Lund University has been granted funding from the Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research (SSF) for the period 2015-2019 to work on novel routes for lignin valorization. Lignin is an aromatic polymer and represents a substantial fraction of lignocellulosic biomass, such as wood and agricultural waste. Lignin is the main source of renewable aromatics in nature, but it is a chemically complex polymer, and the current uses have mainly been as a solid fuel or as a filling substance in a polymeric form. The current project aims at exploring novel high-value applications of lignin through tailor-making microbial hosts for new processes. Several research groups at Lund University will work in close collaboration in this challenging and exciting project and we are now looking for motivated people to join us!
The current PhD position at the Department of Chemical Engineering (www.chemeng.lth.se) concerns chemical and enzymatic depolymerisation of lignin. The research work will entail both experimental work and system modelling. A close collaboration with Applied Microbiology and the Centre for Analysis and Synthesis is central to the success of the project.
The employee is expected to deliver results in line with the expectations from the partners in the lignin project, and to carry out self-defined research in the field. The person is expected to conduct research together with the leader of the specific project who is also the supervisor of the doctoral student, but also together with other researchers and doctoral students in the lignin project. Furthermore, the person is expected to take the initiative needed to ensure progress in the project and in the PhD education.
The appointment is four years plus extension depending on the degree of departmental duties. As a Doctoral student you will mainly be working with your research project, but you can also be given more general tasks within the department i.e. teaching, research and administrative work, in accordance with the regulations. Rules for employment as a Doctoral student are stated in “The Higher Education Ordinance (SFS 1998:80), Chapter 5”.
Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.
Basis of Assessment
Employment as a doctoral student can only be granted if you have been accepted to the PhD study program. The selection to this program is based on an assessment of your ability to perform well in and benefit from the program. This is also one of the basic criteria for employment.
The assessment considers the following aspects in particular:
1. Documented knowledge and skills relevant to the research project and study results in particularly relevant courses.
2. Ability to work independently and to formulate and solve scientific problems. Such abilities can be demonstrated, for example, in a Master Thesis or in a discussion of scientific problems during a possible interview.
3. Skills in written and oral communication.
4. Other experience relevant to postgraduate studies, such as professional experience.
A suitable educational background for this position is a M.Sc. (civ.ing) degree in Chemical Engineering or similar. The position will require good skills and interest for biochemical reaction engineering and fermentation technology. Previously documented experience from experimental work with bioreactors and mathematical modelling of biological systems is a merit. The applicant is expected to have good English communication skills in speaking and writing.
The role in this project involves working in a multidisciplinary team and the applicant should have good ability to work independently as well as in groups. Furthermore, we are looking for a person who is curious, achievement-oriented, structured and persistent, and has problem-solving analytical skills and a good self-awareness.
Document to submit together with your application: A motivation letter (1/2 – 1 page) in which you explain why you want to start a PhD education in Chemical Engineering, and how this particular research project matches your own interests and your scientific background.