HyBioSol PhD Studentship, School of Chemistry, NUI Galway

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a PhD studentship within the School of Chemistry/ChemLight group at the National University of Ireland, Galway. We are looking for a talented and highly motivated student with an interest in biotechnology, electrochemistry and photoelectocatalysis to develop a novel hybrid platform for solar energy-driven CO2 reduction to green chemicals. The position is available from 1st September 2021.

The Project:

The aim of the project is to develop and optimize a novel bio-photoelectrochemical technology, consisting of a gas diffusion biocathode and a photoanode divided by an ion exchange membrane, to convert CO2 to green fuels and chemicals using solar light as power source. The candidate will take over three-chamber hybrid cells already in operation in the lab, and will carry out, with the support of the team, a multidisciplinary approach to solve key bottlenecks including:

  • Improve CO2 capture and biological conversion to biofuels by using tailored gas diffusion cathodes, which will be modified in order to increase their specific surface;
  • Evaluate the use of highly conductive electrolytes to reduce energy losses of the cell, and assess their influence on bioelectrochemical CO2 conversion in terms of production rates, coulombic efficiency and microbial community composition and dynamics;
  • Participate in the development of a photoanode capable of delivering enough current density to drive the cathodic bioreaction with minimum external bias;
  • Operate the hybrid bioreactor equipped with the modified GDE cathode and the photoanode developed during the project.

Job Description:

The successful candidate will work under the supervision of Dr Pau Farràs (ORCID 0000-0003-3859- 2868) and Dr Paolo Dessì (ORCID 0000-0002-9935-3038) to develop a PhD project on the topic “Hybrid bio-solar cells for CO2 conversion to green chemicals”.


  • Modify gas diffusion electrodes with carbon-based materials aiming to increase the surface area available for the attachment of microorganisms; characterize and test the developed electrodes in bioelectrochemical cells;
  • Investigate highly conductive electrolytes containing high concentration of Na, K, P and Mg salts to reduce the ohmic resistance of the cell while maintaining the activity of the microorganisms;
  • Participate with the research team on the development of photoanodes for water splitting and/or oxidation of organic pollutants;
  • Develop and operate hybrid cells equipped with the gas diffusion cathode and photoanode and evaluate its performance and energy savings in comparison to bioelectrochemical cells equipped with traditional anode materials;
  • Keep appropriate records as directed and in line with University policy;
  • Contribute to the research project’s dissemination in whatever form – report, papers, chapters, book;
  • Participate and contribute to weekly meeting with the research group, as well as individual meetings with the supervisory team.

Qualifications/Skills required:

The candidate must have a MSc degree or equivalent in Engineering, Biotechnology or related disciplines. He/she must be highly motivated to perform multidisciplinary research and demonstrate excellent written/oral English and team work skills. Previous experience with bioelectrochemical systems is highly appreciated.

Essential Requirements:

  • MSc degree in Engineering, Biotechnology or related disciplines;
  • Evidence of experience in bioreactor operation;
  • Excellent English speaking and writing abilities;
  • Evidence of team working skills;
  • Eligible for enrolment in the Structured PhD in Chemistry programme at NUI Galway.

Desirable Requirements:

  • Experience in bioelectrochemical systems and/or photocatalysis;
  • Experience in bioprocess design;
  • Ability to work in a focused and supportive team and the willingness to maintain the friendly and supportive atmosphere of the group.

Employment permit restrictions apply for this category of post Salary range: PhD stipend €18,500 per annum + Academic Fees Start date: Position is available from September 2021.

Continuing Professional Development/Training:

Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans.

Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway

Further information about ChemLight group is available at

Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Doctor Pau FARRÀS e-mail

To Apply:

Applications to include a motivation letter, CV, BSc and/or MSc diploma and contact details for two referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Dr Pau Farràs ( and Dr Paolo Dessì ( Please put reference number HyBiosol-PhD- scholarship in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm on Monday 31st May 2021.

Interviews are planned to be held on week starting on 7th June 2021.

All positions are recruited in line with Open, Transparent, Merit (OTM) and Competency based recruitment

National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

5th EU-ISMET Conference now online

The Organizing Committee of the 5th EU-ISMET Conference is pleased to announce that we will meet this year as planned for 5th European Meeting of the International Society for Microbial Electrochemistry and Technology (ISMET) in a virtual format to guarantee the safety of the participants. The Conference will take place between September 13 and September 15.

We will work together to present an exciting scientific program and provide plenty of opportunities for knowledge sharing and networking. As planned, EU-ISMET2021 will include plenary sessions, oral presentations, poster sessions and the pre-conference workshop.

Registration fees will be reduced and the deadline for early registration and abstract submission have been extended. All the information and additional details are available on our website and our twitter account: @Euismet2020G  


The abstracts received so far are valid for the new format. However, they can be updated or withdrawn before the new deadline for submission. Just let us know.

