Job offers

Vacancy: Senior Academic Staff in the field of Chemical Engineering – Unit operations – Separation technology – Adsorption processes

A full-time faculty position is available at the Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel. The successful applicant is expected to contribute to the strengthening of our high scientific and educational standards. Teaching is conducted in Dutch and English.


The candidate should have a broad, interdisciplinary view on the area of chemical engineering. She/he will become a leading member of the Department of Chemical Engineering, which is internationally recognized for its research in adsorption, catalysis and chromatography. Within the university, the department is considered as one of its centers of excellence, given the group has been awarded a Strategic Research Program grant “Exploiting the Advantages of Order and Geometrical Structure for a Greener Chemistry“. The successful candidate is expected to conduct research contributing to this overall theme. To this end, she or he will have full access to the wide range of experimental facilities and computational modelling infrastructure of the group.

The candidate will develop an independent, challenging research program in the field of separation technology, aiming at the development of innovative methods to separate molecular mixtures, to recover renewable chemicals and to valorize waste streams. His/her research will cover both fundamental and applied aspects, providing solutions to industrial separation and purification challenges in the broad fields of chemistry, food technology and biotechnology. The candidate will develop new tools and methods to reach this goal, with particular emphasis on the study of molecular transport and confinement effects in nanoporous materials, in line with the main research theme of the Department of Chemical Engineering. He/she will be collaborating with scientists within or outside the research group, leading to peer reviewed extramural funding.


The successful applicant will teach basic, advanced, and specialized courses in chemical engineering (mainly unit operations and process simulation) at the Bachelor and Master level in the following programs: “Bachelor in Engineering Sciences”, “Bachelor in Bioengineering Sciences”, “Master in Engineering Sciences: Chemical and Materials Engineering” and “Master in Bioengineering Sciences”. The interested applicant will also supervise Master dissertations in the area of chemical engineering.


The candidate will contribute to the valorisation of the research results in the framework of service to the community and PR activities of the faculty and the university. Furthermore, the candidate will take part in the policy-making at the department.


Planned starting date: October 1st, 2018
Length of contract: Recruitment in the rank of lecturer is a tenure track appointment which implies an initial appointment as lecturer for a period of 5 years with eligibility for tenure in the rank of senior lecturer by the end of this initial period. Recruitment in other academic ranks is an initial appointment for 3 years with eligibility for tenure in the same rank by the end of this initial period.
Deadline for application: August 15th, 2018

All information and the online application tool can be found on the VUB job website.

Applications can only be submitted online.



PhD researcher in Carbon Capture

The adsorption team of the Department of Chemical Engineering (Prof. J. Denayer) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel aims at the development of better and sustainable separation processes. In the present project, new methods for CO2 capture are studied. 2 PhD positions are available. This research fits in a larger project, aiming at the catalytic reduction of CO2 to Solar Fuels and Chemicals. Research activities in these PhD projects include the formulation of new materials (3D-printing); characterization of the adsorption properties of the materials via a range of experimental methods (gravimetry, volumetry, calorimetry, porosimetry,…) available in the research group; modeling of the adsorptive separation process.

Admission requirements:

Preferably, the candidate owns a degree in Chemical Engineering, Bio-engineering or (Physical) Chemistry. Experience is a plus.


The candidates should contact Prof. Joeri Denayer at Please send a complete Curriculum Vitae, with a recent photograph, and the names of two leading scientists who are ready to support your application and recommend you as an active, creative and autonomous researcher, ready to work in a team. For more information, please check the vacancy description: PhD researcher in Carbon Capture.

Posted online on May 15th, 2018.


Postdoctoral Researcher in Pressure Swing Adsorption

Project description:

The adsorption team of the Department of Chemical Engineering (Prof. J. Denayer) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel ( aims at the development of better and sustainable separation processes. In the present project, an industrial Pressure Swing Adsorption (PSA) process is optimized. A fully equipped 2-bed pilot PSA unit is available in the research unit, allowing to obtain very accurate data for the cyclic separation process. In this project, pilot plant tests will be combined with detailed modeling of the PSA process to achieve an improvement of process performance in terms of power consumption, productivity etc. Besides, a full characterization of the adsorption properties of the materials used in this separation will be carried out via a range of experimental methods (gravimetry, volumetry, calorimetry, porosimetry,…) available in the research group.


Preferably, the candidate owns a PhD Degree in Chemical Engineering and a doctor’s degree in adsorption. Experience in modeling of Pressure Swing Adsorption and/or Temperature Swing Adsorption and/or Simulated Moving Bed is a plus.

Start date:

January 2019.

All details can be found in the following document: Postdoctoral Researcher in Pressure Swing Adsorption.
Posted online on May 15, 2018.



