Jobs

Research Assistant/Associate in Microbial Energetics

Description: 

We are looking for an excellent Research Assistant/Associate to conduct calorimetry experiments on the energetics of different microbial metabolic pathways, including those in microbial fuel cells and microbial electrolysis cells. You will design and execute studies using calorimetry at a macro and micro scale in order to generate fundamental understanding of different microbiological metabolisms.

You will have or be working towards a PhD in Chemical or Environmental Engineering or a related field, and experience of running biological reactors. You will have excellent experimental, laboratory, analytical and writing skills.

You must be able to work in a systematic and rigorous manner. Experience with calorimetry is desirable and an enthusiasm for thermodynamics essential. You will draft well-reasoned and thorough manuscripts and present your work to others.  

This post is part of a new EPSRC funded research Grant. You will work under the supervision of Dr Liz Heidrich and form part of the diverse and supportive Environmental Engineering Group.

Contact details: 
Newcastle University Newcastle upon Tyne
Contact email address: 
elizabeth.heidrich@newcastle.ac.uk
Expiration date: 
Saturday, November 9, 2019

PostDoc position: Electron transfer and electrometabolism in switchable biofilms

Description: 

The Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig, Germany, is looking for an excellent Postdoctoral candidate 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 January, 2020. The employment will be arranged by the administration of the TU Braunschweig (salary TVL E13, including health insurance, 2 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.
The TU Braunschweig aims to increase the share of women in academic positions. Applications from female candidates are very welcome. Where candidates have equal qualifications, preference will be given to female applicants. Candidates with handicaps will be preferred if equally qualified. Please enclose a proof.

Contact details: 
Prof. Dr. Uwe Schröder, Institute of Environmental and Sustainable Chemistry, TU Braunschweig
Contact email address: 
uwe.schroeder@tu-braunschweig.de
Expiration date: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019

PhD or PostDoc positions in the field of Up-scaled Microbial Electrolysis Cells

Description: 

Starting from Autumn 2019, the Department of Environmental Process Engineering at the University of Bremen (Germany) seeks candidates for PhD or PostDoc positions (42 months) in the field of up-scaled Microbial Electrolysis Cells for the generation of hydrogen from industrial wastewater.

Candidates should hold a PhD/Master’s degree (or equivalent) in Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biotechnology (or related fields)

Your tasks:
In close collaboration with project partners from chemistry, microbiology, and industry you will be responsible for the design, construction, and characterization of an up-scaled microbial electrolysis cell system for the production of H2 and CO2 from high-strength industrial waste water. Initially, the project tasks include the development of electrode materials, the construction of up-scaled test cells, and the evaluation of operating strategies. Later on, a 1 m²-prototype will be constructed with special regard to minimized cost and environmental impact of the construction materials. In this context, numerical simulation tools will be used to optimize the design with respect to minimized electrical losses as well as optimized hydrodynamics and mass transfer. Finally, the complete system will be coupled to a dimethyl ether synthesis reactor of a project partner and extensively characterized with real industrial effluent.

Your profile:
We are looking for highly motivated individuals with excellent scientific record. Successful candidates must be good experimentators and possess strong com-munication skills. Ideally, the candidates are adept to scientific publication and have previous experience in the fields of bio-electrochemistry, construction, and simulation.

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 is affiliated to the Department of Environmental Process Engineering. Our interdisciplinary research is focused on fundamentals, materials, and processes for sustainable environmental engineering and biotechnology.

Contact details: 
For further inquiries and applications please contact: Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Sven Kerzenmacher www.uvt.uni-bremen.de
Contact email address: 
kerzenmacher@uni-bremen.de
Expiration date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

PhD Studentship: Coherent electron transport in energy generation processes by electrogenic microorganisms

Description: 

Supervisors: Dr C. Avignone Rossa, Dr R. Sporea, Dr A. Grüning
Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre for Quantum Biology
University of Surrey

For the last 15 years, we have investigated bioelectrochemical systems, where electrogenic microorganisms transfer electrons to an external solid acceptor such as an electrode. If the electrode is connected via an external circuit to a cathode, an electric current is produced (of the order of mW/m2 of anode). There is an ongoing discussion about the true nature of the mechanisms involved, either electron hopping or electron tunnelling. We propose using semiconductors as opposed to metals in these systems, as the potential gradient which can be produced on the surface will allow selective growth of microorganisms with different redox potentials, and the consequent improved transfer of electrons from the microorganism to the electrical system.

