PhD Position Experimental Fluid Dynamics of Microalgae Suspensions

Research / Academic

Photosynthetic microalgae hold promise for the sustainable production of high-value products, bioplastics, biofuels, and future engineering living materials. Flowing suspensions of living microalgae cells represent a new kind of living fluid that physiologically responds to the environment and flow conditions. New insight into the flow dynamics of these living microalgae suspensions is crucial to model algae blooms or develop new flow technologies for bioreactors.
The Ph.D. position is available within the project “Flow4Algae”. This experimental project aims to understand the multiscale fluid dynamics of living microalgae suspensions. We are particularly interested in the interplay between flow conditions, cell physiology, and cell growth. Each different project will focus on flow conditions ranging from linear shear flows in microfluidics to weak turbulence. In this project, you will design new multiscale experiments and analytical tools for the different flow regimes. These studies will be conducted in the BioFluids Laboratory in TU Delft and will use the infrastructure in the laboratory, including advanced flow diagnostics (Particle Image Velocimetry, Particle Tracking Velocimetry, and Laser Induced Fluorescence), microscopy (3D tracking multi-view microscopy and Fluorescence), rheology tools, microfluidics, and existing flow dynamics setups.
As a Ph.D., you will be part of a vibrant team of researchers working on the project Flow4Algae, with diverse backgrounds and expertise. The group is part of the Process & Energy Department, which thrives to conduct world-class research & education focusing on process & energy technologies for sustainable development.


We are looking for enthusiastic and inquisitive researchers who want to develop their know-how and experience in a challenging academic environment. The successful candidate should have:

  • A MSc degree in Mechanical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, Maritime Technology, Aeronautics, or equivalent degree with a strong background in fluid mechanics is a prerequisite.
  • Experience in conducting experimental work is regarded as a strength.
  • A critical and inquisitive attitude with regard to results is expected.
  • Ability to function both in a team and independently.
  • Strong communication skills, and both oral and written proficiency in English.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Salary Benefits:

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.
For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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