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Post-doc position on scale down of fermentation processes

Research / Academic
Delft

Description:

Industrial fermentation processes use the power and versatility of nature via microorganisms that produce chemicals and pharmaceuticals from renewable feedstocks. These organisms can very well be engineered as efficient cell factories. However, the gap between the cell environment at lab and production scales often results in inferior performance of microbial production strains in industrial scale fermentors.

We have a vacancy for a Post Doc who will work within a European consortium (TU Delft, University of Stuttgart, University of Liège and two companies). The consortium aims to develop robust and model-based scale-up techniques driven by profound biological and physical understanding to replace conventional, empirical scale-up criteria by predictive modelling and rational design. To this end computational fluid dynamics (CFD) will be applied, linking hydrodynamics with cellular activities (Euler-Lagrange models) to simulate the heterogeneities at large scale. Against this background, lifelines of cells in large scale fermenters will be calculated to investigate their short- and long-term interactions under real production conditions, with an emphasis on substrate and oxygen gradients. Finally, these lifelines will be simulated experimentally in scale-down simulators to study the effects on cellular physiology and productivity, with as final aim to obtain leads for successful transfer of bioprocesses from lab to production scale.

Requirements:

We are seeking a highly capable experimentalist with a PhD degree in Biochemical or Chemical Engineering, which is highly motivated, adventurous and creative, and is willing to push boundaries. Experience with lab and or pilot scale fermentations is desirable. The candidate has experience with mathematical modelling of living cells and their environment (the bioreactor) and preferably experience or affinity with applying mathematical techniques (e.g. extended Kalman filtering) to reconstruct in-vivo oxygen uptake and carbon dioxide production rates from disturbed offgas measurements. Our candidate has an excellent command of the English language, scientific writing and professional communication and team working skills. We expect the candidate to keep good contact with all members of the consortium.

Salary Benefits:

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers child care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Walter M. van Gulik, Ass. Prof., e-mail: w.m.vangulik@tudelft.nl.

To apply please e-mail a detailed CV and a letter of application to Dr. Walter van Gulik, e-mail: w.m.vangulik@tudelft.nl.
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWBT18-046.

 

Work Hours:

38 hours per week

Address:

Van der Maasweg 9