PhD position in bioelectrochemical enrichment of metals

The University of Bremen is offering (under the condition of job release) at the earliest possible date:

Ph.D. position in bioelectrochemical enrichment of metals
Salary group 13 TV-L (75 %), 36 months

in an interdisciplinary project at the interface of microbiology, electrochemistry and material sciences. The motivation of this PhD project is the search for new technological approaches for the extraterrestrial fabrication of metal alloys under tough environmental constraints, in particular the limitation of utilizing mineral and energy resources available in situ on Mars or Moon. More specifically, the project aims at exploring bio-based possibilities to extract iron species from regolith and enrich them as purified iron compounds. These compounds are then used in steel-making processes based on non-conventional metallurgy. In this sub project, microbial electrochemical technologies such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) will be used for enhanced production and selective recovery of metal ion species. Microbial communities developing in MFCs will be characterized using state-of-the-art tools such as high-throughput sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

Within the new research initiative in close collaboration with the Hochschule Bremen (HSB), Ph.D. students are supervised by a team of experienced scientists ranging from electrochemistry, material sciences to microbiology and biomimetics. Additional training and support are offered by international graduate Programmes within the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes, the MarMic Graduate School and the Biomimetic-Innovation-Centre (HSB). These offers include expert as well as skills and methods courses, coaching, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to compete for internal funds. Ph.D. students have the opportunity to acquire expert knowledge in their field and a solid background across many disciplines involved in the interdisciplinary project.

Specific tasks will include:
1. Setting up and running novel microbial electrochemical enrichments
2. Characterization of metal ions and solid metal compounds by chemical and spectroscopic methods
3. Extraction and analysis of nucleic acids from bioreactor samples
4. Investigation and optimization of conversion efficiency and energy demands
5. Bioinformatic and statistical analysis of data
6. Opportunity for scientific qualification in the context of a PhD degree

Your profile:
• A completed MSc or diploma degree in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Electrochemistry, Material Sciences or a comparable program
• Interest in interdisciplinary research
• Interest in developing new methods for microbial fuel cell technology
• Skills in (bio)informatics would be advantageous
• Working in teams, visiting collaboration partners

The goal of the MAPEX is the system-oriented research and development of materials and processes for sustainable transport and energy applications. The centre merges the know-how of more than 1000 scientific and technical staff, 480 of which are doctoral candidates, active in the fields of natural and engineering sciences as well as mathematics and aiming at a thorough understanding of the process-properties-performance relationships in materials.
MarMic is the International Max-Planck-Research School (IMPRS) with a focus on marine microbiology at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology. Since its foundation in 2005 the Biomimetics-Innovation-Centre at the Hochschule Bremen has been coordinating research activities in the fields of fundamental interdisciplinary research and development.

The University of Bremen follows a diversity strategy. It strives to increase the number of women in the academy and strongly encourages applications from suitably qualified female candidates. International applications and applications of academics with a migration background are explicitly welcome. Disabled persons with the same professional and personal qualifications will be given preference. The employment is fixed-term and governed by the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract, §2 I (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG). Therefore, candidates may only be considered for appointment if they still have the respective qualification periods available in accordance with § 2 (1) WissZeitVG.

We look forward to receiving your e-mail application in English including CV, letter of motivation, and reference contacts!

Institution contact information

Information regarding the open PhD position can be obtained by contacting

Sven Kerzenmacher (Bioelectrochemistry; Kerzenmacher@uvt.uni-bremen.de)
Michael Friedrich (Microbiology; Michael.friedrich@uni-bremen.de)
Jan-Henning Dirks (Biomimetics; jan-henning.dirks@hs-bremen.de)

Contact email address

kerzenmacher@uni-bremen.de

Deadline

15-09-2020

External link

https://www.uni-bremen.de/en/uvt/jobs

2-years Post-doc position in industry

We are offering a 2-years Post-doc position in industry. The project is funded by our start-up company Algaria through research grants. It is in collaboration with the University of Milan (Italy) and other research institutions. The project focuses on electroactive biochar (material developed by us) and on some applications in the field of microbial electrochemical technologies applied to the recycling of nutrients from agri-food chains. In particular, we have a patent for an ‘electroactive artificial soil’, combined with the cultivation of Spirulina, to recover nutrients from agri-food waste. Another application is in hydroponic agriculture (with a partner company). In Algaria, we are developing the application to TRL7 of this patent for the cultivation of spirulina. The project deals also with a TRL8-pilot for the extraction of phycocyanin (food coloring) from Spirulina, at our production plant near Cremona (Italy). We are looking for a highly-skilled research profile, to be responsible for the research project with the University of Milan and at the same time become responsible for the production and R&D of Algaria. A brief overview of the projects and some publications can be found below.

