PhD scholarship in Water Treatment Technology

Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Job Type: 
Job Rank: 
PhD student
Job Institution: 
UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education
Job Description: 

Call for applications - PhD fellowship linked to the demEAUmed project

UNESCO-IHE is the largest international postgraduate water education facility in the world and is based in Delft, the Netherlands. The Institute confers fully accredited MSc degrees and PhD degrees in collaboration with partner universities in the Netherlands. Since 1957 the Institute has provided postgraduate water education to more than 14,500 water professionals from over 160 countries. The Institute has a permanent staff population of 180 of whom 90 are scientific staff and around 250 guest lecturers from academia and industry contribute to the educational programmes. Each year around 750 water professionals from all over the world attend the various educational programmes at UNESCO-IHE. 

The overall thrust of the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department is urbanization as one of the dominant global processes. Although urbanization offers enormous opportunities for socio-economic development, it also presents major challenges for the equitable and sustainable development of drinking water and sanitation infrastructure and services. Within this context the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department helps to build the necessary human resources and higher education and research capacities through postgraduate education, training, research and other capacity building activities in the fields of water supply, sanitation and resource recovery. The department consists of three chair groups, namely, Water Supply Engineering, Sanitary Engineering and Pollution Prevention and Resource Recovery, each headed by a professor. 

UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education is member of a consortium of 15 partners who was recently awarded a grant by the European Commission for the development of the demEAUmed project (FP7-ENV-2013-WATER-INNO-DEMO). This 3.5-year project (2014-2018) focuses on the implementation and promotion of innovative technologies for optimal closed-loop and safe water cycle in Mediterranean tourist facilities. In this context the EEWT department is recruiting a PhD fellow.

Project description

The aim of demEAUmed project is the involvement of industry representatives, stakeholders, policy-makers and diverse technical and scientific experts in demonstrating and promoting innovative technologies, for an optimal and safe closed water cycle in Euro-Mediterranean tourist facilities, leading to their eventual market uptake. The demo site will be located in a hotel/resort in Spain, where a part of all inlet and outlet waters fluxes will be characterized, treated with adequate and innovative technologies, and reused. Reduction of fresh water consumption in hotel installations, green and recreational areas, etc. will be achieved by using alternative water sources, such as treated rainwater or the reuse of treated grey waters and/or wastewaters within the resort. All possibilities will be considered for the resort as a whole, taking into account the specific quality/quantity requirements of water at the different areas of the demo site, as well as current/future compliance with water regulations. The incorporation of advanced monitoring and control systems and a decision support tool will ultimately define the best water management solutions by means of considered technological solutions. An exhaustive environmental and socio-economic assessment will also be conducted.

demEAUmed will face two key challenges: the importance of the tourism economy and water scarcity characteristic of the area. It will be a critical platform for promoting the use of sustainable and innovative technologies in other Euro-Mediterranean tourist facilities in light of also the global tourism market. The project will design a dissemination plan analysing critical stakeholders/customers to adequately transfer demEAUmed results. Creation of new market opportunities to European industry and SMEs will also be addressed.

The partners involved are: Leitat, ICRA, UNESCO-IHE, Fraunhofer, ADASA, Eilenburger Elektrol, SICO Technology GmbH, IDD, Alchemia, Radtke Biotechnik, UVOX, Samba Hotels, UT Semide, LGI, JRC.

PhD fellowship - information

  • The PhD fellow will work directly with the Project leader for UNESCO-IHE, Dr. Giuliana Ferrero, and will be hosted by the Environmental Engineering and Water Technology Department of UNESCO-IHE in Delft, The Netherlands.
  • The PhD fellow will be in charge of the activities and deliverables of the project under the supervision of Dr. Giuliana Ferrero.
  • The PhD fellow will be attending to the project meetings (in Europe) and will undertake periodic travels to the demo site (in Spain).
  • The PhD fellow will be expected to publish the obtained results in peer reviewed journals and to present the results at international conferences.
  • The expected starting date is February 3, 2014.

Position requirements

  • The PhD fellow must have a MSc degree in chemical engineering with a strong focus on disinfection and disinfection by-products. (If candidates with this profile will not emerge, candidates with a background in microbiology, civil engineering, environmental engineering and environmental sciences will also be considered.)
  • The PhD fellow must be familiar with working in the laboratory; previous experience with water quality analyses (both chemical and microbiological) and with operation of pilot plants is required.
  • The PhD fellow must be proficient in oral and written English; knowledge of the Spanish language is an asset.
  • The PhD fellow must be able to work independently and as a member of a team; she/he must be creative, flexible, and eager to learn and to expand his /her scientific network.


We follow the allowance granted by the Netherlands Fellowship Programme of Nuffic of 1,190 Euros/month (net). In addition insurance, residence permit and book allowance will be provided. The duration of the fellowship is four years. The position is based in Delft, The Netherlands.