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PhD position "Development and characterization of solvent tolerant organically-modified ceramic membranes"

University of Twente (UT). Enschede (Niederlande), 23.02.2017

PhD position "Development and characterization of solvent tolerant organically-modified ceramic membranes"


Function types
Scientific fields
Job number
About employer
PhD positions
Natural Sciences, Engineering
38.0 hours per week
€ 2191 - € 2801
University Graduate
University of Twente (UT)

Job description

Within the Inorganic Membranes group of the Membrane Science and Technology cluster of the University of Twente we have a PhD position in the field of the development and characterization of solvent tolerant organically-modified ceramic membranes.
This PhD research is part of a large project with several partners from universities, institutes and industries: "Solvent tolerant nanofiltration and reverse osmosis membranes for the purification of industrial aqueous streams".

Many industrial process streams contain water with solvents and other organic components. Such streams need to be purified from these components or need to be treated before further handling. Nowadays nanofiltration membranes are widely used in wastewater and water treatment, showing high permeability and stable rejection. However, if a solvent is present in the aqueous feed stream, these performances are often lost, which hinders implementation of membrane technology in water/solvent streams. The general aim of the project is to develop cost and energy effective methods of the use of stable nanofiltration membranes for separations in mixed water/solvent process and waste streams.

The work of the PhD student in the Inorganic Membranes group at the University of Twente is on the development of organically-modified ceramic nanofiltration membranes, which show good and stable performance under harsh industrial environment.

At the Inorganic Membranes group a membrane concept is developed, based on a mesoporous (pore size 5-20 nm) ceramic support as a non-swelling, non-compactable, rigid, material on which polymer materials are chemically immobilized ("grafted"). The objectives for the PhD research are:
  • Develop methods for grafting ceramic membranes with monomers/polymers in order to tune membrane properties for the specific separation applications as studied in this project.
  • Study of transport and separation behaviour of model and industrial water/solvent streams through these membranes.
  • Understand interactions of the grafted surface with several types of solvents in aqueous streams.
  • Obtain a better insight in transport phenomena through these membranes.

For this work we are looking for MSc students, having experience in, or affinity with, the following subjects:
  • Membrane science and technology
  • Materials science
  • Organic/polymer chemistry
  • (Solvent) transport phenomena
We expect the candidate to have excellent command of the English language as well as professional communication and team working skills.

Information and application
For further information you can contact Prof. dr. Louis Winnubst, or Dr. Mieke Luiten, Candidates are invited to upload their application at the UT web address, including a short motivation letter, references (at least 3), and CV to the application button below, before 24 March 2017.

Conditions of employment

The University of Twente offers a stimulating work environment in an area of applied, forefront research. You will have a full time employment contract for the duration of 4 years and can participate in all employee benefits the UT offers. The gross monthly salary starts with € 2.191,- in the first year and increases to € 2.801,- in the fourth year employment. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (amount to 8%) and an end of year bonus of 8.3%. A high-quality training programme is part of the agreement. The research has to result in a PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over six faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

Within the TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology) of the University of Twente some 700 staff members and 2000 students are involved in training and research on the interface of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. Research, which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes MESA+ and MIRA. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

Bewerbungsschluss: 24.03.2017