2 PhD positions in microfluidic chips / Analytical Chemistry

The PhD student will work on a research project that is aimed at establishing a novel concept: comprehensive spatial three-dimensional chromatography that promises unmatched separation performance. Spatial 3D-LC separations will be performed by making analytes migrate to different positions in a three-dimensional body. The separation of 1,000,000 components can ultimately be realized given that the maximum peak capacity is the product of the three individual peak capacities. Due to parallel analysis in the second and third dimensions the analysis time is greatly reduced, overcoming the fundamental limitation of coupled-column multi-dimensional approaches, in which sampled fractions are analyzed sequentially.  The main task will be to conduct research developing microfluidic solutions for spatial 3D-LC. Results will be presented at conferences and published in international journals. The PhD student is expected to complete the PhD thesis within 4 years. In addition, the PhD student will contribute to the education program of the university. For more information, see here.

Admission requirements:

  •  MSc degree in the field of (analytical) chemistry, material science or a related field (or degree obtained before August 2018).
  •  Strong proven background and interest in separation science (HPLC) and chip technology.
  •  Very good knowledge in spoken and written English.


Please send you application letter, including your CV and grade list, and two (recent) letters of recommendation. The addition of a short 1-page research proposal explaining how you would like to design and prototype a spatial 3D-LC chip is greatly appreciated.

To apply: send an email to Prof. dr. S. Eeltink (

Posted online on February 22nd, 2018.



Phd: Electroosmotic Mixing In Microfluidic Devices

Duration: 4y

Start: 1/11/17 (+ max. 3 months)

Mass transfer limitations put constraints on the attainable throughput of reactors, the speed and efficiency of chromatographic devices, etc. In this project, which is supported by an ERC starting grant, electroosmotic flow is employed to enhance mass transfer and concomitantly increase the efficiency of several unit operations in microfluidic devices. The research will take place predominantly at the Free University of Brussels (supervision of Prof. Wim De Malsche) and in close in interaction (with min. 25 % research stays) with the Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology in Enschede, The Netherlands (supervision by Prof. Jan Eijkel).

Job description

Your work will have both an experimental and a modeling character. You will experimentally study the electrical properties of modified silicon surfaces and the impact on electroosmotic flow behavior and mass transfer. Based on insights that you will gain, you will be able to generate unique flow profiles in confined spaces, capable of enhancing mass transfer and minimizing dispersion. You will study the achievable flow configurations both by computational fluid dynamics and electrochemical simulations as well as experimentally with a microscopy setup and in-house developed 3D detection device. You will study devices that have been fabricated in a state-of-the art cleanroom on setups that you will help to develop und improve. You will also be involved in the demonstration of proof-of-concepts of improved efficiencies in miniaturized reactors and diagnostic devices. This dynamic atmosphere will enable you to make important contributions on both the fundamental physics side as on the application side.

Your profile

You have a master in physics, electrical or biomedical engineering and you are interested in multiphysics modeling and microfluidics. You are skilled in Matlab and interfacing and automation of instruments. Knowledge of acoustics, heat transfer and catalysis is a plus. You are creative, are comfortable with both experimental and theoretical work, can function independently and are willing to travel frequently between The Netherlands and Belgium. We expect the candidate to have excellent command of the English language as well as professional communication and presentation skills. Interested? Contact Prof. Wim De Malsche ( or Prof. Jan Eijkel (

Posted online on September 20th, 2017.



PhD and post-doc: Spontaneous applications

Spontaneous applications are always welcomed and reviewed with interest.

We offer a young, dynamic and stimulating work environment, contacts and collaboration with leading research groups and companies, the possibility to present research results at international conferences, and extra-legal benefits such as free public transport, biking fee for work traffic, use of sports facilities and student restaurant at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
The research areas within our research group can be found on this website, so feel free to check them out.

Profile for PhD: Preferably, you own a Master Degree in (Chemical) Engineering, Chemistry or Bio-engineering. You have the intention to work towards a PhD and you fulfill the requirements to subscribe as a doctoral student. You are able to work independently and accurately. You can work together with other people and have good communicative skills (written and oral). You have a good knowledge of English, good knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Profile for post-doc: Preferably, you own a PhD in (Chemical) Engineering, Chemistry or Bio-engineering. You have the necessary skills and expertise to work in the department’s research areas. You are able to work independently and accurately. You can work together with other people and when necessary guide fellow researchers in the research topic. You have good communicative skills (written and oral). You have a good knowledge of English, good knowledge of Dutch is a plus.

Application and contact: According to the desired research topic, the candidates should contact the relevant lead scientist (check the names under academic staff here and under the research area descriptions here).