Netherlands: PhD in Salinity Gradient Energy: Hydrodynamics, fouling and scale up at Wetsus

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Job description

Reversed Electro Dialysis (RED or Salinity Gradient Energy) is a new, sustainable and very attractive technology for the production of energy from the mixing of fresh and salt water. In RED, a concentrated salt solution and a less concentrated salt solution are brought into contact through an alternating series of anion exchange membranes (AEM) and cation exchange membranes (CEM) to generate electricity. During the last years major steps have been made regarding the development of this technology.
To improve the process and to come to further development towards large-scale application, this project includes three directions: 1) the reduction and control of fouling, 2) improvement of hydrodynamics in the different compartments of the RED stack and 3) further scale up of the system by integrating all insights from current research. Of course improvements regarding fouling and hydrodynamics will directly be implemented at the system level as well.


Are you one of the top 3 performers in your class? Are you enthusiastic about multidisciplinary research? And are you highly motivated?
We prefer candidates with a good team spirit, who like to work in an internationally oriented environment. Fluency in English is a requirement. An interview and a scientific presentation will be part of the selection procedure.We are looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic researchers with an MSc degree in chemical engineering or a related topic, with adequate experimental and theoretical skills.

Conditions of employment

You will be working in a new, innovative, dynamic and future-directed research institute. You will be able to put your stamp on the development of new water technology. You will work in close collaboration with our industrial partners and also with top research groups at various universities.
Salary and working conditions are according to the collective labor agreement of the Cooperative Association of Dutch Universities (VSNU) for PhD students. PhD students are appointed by one of the cooperating universities (TU Twente), but research is mainly conducted at Wetsus in Leeuwarden.
The start salary will be EUR 2062,– gross per month in the first year and will gradually increase in the following 3 years.

Contract type: Temporary, 3 years.



Wetsus, centre of excellence for sustainable water technology is a facilitating intermediary for trend-setting know-how development. Wetsus creates a unique environment and strategic cooperation for development of profitable and sustainable state of the art water treatment technology. The inspiring and multidisciplinary collaboration between companies and research institutes in Wetsus results in innovations that contribute significantly to the solution of the global water problems. Innovation, partnership, joy, cooperation and reliability are the values around which all Wetsus’ activities are organized and performed.

Wetsus acts as Technological Top Institute for Water technology and is located in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Wetsus’ scientific research program is defined by the private and public water sector and conducted by leading universities.

Additional information

Promotor: Kitty Nijmeijer, TU Twente
Wetsus scientific projectmanager: Michel Saakes.
For more information you can contact M. Saakes;

Interested candidates are invited to send, by email, a motivation letter, curriculum vitae (including references) and a list of BSc and MSc courses and grades to Prof. Dr. Ir. Kitty Nijmeijer throught the application link below, (phone: +31 53 489 4185).

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