Belgium: PhD in Biosystems Engineering at Ghent University

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The project:
This PhD research is part of the IWT LA trajectory “Housing techniques and management tools for the reduction of odour and dust emissions in the Flemish pig husbandry”. This project wants to deliver solutions through the development, dissemination and implementation of suitable housing techniques and management tools for the reduction of odour and dust emissions from both existing and new stables. The project will develop three research lines to achieve these goals: (1) on ventilation techniques, (2) on techniques for air treatment and (3) on techniques for air guidance outside the stable. This PhD work is limited to the first research line. The aspects under (2) and (3) will be carried out by other researchers in close collaboration. Also a full time technician is employed on the project. The deliverables of the project support our vision for ‘the stable for the future’ needing innovative, validated, affordable, easy to implement and easy to use technique combinations for emission reduction of odour, dust and ammonia.

The specific aims for this PhD research are:

  • The development of both a mathematical model (for example with Computational Fluid Dynamics) of the indoor climate and a test installation for the study of pollutant behavior and transport in order to assess the effectively of emission reducing techniques based on different ventilation techniques and regimes.
  • To conduct a sensitivity analysis of the model and the test installation through experiments with a selection of different cleaning, spraying and manure management techniques.
  • The optimization of the ventilation system of existing stables and the quantification of the effect on indoor air quality and emissions (odour and ammonia).
  • The development and testing of innovative ventilation guidelines in view of optimal animal production and emission behavior (ammonia, odour and dust).
  • Establishing emission factors for phased feeding.
  • The development of a test platform for emission reduction in the stable.

Your job position:

You conduct research activities within an IWT LA trajectory. Most activities, and especially those regarding technique optimization and stable experiments, will take place at ILVO in Merelbeke. There you get the chance to work in the brand new pig complex of ILVO (2014). Modelling and statistical data processing can also be done at Ghent University. At the end of your research period, you should obtain a PhD degree.

Your profile:

  • You have a master degree, preferably in engineering.
  • You have knowledge of ventilation techniques for pig husbandry.
  • You have knowledge of heat and mass transport phenomena.
  • You have knowledge of the environmental and analytical techniques involved in this project.
  • You have knowledge of mathematical modelling techniques and statistical data analysis.
  • You are keen to perform experimental work at pig farms.
  • You are available from January 1st 2014 at the latest.

Our offer:
A challenging and intriguing research job in a dynamic environment with young colleagues. A research topic with social relevance. Possibility to obtain a PhD degree.

How to apply?
Send your CV and motivation letter as soon as possible or certainly before November 1st to: or

Need more information?
For more information you can always contact:
Prof. Dr. ir. Jan Pieters of the Department of Biosystems Engineering UGent, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent, Tel. 09/264.61.88,
Dr. ir. Peter Demeyer of the research domain Agricultural Engineering of ILVO, Burg. Van Gansberghelaan 115 bus 1, 9820 Merelbeke, Tel: 09/272.27.64,

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