Several mechanisms have been proposed for external electron transfer by bacteria to electrode. One of them involves the modification of the cell membrane to form a pilus, which acts as a nanowire that attaches to the solid electrode. It has been shown that electrons are transported along the length of those bacterial nanowires (El-Naggar et al PNAS (2010) 107(42), 18127–18131). Other work has shown electron tunnelling between FeS clusters (a quantum effect) in enzymes (cytochromes) of the same species (Wigginton et al Geochim Cosmochim Acta (2007) 71, 543–555). There are experimental methods to measure electron transfer (Xian-Wei Liu et al Sci Reports 4, 3732 DOI: 10.1038/srep03732) and models have been developed which attempt to explain the phenomena involved (Polizzi et al Faraday Discuss 155, 43–62).

In this project, you will pursue the following lines of research connecting electrogenic bacteria and quantum effects:

Explore in detail the electron transport mechanisms between membrane cytochromes and electrodes. Is this a classical conductive transport, is it ion transport, or does it involve quantum tunnelling along a series of Fe-S clusters? For example, the quantum extension of the classical Drude theory of metal conductivity shows that regularly spaced potential wells (positive metal atom core) can achieve nearly 100% electron permeability through superposition of quantum wave packets. What permeability rates can the (regular) potential wells associated with geometrical arrangement of FeS clusters in pili achieve?

So far, bio-electricity has been produced using metallic (or carbon) electrodes as the interface between the microbial electro-generation and the electric load. You will examine here how using a semiconductor as the electrode influences the microbial metabolism and therefore electron transfer.

Semiconductors are characterised by the energy-band gaps for electrons, implying that electrons in them can exist only on discrete potential / energy levels (as opposed to metals or carbon). Therefore, the electron donation process from microorganism is constrained by these potential bands. Consequently, microorganisms cannot change the energy-level at which they are donating electrons continuously, but only in discrete steps. How does this influence the metabolism of a microbial species (or the composition of a microbial community) with respect to its electrogenicity?

Quantum effects allow to have a marked potential gradient along the surface of an electrode, and therefore electrogenic microbes with a preferred donation voltage would group better in the region where this potential exists along the gradient on the electrode surface. This potential gradient will allow for a completely new and efficient way to analyse the electrogenic behaviour in a multi-species community by differentiating the electric habitat along the gradient, while all the species still share a common biochemical habitat. This would allow for new communities to evolve that perhaps can metabolise incoming organic waste more efficiently: each species could donate electrons to the electrode at their preferred potential while still allowing exchange of partial oxidised organic compounds between them.

Start date: October 2019 (with possibility of late start in January 2020)
Duration: 36 months
Application deadline: Ongoing
Funding information: All University fees are covered for the duration of the project with a stipend of approximately £15,000 per year for eligible UK/EU students.

More information and application links: https://tinyurl.com/y2jp62gj

Contact details: 
Leverhulme Doctoral Training Centre for Quantum Biology University of Surrey
Contact email address: 
C.Avignone-Rossa@surrey.ac.uk
Expiration date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

PhD Project on the Development of a Bioelectrochemical System for the Enrichment of Syntrophic Microbes

Description: 

The research group of Environmental Biotechnology at the Center for Applied Geosciences at the University of Tübingen is looking for an excellent PhD candidate to support our international, interdisciplinary, and dynamic team of environmental/biological engineers, electrochemists, microbiologists, biotechnologists, and molecular biologists.

The research in the Environmental Biotechnology Group is focused around the utilization of open, mixed, and pure microbial cultures in engineered systems. Our research topics are the recovery of useful products from waste, the storage of renewable electric power as methane, and the study of extracellular electron transfer and the interactions between microbes and electrodes. We apply methods from bioreactor design and operation (lab- and pilot-scale), genetic engineering, electrochemistry, and systems biology to next generation sequencing, proteomics, and sequence analysis.

We are offering a PhD position for a motivated and driven student with an interest in Microbiology and Bioelectrochemistry. This position provides an opportunity for the candidate to be creative and innovative, and to work on a challenging and multidisciplinary topic in an international environment. In this position, the student will optimize an innovative bioelectrochemical system and use it to enrich and isolate syntrophic microbes from the human gut microbiome to further study their metabolism. The student will have the opportunity to present his/her results in international peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

The ideal candidate should have a solid background in Engineering, (Electro)Chemistry, and/or Microbiology, besides skills in analytical methods. Requirements include the ability to work independently and in teams, excellent interpersonal and communication skills, and a high motivation. Very good knowledge of English and fluency in using computer tools are necessary.

