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    • Leuven
  • Full time
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  • Chemical engineering
  • Engineering

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  • Postdoc

Apply by: 2024-06-09

Postdoctoral position: multicomponent adsorption & diffusion in MOFs & zeolites

Published 2024-04-30

The Ameloot group is part of the KU Leuven ​Centre for Membrane Separations, Adsorption, Catalysis, and Spectroscopy (cMACS), which counts 6 PIs and >100 members. The study of porous materials, membranes, films and their interfaces forms the core of the research at cMACS. In this context, we study different flavors of nanoporous materials. Our research is focused on enabling applications based on these materials through a fundamental understanding of their adsorption properties.

Unit website

Responsibilities

We are seeking a postdoctoral researcher to join our team on a cutting-edge project focused on adsorptive separations such as CO2 capture using nanoporous materials such as MOFs and zeolites, with the goal of enhancing the understanding and efficiency of these processes. Specifically, the project focuses on the development of novel measurement setups and protocols to address some of the current gaps in the understanding of adsorption phenomena. The selected candidate will tackle several key challenges:

  • Challenge 1 - Multicomponent Adsorption Experiments: While single-component adsorption data is relatively easy to obtain and interpret, industrial applications involve gas mixtures. Predicting mixture behavior from single-component data remains difficult, and measuring multicomponent adsorption effectively and efficiently is complex, requiring innovative methodologies.
  • Challenge 2 - Adsorption Kinetics: Determining the diffusivity of molecules within adsorbents is challenging due to the limitations of current measurement methods. These methods struggle particularly with fast-diffusing molecules, and often only provide data for large crystals, which may not represent typical industrial conditions.
  • Challenge 3 - Multicomponent Diffusion Measurements: The above difficulties occur in single-component diffusion measurements. When multicomponent diffusion measurements are required, as is the case for any industrial process optimization (e.g., in determining the fastest adsorption bed cycle time), the challenge of simultaneously monitoring at least two molecules is added on top. Not surprisingly, such studies are rare to non-existent because of the limitations of the available measurement methods.

This position offers the opportunity to work at the forefront of adsorption technology research, contributing to sustainable industrial practices and innovations in material science. You will be working together with scientists and engineers with complementary expertise  in materials synthesis, gas adsorption, the characterization of porous and crystalline materials, etc. For more information on the research group, please refer to http://amelootgroup.org/  and https://twitter.com/AmelootGroup.

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We are looking for:

  • A motivated candidate with a strong academic track record and a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Adsorption / Materials Science, or a related field in Science and Engineering.
  • A candidate passionate about adsorption processes, diffusion measurements, novel materials and technology, and willing to work as part of an interdisciplinary team.
  • A researcher enthusiastic about developing new and unique measurement instruments. Bonus points if you consider yourself a 'maker' and practical problem solver, we appreciate what you are doing!
  • An experienced researcher willing to guide younger colleagues starting out in the field.
  • Since we target real-world applications through our research, an interest in valorization (e.g., spin-off creation) is a plus.
  • Since we are a highly international team, proficiency in both written and spoken English is non-negotiable.

Please consider applying if you have several of the following skills:

  • Required: Expertise in the characterization of zeolites, MOFs, or other microporous materials .
  • Required: Expertise in adsorption measurements for microporous adsorbents.
  • Experience with / interest in measuring and analyzing diffusion phenomena is a plus.
  • Experience with the development of measurement setups involving gases and vapors (esp. the hardware aspects) is a plus.
  • Other skills that you think are relevant (please explain in your cover letter).

Offer

  • A full-time postdoc position with a target duration of 2-3 years. The initial contract will be for 1 year and will be extended after a positive evaluation.
  • Excellent guidance by our dynamic, international, and multidisciplinary team with access to top-class labs.
  • High level scientific training at a top-ranked university.
  • A remuneration package competitive with standards in Belgium, a country with a high quality of life and excellent healthcare system.
  • Ample occasions to develop your profile in a scientific and/or an industrial direction.
  • A stay in a vibrant environment in the hearth of Europe. The university is located in Leuven, a town of approximately 100.000 inhabitants, located close to Brussels (25 km), and 20 minutes by train from Brussels International Airport. This strategic positioning and the strong presence of the university, international research centers, and industry, lead to a safe town with high quality of life, welcome to non-Dutch speaking people and with ample opportunities for social and sport activities. The mixture of cultures and research fields are some of the ingredients making the university of Leuven the most innovative university in Europe (https://nieuws.kuleuven.be/en/content/2018/ku-leuven-once-again-tops-reuters-ranking-of-europes-most-innovative-universities). Further information can be found on the website of the university: https://www.kuleuven.be/english/life-at-ku-leuven

Interested

Please submit your application through the KU Leuven portal. In case you have questions about this job opportunity, please contact Prof. Rob Ameloot (Rob.Ameloot@kuleuven.be) via email and mention "Postdoc multicomponent adsorption & diffusion" in the subject line.

Preferred starting date: as soon as your schedule permits

You can apply for this job no later than June 09, 2024 via the online application tool

KU Leuven strives for an inclusive, respectful and socially safe environment. We embrace diversity among individuals and groups as an asset. Open dialogue and differences in perspective are essential for an ambitious research and educational environment. In our commitment to equal opportunity, we recognize the consequences of historical inequalities. We do not accept any form of discrimination based on, but not limited to, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, ethnic or national background, skin colour, religious and philosophical diversity, neurodivergence, employment disability, health, or socioeconomic status. For questions about accessibility or support offered, we are happy to assist you at this email address.

Do you have a question about the online application system? Please consult our FAQ or email us at apply@kuleuven.be

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