Contact information

Andrea Schievano: schievanoa@gmail.com

Fundamentals of energy storage in electrochemically active biofilms

The Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig, Germany, is looking for an excellent Phd student to support our interdisciplinary research project “Fundamentals of canode biofilm electro-metabolism”.

Microbial electrogenesis – the electricity production from organic compounds such as those found in wastes or marine sediments – and microbial electrosynthesis – the reduction of CO2 into organic energy storage molecules, are two prime application goals for microbial electrochemical technologies. Recent findings by the team of Dr. Leonard Tender from the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC illustrate the possibility of combining electrotrophy and electrogenesis in one, switchable electrode-grown biofilm denoted as canode biofilm (cathode/anode). The canode opens new ways to combine bioelectrochemical energy storage and power generation in a single device.

But what are the mechanisms of the underlying metabolic processes, and how is the electrotrophic and electrogenic metabolism coupled with the extracellular electron transfer that connects cellular processes with the electrode? Single investigation methods, such as voltammetry or spectroscopy alone, will not allow achieve sufficient information depth. Only by combining these methods (so-called hyphenated techniques) to probe real-times changes in molecular signatures of the canode, as it switched for energy storage to power generation modes, can information down to molecular reaction mechanisms be gained. In this research project – which is carried out in collaboration with the group of Dr. Leonard Tender – we take a further step. We combine a set of state of the art hyphenated techniques in order to close this knowledge gap and acquire fundamental understanding on the thermodynamics, mechanisms and kinetics of the energy conversion and metabolism in canode biofilms.

The starting date is October 1, 2020. The employment will be arranged by the administration of the TU Braunschweig (salary TVL E13/50%, including health insurance, 3 years contract).

Applications: should be sent by e-mail to Uwe Schröder (uwe.schroeder@tu-braunschweig.de), and must contain the following documents.

Motivation Letter including contact information for two references
Curriculum Vitae including complete address, phone number, email address, educational background, language skills, and work experience
Copies of diploma and transcript of grades in original language and in English or German translation
Additional documents should be provided on request
All documents should be in PDF format, preferably in a single file. Personal data and documents relating to the application process will be stored electronically. Please note that application costs cannot be refunded.

Institution contact information

Prof. Uwe Schröder, Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig

Contact email address

uwe.schroeder@tu-braunschweig.de

Deadline

30-08-2020

External link

https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/en/oekochemie/stellenangebote/phd

PhD position in bioelectrochemical enrichment of metals

The University of Bremen is offering (under the condition of job release) at the earliest possible date:

Ph.D. position in bioelectrochemical enrichment of metals
Salary group 13 TV-L (75 %), 36 months

in an interdisciplinary project at the interface of microbiology, electrochemistry and material sciences. The motivation of this PhD project is the search for new technological approaches for the extraterrestrial fabrication of metal alloys under tough environmental constraints, in particular the limitation of utilizing mineral and energy resources available in situ on Mars or Moon. More specifically, the project aims at exploring bio-based possibilities to extract iron species from regolith and enrich them as purified iron compounds. These compounds are then used in steel-making processes based on non-conventional metallurgy. In this sub project, microbial electrochemical technologies such as microbial fuel cells (MFCs) and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs) will be used for enhanced production and selective recovery of metal ion species. Microbial communities developing in MFCs will be characterized using state-of-the-art tools such as high-throughput sequencing, metagenomics and metatranscriptomics.

Within the new research initiative in close collaboration with the Hochschule Bremen (HSB), Ph.D. students are supervised by a team of experienced scientists ranging from electrochemistry, material sciences to microbiology and biomimetics. Additional training and support are offered by international graduate Programmes within the MAPEX Center for Materials and Processes, the MarMic Graduate School and the Biomimetic-Innovation-Centre (HSB). These offers include expert as well as skills and methods courses, coaching, networking opportunities, and the opportunity to compete for internal funds. Ph.D. students have the opportunity to acquire expert knowledge in their field and a solid background across many disciplines involved in the interdisciplinary project.

