PhD “Electrohydrodynamic drying for enhanced thin film dewatering”: Are you a talented motivated researcher who is interested in food process engineering and new sustainable technology development? Do you want to understand and predict how electricity can boost the energy efficiency of hot air drying processes and affects the quality of dried products?

We are looking for: We invite applications for the PhD position entitled: ‘Electrohydrodynamic drying for enhanced thin film dewatering’ Electrohydrodynamic (EHD) drying is known as a principle that employs a high electric field to enhance the mass and heat transfer rates during drying. This new drying principle is suggested to be mild and a factor 2 to 4 more energy efficient compared to traditional drying, thus combining better product quality with lower energy use. The position is part of a larger consortium that combined four academic partners, and several industries.

What will you do?
You will:

  • investigate the principle of EHD drying and how it may be employed for future sustainable drying of foods. This will be done together with a postdoc and the supervisory team;
  • you will conduct experiments on newly developed EHD equipment to characterize drying behavior of various foods and non-food materials (e.g. paper) in consultation with the participating industrial partners. Not only the principles of the process will be evaluated but also its energy efficiency and the impact of the process on product quality.

Your PhD project will be embedded in the Dry Food Processing team (Dry Food Processing – WUR) of the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering which aims at developing innovative processing technologies such as drying, that make the food production chain radically more sustainable. The PhD project is part of a larger NWO project focusing on new technology development for  electrically driven non-thermal dewatering of biomass, in short ELECTRIFIED. Within this NWO project 4 PhD students and 3 Postdocs are appointed at different technical universities and we collaborate with eight industrial partners.

The PhD student will be hosted in the Laboratory of Food Process Engineering (Food Process Engineering – WUR), currently consisting of three full professors, three associate and two assistant professors, two lecturers and eight technical and supporting staff, around 35 – 45 PhD students and postdocs, and many BSc and MSc students doing their thesis projects in our laboratory. You will be supervised by Dr. Maarten Schutyser and Prof. Remko Boom.

We ask

For this position we are looking for an enthusiastic result-driven candidate with:

  • a completed MSc study in food technology, chemical engineering, electrical engineering or similar;
  • a hands-on approach and interested in co-developing new technology for electrohydrodynamic dewatering and doing experiments with this complex equipment;
  • interested in or affinity with modelling of transfer or other physical phenomena;
  • the motivation to coach and inspire thesis students, and work together with external partners;
  • excellent analytical, communication and scientific writing skills. 

For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level.Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognised Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language.

We offer

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • sabbatical leave, study leave, and partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.

In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.541,- per month rising to € 3.247,- in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

Wageningen University & Research encourages internal advancement opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We are offering a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus in Holland, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 17th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees. Applicants from abroad moving to the Netherlands may qualify for a special tax relief, known as the 30% ruling. Our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.

Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. Wageningen University & Research’s International Community page contains practical information about what we can do to support international employees and students coming to Wageningen. Furthermore, we can assist you with any additional advice and information about helping your partner to find a job, housing, schooling, and other issues.

More information: For more information about this position, please contact dr. M. Schutyser, phone number: +31 317488629. For more information about the contractual aspects, please contact Martin de Wit, phone number: +31 317483975.
For more information about the procedure, please contact Rutger Voorrips, Recruiter, by e-mail: or by phone: +31 317 480571.

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly by uploading your CV and motivation letter, using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.
This vacancy will be listed up to and including 30 October 2022. We hope to schedule the first job interviews early November 2022. The preferred starting date for this position is 1 December 2022.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR.

Wageningen University & Research
The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment.

With its roughly 30 branches, 7,200 employees (6,400 fte) and 13,200 students and over 150.000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Apply now

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