What can you expect at EU-ISMET2021?

  • Plenary presentations including a live Q&A with the keynote speakers
  • Consecutive concurrent sessions featuring live Q&A sessions with speakers
  • Presentations and posters available on demand before, during, and after the conference
  • Planned and spontaneous networking and social sessions
  • Exhibits to learn more about products, software, and services

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the Technical Secretariat . We will be glad to help you.

See you soon, although this time, virtually.

The Organizing Committee

WISMET seminars

WISMET will serve as a networking and mentoring collective to support female researchers in microbial electrochemistry and electromicrobiology. For more information on the WISMET seminars, or to become part of the list, head over to the WISMET seminar community page!

The first talk will be on the 14th May 2021 at 2 pm (CEST), where Ezgi Ogun will bring a seminar titled “Utilization of bioelectrochemical mechanisms in environmental engineering applications: treatment and remediation examples.”

Postdoc in Sensor Development

We are seeking applicants for a 2-year postdoc in sensor development at the Department of Biology at Aarhus University (Denmark). The applicant will work on a research project funded by the Grundfos Foundation aiming at developing advanced sensing technologies for environmental application.
You are expected to contribute to the development and validation of electrochemical and/or bio-electrochemical sensors for the detection of organic and/or inorganic species of environmental interest. Areas of development include, but are not limited to: amperometric, potentiometric sensors, and biosensors (both whole-cell based and enzymatic), as well as micro-miniaturization of existing technologies for environmental applications. You are also expected to contribute to the use of the developed sensors in various natural and man-made systems such as sediments and wastewater.
Applicants should hold a PhD in Chemistry, Environmental sciences, Biotechnology or alike.
The ideal candidate has a strong background in chemo- or bio-sensor development. Ideally, the candidate can demonstrate experience in developing stand-alone sensor systems including their analytical evaluation. Experience in data analysis and programming will be an advantage. It is expected that the applicant has experience in publishing scientific results in leading journals within the fields of chemistry or environmental science. Additionally, it is important that the candidate can work well within interdisciplinary teams and has a high level of self-motivation. Previous teaching experience will be appreciated but is not necessary. Fluent communication in English both in written and spoken language is essential and is expected by any suitable candidate.

Institution contact information

Sensor Lab – Centre for Water Technology (WATEC;, Department of Biology, Aarhus University, Denmark

Contact email address



External link

Postdoc for studies of electron transport in cable bacteria

The Center for Electromicrobiology, Aarhus University, invites applications for a 2-year postdoc position for studies of electron transport in cable bacteria. The position is available with start from 1 June 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter (no later than October 2021).

The postdoc will engage in the question of how internal electric wires of cable bacteria conduct electrons and connect with metabolic processes. The exact focus and approaches will be flexible, depending on the background, ideas, and network of the applicant.

Institution contact information

The Center for Electromicrobiology, CEM (, Aarhus University, Denmark

Contact email address



External link

PhD Position (m/f/x) on Electrode-driven Biochemical Synthesis using Pseudomonas putida

Balancing microbial redox metabolism using electrode decouples the carbon and electron fluxes for biochemical synthesis, and thus enables the high yield bioproduction process that naturally does not exist. Within the joint DFG SPP2240 project ePseudomonas together with Prof. Wittmann (iSbio, Saarland University, Germany), we aim to develop a universal tunable electro-fermentation platform using metabolically engineered Pseudomonas putida for the biosynthesis of high-value chemicals of industrial interests. To realize this ambitious goal, we are seeking an enthusiastic person to fill a PhD position funded by this project. The student will primarily focus on the fundamental and quantitative understanding of the Pseudomonas putida’s behaviors in the bioelectrochemical system (BES), using e.g. systems biology tools, and then rationally optimize the electro-fermentation process from the aspects of e.g. the process engineering and systems metabolic engineering.

Institution contact information

Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung GmbH – UFZ
Permoserstr. 15, 04318 Leipzig
Dr. Jens Olaf Krömer ( Bin Lai (

Contact email address



External link

SENTRY Client Manager

The SENTRY Client Manager is tasked with interpreting and relaying the value (energy savings, increased performance, etc.) created by SENTRY sensors installed at treatment facilities to the operators of these facilities. SENTRY is a cutting-edge technology providing real time biological information to treatment plant operations for process improvement and increased consistency. We are looking for someone who is personable and client focused. The Client Manager at SENTRY Water Technologies provides technical support to clients associated with the deployment and usage of SENTRY equipment ( in the water and wastewater space. This role is critical for the deployment of SENTRY systems.