Specific tasks will include:
1. Setting up and running novel microbial electrochemical enrichments
2. Characterization of metal ions and solid metal compounds by chemical and spectroscopic methods
3. Extraction and analysis of nucleic acids from bioreactor samples
4. Investigation and optimization of conversion efficiency and energy demands
5. Bioinformatic and statistical analysis of data
6. Opportunity for scientific qualification in the context of a PhD degree

Your profile:
• A completed MSc or diploma degree in Microbiology, Biochemistry, Electrochemistry, Material Sciences or a comparable program
• Interest in interdisciplinary research
• Interest in developing new methods for microbial fuel cell technology
• Skills in (bio)informatics would be advantageous
• Working in teams, visiting collaboration partners

The goal of the MAPEX is the system-oriented research and development of materials and processes for sustainable transport and energy applications. The centre merges the know-how of more than 1000 scientific and technical staff, 480 of which are doctoral candidates, active in the fields of natural and engineering sciences as well as mathematics and aiming at a thorough understanding of the process-properties-performance relationships in materials.
MarMic is the International Max-Planck-Research School (IMPRS) with a focus on marine microbiology at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology. Since its foundation in 2005 the Biomimetics-Innovation-Centre at the Hochschule Bremen has been coordinating research activities in the fields of fundamental interdisciplinary research and development.

The University of Bremen follows a diversity strategy. It strives to increase the number of women in the academy and strongly encourages applications from suitably qualified female candidates. International applications and applications of academics with a migration background are explicitly welcome. Disabled persons with the same professional and personal qualifications will be given preference. The employment is fixed-term and governed by the Act of Academic Fixed-Term Contract, §2 I (Wissenschaftszeitvertragsgesetz – WissZeitVG). Therefore, candidates may only be considered for appointment if they still have the respective qualification periods available in accordance with § 2 (1) WissZeitVG.

Institution contact information

Information regarding the open PhD position can be obtained by contacting Sven Kerzenmacher (Bioelectrochemistry; Kerzenmacher@uvt.uni-bremen.de), Michael Friedrich (Microbiology; Michael.friedrich@uni-bremen.de) and Jan-Henning Dirks (Biomimetics;
jan-henning.dirks@hs-bremen.de)

We look forward to receiving your e-mail application in English including CV, letter of motivation, and reference contacts!

Deadline

14/08/2020

External link

https://www.uni-bremen.de/en/uvt/jobs

PhD position “Design of a Bioelectrochemical Biogas Plant”

The Research Group Environmental Process Engineering at the University of Bremen (Germany) seeks candidates for a PhD position (36 months) in the field of designing a bioelectrochemical biogas plant. Candidates should hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in
Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biotechnology (or related fields)

*Your tasks*
The underlying idea of this project is the integration of a microbial electrolysis cell into the biogas plant. At the MECs anode, organic acids are oxidized to carbon dioxide, releasing electrons. These electrons can in turn be used at the cathode to reduce protons to molecular hydrogen. By the electrochemical oxidation of organic acids at the anode, the acidification of the fermenter can be prevented while at the same time pure hydrogen is obtained, which can be further used e.g. to produce valuable chemicals. Your tasks include the characterization and development suitable electrode and membrane materials to construct the microbial electrolysis cell. Based on these materials, an MEC design suitable for integration into the biogas plant shall be developed, and implemented into a model biogas plant. Finally, the complete system will be extensively characterized and limited processes identified. Special regard shall be given to the prevention of hydrogenotrophic microbial growth at the cathode, which would reduce the hydrogen yield.

*Your profile*
We are looking for highly motivated individuals with excellent scientific record. Successful candidates must be good experimentators and possess strong communication skills. Ideally, the candidates have previous experience in the fields of (bio-)electrochemistry.

*What we offer*
The University of Bremen and its Center for Environmental Research and Sustainable Technology offer an excellent scientific environment for interdisciplinary research. The full-time position (salary level 100% E 13) is affiliated to the Research Group Environmental Process Engineering. Our interdisciplinary research is focused on fundamentals, materials, and processes for sustainable environmental engineering and biotechnology.

Institution contact information

Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Sven Kerzenmacher
University of Bremen
Research Group Environmental Process Engineering

http://www.uvt.uni-bremen.de

kerzenmacher@uni-bremen.de

Deadline

01/08/2020

External link

https://www.uni-bremen.de/uvt/stellenangebote/phd-position-design-of-a-bioelectrochemical-biogas-plant

PhD position for Microbial Electrosynthesis

The Cluster of Excellence SE²A ‐ Sustainable and Energy Efficient Aviation is a DFG‐funded interdisciplinary research center investigating technologies for a sustainable and eco‐friendly air transport system. Scientists from engineering, economics, chemistry and biology are working on the reduction of drag, emissions and noise, life‐cycle concepts for airframes, improvements in air traffic management and new technologies for energy storage and conversion.

