VITO is a leading European independent research and consultancy centre 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 am aterials perspective. One of our core research activities is the development of technologies for shaping materials into added value products for use in different industrial applications, like separation and recovery of valuable materials, advanced catalyst materials and energy storage.

Sol-gel chemistry covers the synthesis of materials (eg metal oxides) from solution-state precursors. This enables a variety in structure and composition of the solid product. Recent trends indicate an increase in the use of sol-gel chemistry for the development of nanoscale powders to be used as catalyst materials or supports functionalised separation beads. As a post-doctoral research fellow you will take an important role in the development of this rapidly evolving research track.   

VITO has unique expertise in the shaping of powders using 3D-printing and microsphere production.


  • In this 2 year post-doctoral research project we aim to further develop specific sol-gel synthesis routes for metal oxides to be implemented in these innovative shaping technologies. 
  • More specifically the chemistry of the sol-gel reaction will be tuned to optimize the kinetics towards our droplet coagulation or micro-reactor process. The aim is to control the architecture and composition of the microsphere;
  • Also novel sol-gel strategies for the solidification of the precursors during the 3D-printing process will be investigated;
  • An important aspect during this project is taking into account the scale-up of the process to relevant quantities for further testing in the various application under investigation.
  • You hold a PhD degree in Chemistry or Applied Sciences.
  • You have a demonstrated ability and technical expertise in the field of sol-gel chemistry for inorganic material synthesis.
  • You have a creative mind, are eager to turn new process concepts into practice and to demonstrate their technical and economic feasibility.
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to clearly present complicated technical information to technicians, researchers and management.


  • A competitive salary
  • A range of benefits including allowances, insurances, adjustable holiday package
  • Flexible working hours and workplace
  • Innovation is our core asset, therefore it goes without saying that we give our employees the opportunity to undertake additional training and keep up to date in their field of expertise
  • The chance to be part of an organisation with an international reputation, known for its advanced technological research and scientific consultancy
  • The possibility to actively contribute towards sustainable developments at local, national and global level