Job ID: 173391

Post Doc in Bioprocess Systems Modeling

University of Tuebingen

  • Nov. 29, 2021
  • Post Doc in Bioprocess Systems Modeling
  • Department of Applied Geosciences
  • University of Tuebingen
    Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg
  • Open until filled
  • Available Immediately
  • Post-Doc
  • Bioengineering (all Bio-related fields)
    Industrial & Systems Engineering

The research group of Environmental Biotechnology in the Center for Applied Geosciences at the University of Tübingen ( is looking for an excellent postdoctoral researcher to support our international, interdisciplinary, and dynamic team of environmental/biological/systems engineers, microbiologists, biotechnologists, and molecular biologists.

The research in the Environmental Biotechnology group focuses on the recovery of carbon from diverse waste streams by open, defined-mixed, and pure microbial cultures. Examples of utilized platforms include: 1) syngas fermentation and power-to-x to recover carbon from industrial waste gases into chemicals; 2) chain elongation of ethanol and acetate or lactate to extractable medium-chain carboxylic acids; 3) storage of electric power via power-to-gas with microbial systems, such as with methanogenic archaea; and 4) single-cell protein production from carbon dioxide and hydrogen and oxygen gases, which we refer to as power-to-protein. We apply methods from bioreactor design and operation (lab- and pilot-scale), genetic engineering, systems biology, and systems engineering such as life-cycle assessments and techno-economic evaluations.

Qualified candidates would ideally have a doctoral degree in systems engineering, chemical engineering, process modelling, biotechnology, or related fields. The candidate should be able to develop detailed process models of renewable energy systems and/or apply computational methods for multi-objective optimizations using economic and environmental life-cycle frameworks. This project will involve close collaborations within our group, but also with research groups from other German research institutions, including bioprocess engineers and researchers within the biotechnology field.

The project will focus on a biotechnological approach to radically change the way our societies produce protein for human consumption. Current agricultural practices to produce protein must be disbanded to save our planet. The current agricultural practices simply use too much land, water, and fossil fuels to feed a future 10 billion people. In this power-to-protein system, hydrogen and oxygen from electrolysis (water splitting) with renewable energy is combined with carbon dioxide in a 2-step bioprocess to produce protein. In the first step, hydrogen and carbon dioxide gases are converted into acetate with anaerobic bacteria, and in the second step, the dilute acetate is converted with oxygen gas into yeast biomass with approximately 45-65% protein. The growth nutrients, such as ammonium, will come from the safe recycling of wastes from humans.

The main activity of the candidates will be to use detailed process modelling to further optimize this power-to-protein technology at a process level. The successful candidate is expected to be involved in managing the project, which includes the supervision of bachelor and master students. Furthermore, she/he will closely interact with collaboration partners. Therefore, very good English language skills are necessary.
Other requirements include the ability to work independently and in teams, have excellent management and communication skills, and be self-motivated. The candidate will have the opportunity to present her/his results in international journals and conferences.

The positions are intended to be filled as soon as possible. Each contract is for 2 years and the employment will be arranged by the administration of the University of Tübingen (salary TVL E13, 100%). The adjustment takes place via the ZV. The University of Tübingen is seeking to increase the proportion of women in science and teaching, and therefore we are especially asking qualified women to apply.

Disabled persons will be preferred in case of equal qualification.

Applications (in English), as one pdf document, including cover letter, CV, overview of techniques and methods used in the past, transcripts and diplomas, and contact address of at least two referees should be sent by email to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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Contact Information

  • Dr. Joseph Usack
    Department of Applied Geosciences
    University of Tuebingen
    Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg

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