Duties and Responsibilities

The Client Manager will work closely with senior technical team members (engineers and scientists) in order to accomplish the following tasks:

  • Weekly interaction with water and wastewater operators. This consists of email communication with clients to collect and understand operations data to combine with SENTRY data. Periodic video conferences and phone calls with the client to explain the functionality and value of SENTRY data. The candidate may be responsible for as many as 50 separate clients.
  • Required to work with primarily wastewater treatment facilities (some water/environmental monitoring). A background or interest in environmental or civil engineering, wastewater treatment, water treatment, microbiology, and/or chemistry is preferred.
  • To understand the client requirements and provide easy to understand, functional reports that improve the performance and operation of wastewater treatment facilities. The candidate will be required to receive large, complex data sets and utilize statistical methods to derive graphical outputs that are used to understand biological activity. Many of these processes are automated using the computer program R, however each situation/client is unique. The candidate will be responsible for preparing and reviewing report documentation that are suitable for dissemination to specific clients and the wider water or wastewater industry.
  • Employees can work from home / remote geographic regions (example Europe or South East Asia) but must have high speed internet.
  • Preference will be given to employees that currently live or have plans to live in Canada (SENTRY can support immigration to Canada).

Experience Required

  •  Past experience or interest in understanding the wastewater treatment process
  • Background or interest in statistics, modelling and/or computer programming is a plus
  • Strong personal communication and management skills is preferred.
  • Skilled in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Knowledge of Microsoft Teams is preferred
  • Experience with providing customer-centered service and supporting multiple clients
  • Ability to work in a team environment remotely and in an office setting
  • Maintaining a positive attitude and atmosphere in the workplace is valued.
  • Providing assistance with incoming/outgoing shipments.
  • Experience with Python or R Software or other coding experience required


Degree in engineering or equivalent technical degree.

Institution contact information

Head Office is in Charlottetown, PEI, Canada

Contact email address



External link

Bioelectrochemical Engineer

Electro-Active is looking for a Bioelectrochemical Engineer to assist with the scale up of our microbial electrolysis system for sustaining high levels of hydrogen production from food waste. The position will lead and assist in the execution of experiments to optimize reactor operation and performance across different scales and reactor designs. The ideal candidate will have a highly successful academic record, experience in laboratory work related to microbiology/biochemical engineering, high attention to detail, and the capability to undertake independent research tasks. An interest in sustainability and next-generation renewable energy technology as well as desire to work in a dynamic, fast-pace startup environment is a plus.


  • Design new experiments to probe reactor systems and test a variety of conditions to optimize hydrogen production
  • Execute research experiments by performing various laboratory protocols and procedures
  • Prepare materials and reports on the results of experiments and progress on milestones
  • Guide and train interns in the maintenance and operation of bioelectrochemical systems
  • Ensure data quality and integrity of assigned experiments


  • Background in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemical engineering, with experience working with bioreactor systems preferred
  • Wet lab experience and knowledge of general laboratory and industrial safety and potential hazards including proper protective clothing, chemical containment and biosecurity
  • Previous experience with bioelectrochemical systems including microbial fuel cells or microbial electrolysis cells is required
  • Experience with scale-up of MFCs or MECs
  • Prototyping and hardware development experience


Bachelor’s or master’s degree in an engineering or science discipline (e.g. Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Environmental Engineering,).

Interested candidates please submit a resume and cover letter to Location: Knoxville, TN. Relocation package will be provided. The position will remain open until filled. Candidates with less experience may be considered for internship positions.

Institution contact information

Knoxville TN USA

Contact email address



External link

Looking back at the first ISMET virtual meeting

We are looking back to our first VIRTUAL ISMET conference, which took place October 7th-9th. Despite all current restrictions in getting together, the ISMET community enjoyed an inspiring exchange of new research outcomes and ideas during this meeting of around 300 scientists with great talks and poster presentations.

We thank our organizers Catarina Paquete, Fernanda Jimenéz-Otero and Lucinda Doyle for taking on this challenge and managing a conference with around 18 time zones.

For the next year, we nevertheless hope to continue our in-person meetings at our regional conferences.

ISMET awards 2020

The ISMET community warmly congratulates Dario Shaw for obtaining the 2020 ISMET Discovery Award for his work on an electro-annamox process (Nature Communications 2020) and Xi Chen for receiving the 2020 ISMET Innovation Award for her work on spontaneous hydrogen evolution in BES (Energy and Environmental Science 2020).

Dario is a PhD student in the group of Pascal Saikaly at the Water Desalination and Reuse Center, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia and Xi Chen is Postdoc in Jason Ren’s lab at Princeton University.

Dario Shaw et al. (2020). “Extracellular electron transfer-dependent anaerobic oxidation of ammonium by anammox bacteria”, Nat. Commun.

Xi Chen et al. (2019). “Electrical decoupling of microbial electrochemical reactions enables spontaneous H2 evolution” Energy Env. Science;!divAbstract

Congratulations to both! Well done!