The objective of the project “Fundamentals of ElectroFuel Synthesis for Aviation” is to lay the scientific foundation for the production of liquid aviation fuels via electrosynthesis and bioelectrosynthesis. It is an interdisciplinary project carried out at the TU Braunschweig in close collaboration between the Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry (Electrosynthesis & microbial electrosynthesis ‐ Prof. Uwe Schröder), the Institute of Biochemical Engineering (Bioelectrosynthesis ‐ Prof. Antje Spiess) and the Institute of Thermodynamics (Molecular Dynamics Simulation ‐ PD Dr. Raabe).
The offered position will be dedicated to the investigation and development of microbial electrosynthesis routes for a selective and efficient aviation fuel synthesis.

This 3-years PhD researcher position will be dedicated to the fundamental investigation and development of microbial electrosynthesis routes for tailored aviation fuels (e.g., hydrocarbons and alcohols) based on biogenic compounds and on CO2. Emphasis will be put on understanding and tailoring microbial electrosynthesis for high reaction rate, selectivity, yield and energy efficiency. Thereby, an in‐depth investigation of bioelectrochemical hydrogenation and hydrodeoxygenation reactions and CO2 reduction processes will be performed. State‐of‐the art analytical and bioanalytical techniques, including Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy, Differential electrochemical mass spectrometry and HPLC‐MS will be used for the study of reaction mechanisms.

Institution contact information

Prof. Uwe Schröder, Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig, Germany

Contact email address

uwe.schroeder@tu-braunschweig.de

Deadline

31-05-2020

External link

https://www.tu-braunschweig.de/en/oekochemie/stellenangebote/phd

PhD position on genomic and ecophysiological diversity of cable bacteria

The DNRF Center for Electromicrobiology at the Department of Biology, Aarhus University is looking for a motivated and talented PhD student to work with cable bacteria. Cable bacteria are filamentous sulfide-oxidizing bacteria that conduct electrons across centimetre-scale distances in aquatic sediment. Most of the factors driving cable bacteria genetic divergence and evolution are currently unknown. The student will address the ecophysiology, taxonomic diversity, and evolution of cable bacteria using molecular approaches (metagenomics, amplicon sequencing, qPCR) as well as microcosm-scale experiments to profile the physiological characteristics of different cable bacteria strains or to perform competition experiments.

Institution contact information

Department of Biology, Ny Munkegade 114-116, Aarhus C, Denmark.

Contact email address

ianpgm@bios.au.dk

External link

https://phd.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here/may-2020/genomic-and-ecophysiological-diversity-of-cable-bacteria/

PhD position in the field of enzymatic electrosynthesis

We are looking for a talented student with a strong background in biochemistry to fill a four-year PhD post within the Academy of Finland Fellowship project “Novel biocatalysts for a sustainable bioeconomy – enzyme structures enabling carbon dioxide valorisation at electrodes”.

Project description
This project is inspired by the recent discovery of an archaeal enzyme complex, which catalyses the reduction of CO2 at submerged electrodes. Within this project, it will be attempted to determine the structure of this archaeal enzyme complex and a functionally related bacterial enzyme complex and use this information for the development of novel electrosynthetic enzymes. Thereby, this project explores the possibility to decrease anthropogenic CO2 emissions by replacing oil-based processes for chemicals production with more sustainable bioprocesses.

Job description
The PhD student will be primarily based at VTT’s Industrial Biotechnology and Food Solutions unit, which is located on the Otaniemi campus in Espoo. Additional national sites of research are the Biochemistry Department at Aalto University (Espoo) and the Biocenter Oulu and Faculty of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine at the University of Oulu, where a part of the protein purification and structural data analysis and modelling will be performed. The student is expected to participate in international collaboration by conducting part of the research at our partner institutions Stanford University and University of Tokyo during periods of about six and two months, respectively.

Most experiments will be performed in anaerobic chambers and utilize Escherichia coli and Methanococcus maripaludis as protein production hosts. The main project objectives include genetic manipulation of these species as well as method development for the crystallization of the electrosynthetic enzyme complexes and their functional characterisation as catalysts in electrosynthetic systems.