The starting date is in October 2019, but can be negotiated. The employment will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tübingen (salary TVL E13, 75%, including health insurance, 3 years contract). Disabled persons will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Applications (in English) including CV, motivation letter, overview of techniques and methods used in the past, transcripts and diplomas, and contact address of three referees should be sent by email to: a=sofia.esquivel-elizondo and b=tuebingen.mpg.de with a@b.

Prof. Dr. Largus (Lars) T. Angenent, Environmental Biotechnology, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tübingen.

Contact details: 
Prof. Dr. Largus (Lars) T. Angenent, Environmental Biotechnology, Center for Applied Geosciences, University of Tübingen.
Contact email address: 
sofia.esquivel-elizondo
Expiration date: 
Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Postdoc: Structure and function of cable bacteria cytochromes

Description: 

A 2 two-year postdoctoral position is available at Center for Electromicrobiology, Aarhus University, Denmark, from 1st July 2019, or as soon as possible thereafter, (www.CEM.au.dk). The postdoc will work primarily with the structural and functional characterization of cytochrome proteins from cable bacteria. Documented experience with expression, purification and characterization of cytochrome proteins is a prerequisite.

Contact details: 
Thomas Boesen, Cryo-EM Facility Manager
Contact email address: 
thb@mbg.au.dk
Expiration date: 
Sunday, June 2, 2019

Postdoc in Electromicrobiology

Description: 

Published8 Mar

Deadline30 Apr

Expected start15 Jun

Biological and Chemical Engineering, HangøvejHangøvej 28200 Aarhus N

PostdocFixed term full-time position15 Jun 2019 - 14 Jun 2021

APPLY

The Department of Engineering, Aarhus University, invites applicants for a 2-year postdoc position on the Electromicrobiology of homoacetogenic bacteria.
 
The position is available from 15/06/2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.
 
Job description
You are expected to investigate the H2 utilization thermodynamics and kinetics of homoacetogenic bacteria and explore if differences in the H2 utilization thermodynamics and kinetics can explain the different capacities of homoacetogenic strains to withdraw electrons from electrodes and zero-valent iron. This work aims to increase the understanding of extracellular electron uptake mechanisms of homoacetogenic bacteria, which is of importance to optimize applications such as microbial electrosynthesis and to develop strategies against biocorrosion.
You will also be involved in educational activities as supervisor of master and bachelor student projects and will have the opportunity to teach in courses related to your expertise.
 
 Your profile
Applicants should hold a PhD in Microbiology, Bioengineering, Biotechnology, or another relevant discipline. Previous experience with electromicrobiology, bioelectrochemical systems, biocorrosion or the physiology of anaerobic bacteria is required. A theoretical background with microbial thermodynamics and kinetics will be important for this project. Additional requirements are English fluency, excellent reporting skills, being able to work independently and an enthusiastic mentality.
Applicants are encouraged to include a max. 1-page statement on their research ideas on the proposed project and to include the contact information of two references.

About the Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group
The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research group is a recently started group studying the microbial processes behind microbial electrosynthesis, biocorrosion and gas fermentation with as goal to improve the applications of these processes. The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group is part of the growing and highly dynamic section of Biological and Chemical Engineering.
 
About the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section
Biological and Chemical Engineering is a multidisciplinary research area. It includes disease and health, materials, environmental technologies, biorefining, energy technologies and food and ingredient technology. The research at the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section at Department of Engineering is based on both theoretical and experimental methods, and include the design, development, operation, monitoring, control, and optimization of chemical, physical and biological processes.
 
The place of work is at Hangøvej 2, 8200 Aarhus and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments. Aarhus University is located in the vibrant city of Aarhus.

Contact details: 
For further information please contact: Assistant Professor Jo Philips, (jo.philips@eng.au.dk)
Contact email address: 
jo.philips@eng.au.dk
Expiration date: 
Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The electromicrobiology of homoacetogenic bacteria

Description: 

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 August 2019 or later.

Research area and project description:
Homoacetogenic bacteria have the intriguing capacity to use electrodes as electron donor. This capacity can be applied for the development of highly interesting technologies, such as microbial electrosynthesis, in which bacteria are fed with electricity to convert CO2 into biofuels and biochemicals. So far, the mechanisms by which homoacetogenic bacteria take up electrons from electrodes are not yet understood, even though such an understanding is crucial for the development of new technologies.

The PhD candidate is expected to investigate the H2 utilization thermodynamics and kinetics of homoacetogenic bacteria and explore if differences in the H2 utilization thermodynamics and kinetics can explain the different capacities of homoacetogenic strains to withdraw electrons from solid electron donors, such as electrodes.

The PhD candidate will also be involved in educational activities as supervisor of Master’s and Bachelor’s student projects, as well as teaching assistant in courses related to his/her expertise. 

