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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




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

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


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