production processes in the (bio)chemical sector, transformation of fossil fuels through raw materials based on biomass and the treatment of waste streams into high value chemicals.

  • As Account Manager you will contribute to the further development of the contract portfolio of this unit. You will work together with a multidisciplinary team of researchers, project leaders, administrative assistants and other business development managers.
  • Researching and contacting new sales leads (organisations and individuals) to identify potential clients and new markets.

  • Promoting VITO’s products/services addressing and predicting clients’ objectives and needs.

  • Developing, negotiating and closing contracts.

  • Identifying, proposing and attending conferences, meetings, and industry events.

  • Maintaining fruitful relationships with existing customers, keeping them updated on new developments in VITO’s products.

  • Reporting commercial actions and results.

  • You report to the Unit Manager of the Unit SCT.

R&D EXPERT ELECTRIC ENERGY AND STORAGE SYSTEMS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

The next few years will be characterised by the electrification of heating, transport and industrial equipment, further improvements in the energy efficiency of a range of systems, a further increase in the number of renewable energy sources and changing behaviour patterns among consumers. These developments will give rise to a number of technical challenges, bringing with them an exponential increase in the application of power electronics and placing pressure on the existing parts of the electricity grid. In order to tackle these challenges, innovative concepts must be developed that allow the use and integration of electrical storage systems to be simplified. These concepts must be tested under realistic conditions and the required power electronics, electrical components and sub-systems must also be designed.  If you are interested in working with Vito/EnergyVille to set out the course, you could be our new colleague.

  • In this regard, you will provide technical and creative leadership in a small, flexible and efficient project team. 
  • You are point of contact for the client and you will be responsible for identifying and mapping out the client's challenges and analysing them quickly and appropriately as well as developing, designing, implementing, testing and benchmarking innovative prototypes for power electronics or electrical components and subsystems that will form an essential part of the solution.
  • You will report on your work both internally and externally to our clients.
  • You will arrange appropriate protection for your inventions in the form of patent applications and licensable designs. Once protection has been put in place, you will present your findings at international forums.
  • You will maintain and continue to expand a broad and, at the same time, in-depth knowledge with regard to applications and state-of-the-art components.
  • You will provide technical coaching to the project team and will act as a first point of contact for employees involved in other projects requiring technical advice.