We are offering a

PhD Position - Compression effects in cross flow filtration cassettes across scales


As a leading research institution for microbial biotechnology the Institute of Bio- and Geosciences – Biotechnology (IBG-1) focuses on the development of biotechnological processes for the sustainable bio-based production of pharmaceutical and chemical products. We investigate how microorganisms and isolated enzymes can be used to produce a variety of products from renewable raw materials. IBG-1 is a leading institution in process development for industrial biotechnology with increasingly miniaturized and automated experiments. The institute provides an excellent infrastructure for parallelized lab robotic experiments on microtiter plates. Various analytical methods are available for online and at-line measurements. These are combined with advanced digital technologies for data analysis, modeling, experimental design and process optimization.

Institute issuing the offer
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Your Job:

This EU-funded project is part of the international training network Bio-GENTLE, which will connect professionals of various backgrounds from academics and industry. A unique interdisciplinary approach combines fundamental analysis, experimentation, and mathematical modeling to create a flexible bioseparation platform. A cohort of 12 doctoral candidates will be trained and experience the complete chain from materials properties to process design and evaluation.

More information on the project can be found here:

This specific project (DC2) addresses preparative scale cross flow filtration devices, in which different membrane and spacer materials are stacked to achieve optimal retention and capacity. These stacks are arranged in cassettes with complex internal geometries to achieve high surface areas at low footprints. Non-homogeneous flow, local compression of the filter material and hydrodynamic bypasses are need to be analyzed and optimized. Special attention will be given to scalability of the filtration process and to the transferability of the findings between laboratory and production scales.

Your tasks in detail:

  • Familiarize with experimental system. Select devices and specify operating conditions. Collect initial data required for modelling.
  • Set up initial device-level simulation models of selected cross flow cassettes and hollow fiber capsules at different scales. Determine local pressure and flow rate.
  • Set up detail-level simulation models of flow channels and holders with flexible soft materials. Study mechanical stress and impact on displacement, compression and damage effects.
  • Perform experiments for determining material properties under load. Calibrate and validate detail-level models.
  • Set up advanced device-level simulation models that incorporate displacement effects based on local pressure and flow rate. Study pressure drop, throughput and internal hydrodynamics, in particular back flow and boundary layer effects that can be beneficial for self-cleaning and extended service life.
  • Perform experiments with commercial products and development prototypes for determining device performance under different operating conditions. Calibrate and validate advanced device-level models at different scales. Optimize device configuration and operating conditions.

Your Profile:

  • Masters degree in science or engineering
  • Expertise in downstream processing
  • Programming skills, preferably in Python and/or C++
  • Knowledge in parameter estimation and optimization
  • A self-motivated and independent style of working
  • Not in possession of a doctoral degree
  • Not resided, worked or studied in Germany for more than 12 months in the last 36 months (mobility rule)

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the opportunity to actively help in shaping change. You will learn:

  • In-depth understanding of membrane separations and their operating modes and effects.
  • Integration of membrane separation models into process simulation software.
  • Parameter estimation and optimization techniques for model calibration.
  • Independent research skills and problem-solving in the context of membrane separations.
  • Best practices of research software engineering, including version control, documentation, testing, code review, and software sustainability.

We support you with:

  • An interesting and socially relevant topic for your thesis with future-oriented topics
  • An interdisciplinary collaboration on projects in an international, committed and collegial team
  • Excellent technical equipment and the newest technology
  • Qualified support through your scientific colleagues
  • The chance to independently prepare and work on your tasks
  • A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work
  • Opportunity to develop your strengths, e.g. through a comprehensive training programme; a structured programme including continuing professional development and networking opportunities specifically designed for Jülich’s doctoral researchers by the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors (JuDocS): https://go.fzj.de/JuDocs
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g. through our International Advisory Service
  • Initial contract for 3 years

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://go.fzj.de/benefits

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

We look forward to receiving your application. The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible.

Apply now

Questions about the offer?

Please feel free to contact us via our contact form.
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications by e-mail.

You can find helpful information on the application and selection process here. You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our FAQs.

Last Modified: 25.01.2024