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R&D PROFESSIONAL THERMISCHE NETTEN

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

Geen Engelstalige vacature beschikbaar aangezien kennis van het Nederlands vereist is voor deze positie. Link naar de Nederlandse vacaturetekst.

 

New

BIOPROCESS ENGINEER (postdoc)

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

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

 

Equal opportunity position

 

Job Description:

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

POSTDOC Unraveling Catalytic Reductive Depolymerization of lignin by developing lignin solubility models

Mol
Postdoc
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 of fossil resources by renewable feedstocks for the chemical industry and the treatment of waste streams into high value chemicals. A strategic research theme is focusing on the use of wood/lignin as an alternative feedstock for the production of biobased aromatics. Due to its aromatic nature, lignin is considered as a valuable alternative for the production of aromatic bio-based molecules. Various phenol derivatives with a variety of chemical structures can be produced by cleaving the lignin structure.
In this respect, 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 bio-aromatics by its own technology and by collaboration with different technology providers.
More information available on www.vito.be and www.biorizon.eu

 

 

Up to  now, VITO  has developed strong expertise in the valorization of biomass through conversion of lignocellulose into value-added lignin fragments and bio-aromatic derivatives. These new lignin-derived building blocks are consequently evaluated for their application potential as polymer building blocks or functional additives. However, it turned out that the lignin characteristics and solubility are critical for a techno-economic feasible catalytic depolymerization process resulting in bioaromatic oils. 

 

We are looking for a PhD graduate for 18 months postdoctoral research to work  in a joint collaboration between VITO’s  bioaromatics team and KULeuven (Bert Sels group) with a focus on the development of lignin solubility model to link lignin characteristics with their performance in the further catalytic depolymerization to bioaromatic oils.   

 

 

Project Description


This position fits within a Flemish initiative to reduce CO2 emissions and strive for a carbon neutral industry by 2050, i.e. the moonshot programme. The programme is embedded in a strong academic network and steered by a strong industrial governance board. This research project will involve aspects of characterization of the various lignin sources, developing a model for lignin solubility and correlating this with the outcome of a subsequent process of reductive catalytic depolymerization.


The following tasks/actions are foreseen in our project to be conducted by the candidate, focusing on the development of a models for predicting lignin solubility towards defined bioaromatic oils (both via modelling and experimental work):

  • 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
  • Datamining of the existing data on solubility of lignins and resulting oils after reductive catalytic depolymerization
  • Execution of the experiments/tasks in a timely and efficient manner according to the overall project planning
  • You develop a solubility model for lignin, based on existing data and characteristics
  • You make correlations between the lignin characteristics and solubility and bioaromatic oil yields
  • You are familiar with simulation software
  • You follow-up the validation and optimization of the developed models
  • 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’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensure all experimental work is safe

Starting date: 1/2/2020


Contact persons for more information:

Kathy Elst - kathy.elst@vito.be

Karolien Vanbroekhoven - karolien.vanbroekhoven@vito.be


R&D PROFESSIONAL ENERGY IN BUILDINGS AND DISTRICTS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

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


 

 


 

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.

PHD POSITION DEVELOPMENT OF A IMMUNO PEPTIDOMICS PLATFORM FOR DIAGNOSTICS APPLICATIONS.

Mol
PhD
Description: 

Human leukocyte antigen proteins expose the health status of cells to CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) by presenting peptides at the cell surface (with varying copy numbers) processed from the cellular protein content. Analysis of the HLA ligandome (often called immuno peptidome) can provide important insights in the antigenic signature of human diseases. In the context of cancer: mapping the immuno peptidome is an approach to identify new leads for specific peptide centered immunotherapies. Although prediction algorithms have been developed that can predict what peptides are presented by specific HLA allotypes based on the protein expression profile of a cell, biochemical proof is still required if the peptides are the starting point of therapies or vaccines. In addition, rare allotypes are often not sufficiently characterized to accurately predict the presentation of peptides at the cell surface.

 

Mass spectrometry based analysis of the immuno peptidome is in principle an unbiased method to look at the HLA ligandome either for the identification of new neoantigens or the validation/confirmation of antigens predicted by algorithms. However, although serious progress has been made in terms of sensitivity of mass spectrometry techniques and of identification algorithms, the current immuno peptidomics approach is still limited by the technical sensitivity of the MS analysis and the limitations of the interpretation of the mass spectra. Sensitivity in particular becomes an important issue when moving from analysis HLA ligands from bulk tumor tissue to sorted cell populations where sample quantities become a limiting factor.

 

In this project, we want to tackle some of these limitations and set-up a more sensitive immuno peptidomics platform for application in the field of (lung) oncology.

 

Recent developments in mass spectrometry (in particular trapped ion mobility mass spectrometry) and in the field of peptidomics (the none immune counterpart) have the potential to significantly improve the limit of detection and the number of successful peptide identifications in immuno peptidomics. In addition, new (and existing) methodologies for peptide identification will be developed and applied to immuno peptidomics. The pipeline will be applied this to lung cancer in the context of immunotherapy response.

 

Advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is generally linked with a poor prognosis and is one of the leading causes of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Since only a minority of the patients respond to chemotherapy and targeted therapies, immunotherapy might be a valid alternative in the lung cancer treatment field, as immunotherapy-based options did demonstrate promising results in some other malignancies such as melanoma. Results from early phase clinical trials, however, demonstrate that both whole-cell vaccines and specific antigen-based vaccinations were unable to prove improvements in survival. Therefore, methods that allow to study the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of the local immune response in regions where tumor cells and immune cells co-reside are crucial. Recently, through the use of mass spectrometry imaging analyses, a number of factors with predictive value for the success of immune therapy were identified (patent filed). The underlying mechanisms, however are not well understood. Since immunotherapy unblocks the activity of T-cells in the tumors we believe that the key may lay in understanding the antigen presenting signatures in responders to immunotherapy.


