Academic Positions Europe

Université libre de Bruxelles, Belgium

Full-time academic position in biomass transformation - downstream processing

Required Qualifications:

PhD Degree (with doctoral thesis) in “Engineering Science and Technology”, or in “Agricultural Sciences and Biological Engineering” or equivalent qualification. 

Required Skills:

  • A minimum of 4-year scientific career at the time of hiring
  • Postdoctoral experience and an excellent scientific record
  • A stay abroad in an academic institution other that the one in which the doctoral studies were undertaken is a criterion that will be taken into account in the file. This can be during or after the doctoral studies.
  • Candidates will be expected to teach in English and French.  If they are not proficient (level C1 is required) in one of these two languages at the time of appointment, a three-year period may be granted following their appointment to enable them to achieve the required level of language proficiency.

The Brussels Bioengineering School is seeking to develop a strong hub in the field of bioresources (biomass) transformation and valorization with activities ranging from the laboratory to the pilot scale. Two positions are opened in parallel, one in "Biomass transformation - downstream processing" and one in "Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass". A strong collaboration between these two chairs will be highly encouraged.

The candidate for the chair in "Bioresources transformation - downstream processing" must have expertise in the design of biomass transformation processes and downstream operations leading to chemical building blocks or high added value products. He/she must have the scientific expertise required to design and scale-up unit operations and/or processes based on chemical, enzymatic and/or biological methods for the transformation of biomass and the subsequent downstream processing. A specific know-how in the valorization of urban bioresources will be considered an advantage.

The candidate will have to show his/her ability to work in close synergy with existing research teams in the Bioengineering School, the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Polytechnic School, particularly in the extraction, characterization and use of high added value products, for which important expertise is already present. A strong partnership will be expected with the new academic in "Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass", appointed on the chair opened in parallel to this one, in order to develop a strong bioresources valorization hub focusing on applications from the laboratory to the pilot scale.

Vacancy n° 16/A058
Applications must be received no later than February 20th, 2017
Additional information at http://www.ulb.ac.be/ulb/vacances/academiques/index-12.html

1. Description of Position :

The successful candidate will have expertise in the design and scale-up of chemical, enzymatic and/or biological processes for biomass transformation and downstream processing leading to the production of chemical building blocks and/or high added value products. The successful candidate will have to lead research in this field at the international level, develop an autonomous research team and secure funding for his/her activities. The teaching activities associated with this chair will encompass lectures focusing on biomass valorization processes and the underlying fundamental prerequisites, but participation in the supervision of student projects, laboratory practicals and exercise sessions will also be expected. The teaching load will be progressive in the first years in order to give the successful candidate time to develop their research activities and establish their team.

The successful candidate will be invited to apply for a grant from the European Research Council (ERC) and be expected to apply for sources of outside funding (FNRS, Europe, Regional funds, etc…) enabling them to develop their research.  The ULB Research Department will assist them with these applications.

Description of Scientific and Pedagogical Objectives:

The successful candidate’s teaching activities will have to integrate the existing bioengineering teaching activities and will be expected to develop learning activities dealing with bioresources valorization in a sustainable development framework.

Research activities will have to be of international level and should lead to the development of an autonomous research team. The research activities should reinforce or favor synergies within ULB with existing teams with complementary expertise from the Bioengineering School, the Faculty of Sciences, the Faculty of Pharmacy and the Polytechnic School. Moreover, in partnership with the team of the person that will be appointed on the opening in "Chemical and biochemical transformation of biomass", research activities should lead to the development of bioresources valorization applications, from the laboratory to the industrial pilot scale. With existing teams with complementary interests, this should lead to a value chain going from the prospection of potential valorization pathways to final product development. These collaborations should lead to the positioning at an international level of the Bioengineering School in the field of bioresources valorization.

Field of Research: "Bioresources transformation - downstream processing"

The research should focus on transforming bioresources to obtain chemical building blocks and/or high added value products. The transformation should not be limited to compound extraction as existing research teams at the ULB already deal with this activity. The transformation could be achieved using chemical, enzymatic and/or biological routes. The research will focus on the design, scale-up and optimization of these transformations and downstream processes from the laboratory to the pilot scale.

A project which takes into consideration the valorization of urban bioresources will be considered an advantage.

The teaching duties:

New courses, in the field of expertise of the successful candidate will be opened, in due course, at the Master level.

Upon appointment the successful candidate will be invited to participate actively in existing courses in the bioengineering curriculum, both at the bachelor and master levels. Depending on his/her expertise, the successful candidate could be asked to participate in one or more of the following courses:

CHIM-F101                 Chimie générale
MECA-H301               Thermodynamique appliquée
CHIM-H314                Introduction au génie des procédés
MECA-H3001             Fluid mechanics and transfer processes
BING-H4000              Modélisation et contrôle des systèmes dynamiques en bioingénierie
BING-H4003              Opérations unitaires pour l'environnement et les bio-industries
CHIM-H413                Génie des réacteurs chimiques et biologiques
CHIM-H422                Environmental technology / Environmental engineering: current methods and practice
BING-F531                 Bioremédiation
BING-F502                 Principales filières agroalimentaires et valorisation de molécules d'intérêt d'origine alimentaire

The teaching load will be progressive in the first years in order to give the successful candidate time to develop their research activities.

  1. Teaching duties may be reviewed periodically and are subject to modification over time.
  1. For further information, please contact, Prof. Dimitri GILIS, President of the School of Bioengineering (phone: 32 2 650 3615 – fax: 32 2 650 3575  – e-mail: dgilis@ulb.ac.be)
  1. The application file should also include the following (incomplete files will not be considered):
  • CV, including a list of publications (cf. template downloadable at http://www.ulb.ac.be/tools/CV-type.rtf)
  • a statement of around 3500 signs on the candidate’s research activities and research project, also indicating how the candidate envisions his/her integration within the ULB and interactions with existing research teams
  • a statement of about 3500 signs describing previous teaching activities and also describing the candidate’s teaching vision, covering the 5 years following appointment which is coherent with the educational profiles of the programs in which the candidate will be teaching.
  • a note on international projects and achievements
  • please provide full names and email addresses for five referees who may be contacted by the university bodies responsible of evaluating candidate applications. We ask that you be mindful of providing a balanced gender divide between referees and ensure that they have no conflict of interest.

Candidates applying for several vacancies are required to send a separate file for each one.       

  1. The application file must be submitted electronically, via an e-mail addressed to the Rector of the Université libre de Bruxelles (recteur@ulb.ac.be), to the Dean of the Faculty (le-doyen-polytech@admin.ulb.ac.be and to the president of the Brussels Bioengineering School (dgilis@ulb.ac.be)
  1. Applications must be received no later than February 20th, 2017.
  1. Vacancy published online on:
    Starting date : 01/10/2017.
  1. Internal administrative data :
    Vacancy number : 16/A058
    University payroll position : 16-C-PAS-033 (H) (1.00 ETP)
    Administrative Board reference :
Université libre de Bruxelles

Located in the city centre, the University campuses and surrounding areas are extremely attractive, providing just the right mix between study and leisure.

Application details

Published:
2016-12-01
Application deadline:
2017-02-20

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