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Research for the Environment

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ is a research institution within the Helmholtz Association. It provides scientific contributions to the safeguarding of the natural basis of life and of human development potentialities for current and future generations under the challenges of global and climate change. In this way the UFZ contributes towards a sustainable development.

Within a Sustainable Bioeconomy project, the Departments of Environmental Microbiology and Bioenergy invite applications for a: PhD position (f/m) - code digit: 136/2011 with a duration of three years (under reservation of funding opportunity). Due to depletion of fossil resources, industry is highly motivated to strive for bio-based building blocks. Biomass or agrarian residues can be thermally converted into so-called third generation educts for biotechnology (e.g. Syngas, H2 or CH4). Also biogas plants produce biomass-based H2 and CH4. These gases can be conventionally used for energy generation, as energy carrier or, depending on the prevailing economic situation, for biosynthesis (polygeneration). The usage for biosynthesis of building blocks (C3 and C5 carbonic acids) for the chemical industry challenges the engineering sciences to develop new and robust monitoring tools and innovative process control strategies. Calorimetry and impedance spectrometry in combination with metabolic flux calculations, traditional monitoring tools and modern statistics provide the basics for development of new, innovative monitoring and control technologies. The technologies will be first tested with wild type strains and later applied to metabolically engineered strains. These ambiguous task calls for a tight cooperation with metabolic engineers and physiologists engaged in parallel projects. We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who is well educated in bioprocess measurement and control, biochemical engineering or metabolic engineering and is enthusiastic to integrate both fields in an interdisciplinary work. Applicants should hold a Diploma or Masters degree and be trained in the relevant areas (Biotechnology, Physical Chemistry, Microbiology, Biochemistry etc.). Practical skills in chemical analysis, in particular by chromatography (HPLC and GC) and mass spectrometry, and in molecular biology tools as well as in mathematical programming are very much appreciated. We also expect a specific interest in technical solutions for bioreactor design and operation, the readiness for interdisciplinary collaboration and the capability of working independently. For further information please contact: PD Dr. Thomas Maskow, Dr. Thore Rohwerder, email: Thomas.maskow@ufz.de or email: Thore.rohwerder@ufz.de

The place of work is Leipzig, Germany. Salary will be according to the appropriate civil service level 13 at 50% (TVD). The PhD students participate in the established Helmholtz Graduate School HIGRADE (www.higrade.ufz.de). Women are explicitly encouraged to apply to increase their share in science and research. Physically handicapped persons will be favored if they are equally qualified. Please send your complete application documents including a letter of motivation and your curriculum vitae with references (certificates, list of publications) until 15th of January 2012 under the code digit (136/2011) to: Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ, Personnel Department, PO Box 50 01 36, 04301 Leipzig or by e-mail to: application@ufz.de.