Outcomes in the analyses will lead to a better understanding of immune response in NSCLC and will likely provide leads for therapy and stratification of patients based on biomarkers.

 

Collaboration with University of Antwerp

Registration deadline: 6/03/2020

 


PHD POSITION 3D STRUCTURED SORBENTS FOR METAL RECOVERY FROM LIQUID STREAMS.

Mol
PhD
Description: 
Within the Unit of Sustainable Materials Management, there are ongoing research projects on the production and use of structured sorbent materials, e. g. porous microspheres or coatings, focusing on closing materials cycle. One of the tracks of the KMP (Ceramic Materials and Powder Metallurgy) team is the separation of valuables such as rare earth elements (REE) and precious or critical metals.

Different liquid streams may be identified, such as polluted waters or complex low grade industrial waste streams, on which adsorption using tailored sorbents is the most applicable technology. These are complex streams which different characteristics. For example, industrial wastewaters released in the environment having mild pH (~6 - 8), while complex hydrometallurgical leachates are characterized high pH (>12). Therefore, for their application, the sorbents have to be developed to address needs related not only with their sorption features (capacity, kinetics, selectivity) but also to meet requirements related with mechanical and chemical stability.

The PhD aims at the development of 3D structured sorbent materials with innovative composition for the removal of toxic heavy metals or separation and recovery of critical and economically valuable metals from complex liquid streams with pH ranging from neutral to highly alkaline values (>12).

The research will be conducted mainly from powder to structured materials, with focus on structural related aspects (for enhanced sorption properties and material stability under the (harsh) experimental conditions, e. g. high alkalinity) as well as architectural related aspects (enable ease of handling and lowering pressure drop).

For this project, we collaborate with the University of Antwerp (LADCA) on the basis of the granted joint patent on the production of sorbent materials for adsorption of metal oxyanions (e.g. chromates) (WO2019122398).

Collaboration with University of Antwerp
Registration deadline: 06/03/2020

 

PHD POSITION NANOSTRUCTURING THE SURFACE OF POROUS TITANIUM 3D STRUCTURES.

Mol
PhD
Description: 

Within the last decade, porous metals have found their way into many industrial applications. This has been enabled among others by the recent progress made in 3D printing and other additive manufacturing technologies. Biomedical implants for bone replacement, structured catalyst architectures previously impossible to manufacture and a variety of highly designed industrial parts are just some examples.

 

In order to really benefit from the freedom of design, both the structural architecture and the surface characteristics of the 3D material need to be tuned towards the requirements set for a specific application. The interaction of a fluid or a gas within the porous material occurs at its surface and is typically governed by the combination of the chemical nature, morphology, porosity and roughness of the surface. As such, they are of primordial importance for the final performance of the materials.

 

The progress in manufacturing porous metals and the trend towards finer feature sizes of the porous architecture necessitate the development of new ways to change the surface of the porous material. One example of an alternative approach for the conventional wash- or dipcoating could be a chemical treatment like e.g. an alkali treatment. Depending on the process parameters, a wide variety of titanates with different surface morphologies can be formed by reaction with e.g. the titanium metal.

 

As such, this PhD project will explore innovative approaches for tuning the surface characteristics on porous titanium parts which are manufactured by an in-house developed3D micro-extrusion process.

 

Collaboration with University of Antwerp.

Registration deadline: 06/03/2020


POSTDOC MATERIAL SYNTHESIS

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

VITO is a a leading European independent research in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development. Its research programme ‘Sustainable Materials Management’ has the ambition to accelerate the transition to a more circular economy from a materials perspective. One of our core research activities is the development of technologies for shaping powders into added value products (granulates, microspheres, 3D-structures, foams,…) for use in different industrial applications, like separation of valuable compounds, advanced catalyst materials and energy storage.
Recently we invested in our technology platform to broaden the range of material compositions and architectures. The use of flow reactors for chemical applications has become a fast growing area for a wide range of reaction types. The control over fluid dynamics is outstanding in microreactors enabling the construction of highly precise controlled architectures such as spherical particles. As a post-doctoral fellow you will take an important role in the implementation of the technology for the development of uniformly shaped (hybrid) ceramic particles.   
The key challenges for material synthesis using a droplet micro reactor are the chemistry of the starting composition and the optimisation of the flow conditions. Particularly of interest is the use of sol-gel based systems, since they allow the synthesis of micro sized particles (1-100 µm). Flow environments (time, flow rate, pH, temperature) and junction size are the main parameters to control the droplet size and the synthesis chemistry of the final particles.
In our two year post-doctoral research project we will focus on the development of novel material concepts for metal scavengers and chromatography. A well equipped lab is available for the full material characterization.

EXPERT ON ENERGY MARKETS AND NETWORKS

Genk
R&D & Engineering
Description: 

As an expert on energy markets and networks, you will identify the challenges in energy markets with increasing share of renewables; and create, investigate and implement potential new market concepts.

 
Research topics include a.o. market design (future to day-ahead to real time markets), local energy communities, emerging roles and tasks in the energy sector, business models for integration of flexibility in the electricity networks, and disruptive technologies in the energy sector.

 

In your work, you will often be considering viewpoints of different stakeholders, and take into account technical, economic and regulatory aspects of the problem.
You will also be involved and/or take the lead in writing proposals, project management, publications of (scientific) papers. 

 

You want to take the opportunity to develop yourself as a leading expert in Design of Energy Markets, inspiring colleagues and PhD students.