VTT Offers
The project is supported by VTT’s excellent research facilities, a friendly work environment and an interdisciplinary network of highly skilled experts and research support staff. The hosting organisation is VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), which is an impartial non-profit Research and Technology Organisation that uses its close ties to academia and industry to promote the application of science. The doctoral position is funded for four years and will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been found.

Requirements
A successful applicant is expected to have an MSc degree or equivalent in a relevant field of science such as protein biochemistry, crystallography and protein design with the desire for lab-work. The candidate shall have demonstrable competence of common microbiology and molecular biology laboratory skills, such as culturing of microorganisms, gene cloning and enzyme assays. Competence in analysis of protein structural data is also desired.

Institution contact information

For additional information related to this post, please contact the project manager Dr. Michael Lienemann (michael.lienemann@vtt.fi)

Deadline

31-03-2020

External link

https://ats.talentadore.com/apply/PhD-position-in-the-field-of-enzymatic-electrosynthesis/mBEwdD

Postdoc scholars with training in electrochemistry and membrane science and engineering

My group at Penn State (http://www.theohlab.com/) is looking for postdoc scholars with training in electrochemistry and membrane science and engineering. My lab focuses on polymer membranes for energy-efficient separations (biomedical, water and energy applications), and the prospective postdocs could broaden their application area in membrane fields. Please feel free to forward this message on to anyone who may be interested in.
Details:
1. Postdoc position – postdoc scholar with training in electrochemistry and membrane science/engineering
To submit an application, the prospective scholar should contact Prof. Hee Jeung Oh (hjoh@psu.edu) and include the following information:
1. CV including list of publications
2. Contact information for three references

Exploring natural and artificial biofilms of acetogenic bacteria to improve microbial electrosynthesis rates

Description

Research area and project description:

Microbial electrosynthesis is a novel biotechnological process for the conversion of excess renewable electricity and CO2 into biofuels or other organic compounds. This process relies on acetogenic bacteria capable of reducing CO2 to organic compounds using electrons delivered by an electrode (cathode). One major problem limiting the rate of microbial electrosynthesis is the low number of bacterial cells that attach to a cathode. This Phd will investigate whether the production rate of microbial electrosynthesis can be improved by increasing the number of cells on the cathode.

The project will explore two different strategies to increase cell numbers on cathodes. First, natural biofilm formation will be stimulated by condition selection and adaptation. Second, artificial biofilms will be created by immobilizing cells in different polymeric matrices. These natural and artificial biofilms will allow to increase and control the cell numbers on cathodes and assess the effect of attached cell numbers on microbial electrosynthesis rates. Several state-of-the-art techniques, including confocal microscopy and microsensor measurements, will be applied to characterize the two type of biofilms.

Qualifications and specific competences:

We are looking for talented and enthusiastic applicants with a Master’s degree in Microbiology, Bioengineering, Biotechnology, or another discipline with a relevant specialisation. Practical experience with the cultivation of anaerobes, biofilms, cell immobilization, bioelectrochemical systems, etc. will be considered as a plus. Analytical and critical thinking are essential to pursuit a PhD. Further requirements are English fluency and being a team player.

Place of employment and place of work:

This project is a collaboration between the Microbial Electrosynthesis research group, headed by Assistant Professor Jo Philips (Engineering Department) and the Sensor research group of Assistant Professor Klaus Koren (Bioscience Department).

The place of work will be in at Section of Biological and Chemical Engineering, Department of Engineering, Hangøvej 2, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark. Aarhus University is located in the vibrant city of Aarhus.

About the Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group
The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research group is a recently started group studying the microbial processes behind microbial electrosynthesis, with as main goal to improve the application of this process. The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group is part of the growing and highly dynamic section of Biological and Chemical Engineering.

About the Sensor Research Group

The Sensor group is located at the Institute for Bioscience and focuses on the development and application of both optical as well as electrochemical sensors. We are one of the world leading groups when it comes to development and application of microsensors. We produce in house several types of electrochemical microsensors, but also optical sensors. The laboratory is well equipped and hosts an interdisciplinary team of scientists.

Institution contact information

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact: Assistant professor Jo Philips (jo.philips@eng.au.dk) Assistant professor Klaus Koren (klaus.koren@bios.au.dk) Associate professor Alberto Scoma (as@eng.au.dk)

Contact email address

jo.philips@eng.au.dk

Dealine

01-02-2020

External link

https://phd.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here/february-2020/exploring-natural-and-artificial-biofilms-of-acetogenic-bacteria-to-improve-microbial-electrosynthesis-rates/