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 within electromicrobiology, bioelectrochemical systems, biocorrosion, anaerobic cultivation, etc. will be seen as a plus. A theoretical background with microbial thermodynamics and kinetics will be important for this project. Analytical and critical thinking are essential to pursue a PhD. Further requirements are English fluency, good reporting skills and being able to work independently.

Applicants are encouraged to include a max. 1-page statement on their research ideas for the proposed project.

Place of employment and Place of work:
The place of employment is Aarhus University and the place of work is with the Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group at the Department of Engineering, Hangøvej 2, 8200 Aarhus. 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, biocorrosion and gas fermentation with as goal to improve the applications of these processes. The Microbial Electrosynthesis Research Group is part of the growing and highly dynamic section of Biological and Chemical Engineering. 

About the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section
Biological and Chemical Engineering is a multidisciplinary research area. It includes disease and health, materials, environmental technologies, biorefining, energy technologies and food and ingredient technology. The research at the Biological and Chemical Engineering Section at Department of Engineering is based on both theoretical and experimental methods, and include the design, development, operation, monitoring, control, and optimization of chemical, physical and biological processes.

Contact details: 
The project will be supervised by Assistant Professor Jo Philips and Associate Professor Alberto Scoma from Department of Engineering. Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact: Assistant Professor Jo Philips (jo.philips@eng.au.dk) or Associate Professor Alberto Scoma (as@eng.au.dk).
Contact email address: 
jo.philips@eng.au.dk
Expiration date: 
Wednesday, May 1, 2019

PhD position in bioelectrochemical synthesis

Description: 

The Laboratory of Microbial Electrochemical Systems is seeking for a creative and motivated candidate to fill the PhD student position within the microbial bioelectrosynthesis project. The project will focus on employing emerging microbial fuel cell technology for the synthesis of valuable bioproducts.

Microbial fuel cell is a device which converts organic waste into electricity with the use of bacteria. In the project the student will optimise production of electricity and bioproducts and optimise the process using simple and complex compounds as a fuel.

What we offer:
The successful candidate will be offered with a 3-years contract and attractive salary on full time-basis (4000-5400 PLN gross salary – approximately 1250 EUR, depending on experience). He/she will work independently and with colleagues in Polish and international environment. The contract will start in April 2019. The project and PhD position are sponsored by Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange.

Requirements:

The candidate should possess master’s degree or gain it not later than 6 months after starting the contract.
• very good knowledge of English, spoken and written;
• skills in engineering;
• skills in basic analytical methods;
• fluency in using computer tools;
• Additional knowledge on microbiology and fluid mechanics and will be a value, similarly as the previous documented involvement in research projects.

Application deadline: 14/03/2019. Interviews: 18-22/03/2019. Contract: 1/04/2019.

Contact details: 
Dr inz. Grzegorz Pasternak Assistant Professor Laboratory of Microbial Electrochemical Systems
Contact email address: 
grzegorz.pasternak@pwr.edu.pl
Expiration date: 
Thursday, March 14, 2019

PostDoc position: Microbial electrodes for cathodic electrosynthesis

Description: 

Starting from April 2019, the Department of Environmental Process Engineering at the University of Bremen (Germany) seeks candidates for a 2-year PostDoc position in the field of microbial electrodes for cathodic electrosynthesis. Candidates should hold a PhD in

Chemical & Environmental Engineering, Biotechnology, Microbiology
(or related fields)

Your task
In close collaboration with project partners from chemistry, microbiology, and industry you will be performing research on novel microbial electrodes for cathodic electrosynthesis. Initially, You will study the influence of electrode characteristics (suface chemistry, nano- and microstructure, …) on microbe-electrode interaction and overall productivity. Later on, these electrodes will be characterized and optimized for application in lab-scale microbial electrolysis cells operating on real industrial effluents. While your research will be focussed on the microbial electrosynthesis of methane and poly-hydroxybutyrate, also further processes could be studied.

Your profile
We are looking for a highly motivated individual with excellent scientific record. Successful candidates must be good experimentators and possess strong com-munication skills. Ideally, the candidates are adept to scientific publication and have previous experience in microbiology and 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 is affiliated to the Department of Environmental Process Engineering. Our interdisciplinary research is focused on fundamentals, materials, and processes for sustainable environmental engineering and biotechnology.

Contact details: 
Prof. Dr.-Ing. habil. Sven Kerzenmacher kerzenmacher@uni-bremen.de www.uvt.uni-bremen.de
Contact email address: 
kerzenmacher@uni-bremen.de
Expiration date: 
Friday, May 31, 2019

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