PhD Position Computational Design of Adsorbents for the Removal of Micropollutants from Water

at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Published April 24, 2023
Location Delft, Netherlands
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


Job description

Per/polyfluorinated alkyl substances, commonly known as PFAS, are a diverse class of environmentally persistent, toxic, and carcinogenic trace pollutants in drinking water. PFAS and other harmful micropollutants are products of domestic, industrial, and agricultural activities. The concentration of such pollutants in drinking water, even at trace levels, poses a threat to the environment and public health. New European Directives call for urgent measures to remove PFAS (and other harmful pollutants) from drinking water because the traditional drinking water treatment technologies may not be able to comply with the new standards.

This opening is part of the NWO funded project SYROP which focuses on the tailored design and upscaled production of fully sustainable CD polymers (CDP) that can selectively target emerging micropollutants, such as PFAS. This PhD position will focus on the in silico design and testing of CDP adsorbents mainly using advanced molecular simulation methods. The candidate will collaborate with a team of experts in machine learning and adsorption/filtration experiments. A strong interaction with the related industry and water authorities is also expected.



We seek a highly motivated and conscientious researcher (f/m/x) with strong communication and self-management skills, who is passionate about making high impact contributions to new technologies for water treatment.

The successful candidate holds an MSc degree in mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, applied physics, or a similar discipline and has a strong background in thermodynamics, mathematics, and transport phenomena. Affinity with molecular simulation, scientific computing, and statistical thermodynamics will be considered as strong points. TU Delft is an equal opportunity employer, and therefore we strongly encourage candidates from underrepresented groups to apply.

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.


Conditions of employment

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, 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.


TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


Additional information

For more information about the position or the application procedure, please contact Dr. O. Moultos,


Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 1 June 2023 via the application button. The selection procedure will start as soon as the vacancy is posted.

To apply, submit the following documents as a single PDF file of a maximum size of 4 mb:

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • Motivation letter highlighting your relevant research skills and motivation for doing this PhD project.
  • Diplomas and transcripts of your BSc. and MSc. studies, including a certified list of grades.
  • Name and contact details of two academic referees (preferably of the applicant's MSc thesis supervisor).

The applicant should not submit already written recommendation letters. Please note that applications that do not comply with the submission procedure described above will not be considered for this position.

Further notes:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.