PhD Position in microscale fluid dynamics for microplastics removal (experiments)

Research / Academic

A PhD position is currently available in the Garbin lab ( on novel methods to separate microplastic particles in complex flow fields, as part of the MicroWash project. In the MicroWash project, we will combine novel experiments and simulations to investigate the fluid mechanical principles of microfiber transport and trapping in filters, and develop new approaches of active and passive separation of the hardest-to-filter microfibers. MicroWash ultimately aims to deliver the next generation of low-cost, high-performance filters for washing machines, to cut microfiber emission at the source. Three PhD candidates working on the project will collaborate closely with each other across three research groups at TU Delft. The project offers exciting synergies with both industrial partners and non-profits.   
Our group has previously investigated acoustofluidics for manipulation of deformable particles ( In this PhD project, you will investigate the fluid dynamics of flexible fibers in complex acoustofluidics flows, and explore the potential for separation and sorting. You will join a diverse and interdisciplinary team working on microscale transport phenomena in soft and biological matter and you will have the opportunity to contribute to different ongoing projects. The Garbin lab is embedded in the Transport Phenomana section of the Department of Chemical Engineering.
The preferred start date is September 2024.


We are looking for a motivated researcher interested in fundamental research in fluid mechanics with applications to mitigating microplastic pollution. You must have an MSc in Applied Physics, Chemical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering by the start of the project. Strong knowledge of fluid mechanics and transport phenomena is needed to make progress in the project; knowledge of soft matter physics or colloid science will also be beneficial. Experience with experimental methods in microscopy and image analysis is considered very valuable. Experience with microfluidics or acoustofluidics would be a plus. The ability to program in Python or a comparable language is required for image analysis and data processing. It is important that you have good communication skills and are open to collaboration, as the project requires coordination and synergy with other team members and external partners. An ambition to bridge fundamental research with impact on society will be highly valued

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Work Hours:

36 - 40 hours per week


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