A PhD scholarship is available in the Section on Circularity and Environmental Impact at the Department of Environmental and Resource Engineering (DTU Sustain). The topic of this scholarship is persistence research and testing of UVCBs, which are Substances of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products or Biological materials. The specific focus is on developing and applying novel approaches for determining the biodegradation kinetics of essential oils in waste water treatment plants and the aquatic environment.

The research combines elements of environmental engineering, environmental chemistry and analytical chemistry, and the overarching context is the environmental risk assessment of organic chemicals. The scholarship is a 3-year position and part of a larger project that is funded by the Research Institute of Fragrance Materials

Essential oils are UVCBs (Substance of Unknown or Variable composition, Complex reaction products or Biological materials) containing volatile and hydrophobic constituents. Essential oils are “difficult to test & assess substances” and they often fall outside the applicability domain of established tests, prediction models and assessment schemes. At DTU-Sustain, we have established an analytical research platform to study the biodegradation kinetics of volatile and hydrophobic test chemicals. We have recently applied this platform also to UVCBs including essential oils. However, more research on how to determine the persistency of an UVCB and its constituents is urgently needed.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You will be part of a research team that works on biodegradation kinetics of organic chemicals and mixtures at low environmentally relevant concentrations. The exact design of your PhD project will be developed and decided in collaboration with the main supervisor Professor Philipp Mayer from DTU Sustain. The position will also include teaching in bachelor and/ or master level courses, supervising student projects or performing other Duties at the Department.

You will be responsible for:

  • Developing, optimizing and applying test methodology to determine which UVCB constituents are degraded and which are persistent within a given time window and condition.
  • Determining the presence of essential oil constituents in WWTP effluent and sludge, and determining their biodegradation kinetics.
  • Contributing to teaching in environmental toxicology and chemistry at the Department.
  • Publication of research findings and results in the scientific literature, and presentations at international conference/meetings in English
  • Internal collaboration with other research teams at DTU Sustain and external collaboration with researchers, regulators and industries mainly in Europe and the US.

You must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme,

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

The tentative starting date for this full-time position is September 1st, 2022.

Further information
Further information can be obtained from Prof. Philipp Mayer (M +45 26 18 25 39, philm@env.dtu.dk).

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online [via apply online below] application must be submitted no later than 29 May 2022 (Danish time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link “Apply online”, fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma (in English) including official description of grading scale

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Sustain is one of the largest university departments specializing in environmental and resource engineering in Europe. We are working to develop new environmentally friendly and sustainable technologies, methods and solutions, and to disseminate this knowledge to society and future generations of engineers. The Department has approximately 300 staff from more than 30 nationalities.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society.

That vision lives on today. DTU has 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 29 May 2022
Apply for the job at DTU Environment by completing the following form.

Apply online

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