PhD scholarship in Digitalisation of Pilot Plant Operations

Monday 31 May 21

Apply for this job

Apply no later than 30 June 2021
Apply for the job at DTU Chemical Eng. by completing the following form.

Apply online

The PhD student will perform research with focus on digitalisation of the unit operations in our pilot plant. The pilot plant includes most common chemical unit operations, for example distillation, crystallization, evaporation, etc. Furthermore, it also includes equipment for fermentation experiments, including downstream processing.

The position is part of a strategic effort of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. In a time where industry has increased focus on making better use of data, automation and advanced control (Industry 4.0), the department has the ambition to upgrade our pilot plant towards Industry 4.0, such that we can keep on providing an education that is relevant for future industrial specialists. The PhD student will be working closely together with our specialists in the pilot plant and with faculty members in the research centres. 

Responsibilities and qualifications
The focus of the PhD position is on development of virtual laboratories in the field of chemical and biochemical engineering. More specifically, the candidate is expected to work on one or several of the following topics: 

  • Implementation of bioprocess models, as well as a deep understanding of their properties and characteristic.
  • Development and extension of non-relational databases for bioprocesses as well as for a simulator.
  • Investigation of the intersection between IT, cognition, and the teaching of bioprocesses online.
  • Creation of learning designs for virtual teaching across progression levels in university education.
  • Develop the introduction of machine learning and artificial intelligence inside an educational bioprocess simulator. A specific framework may need to be developed for this task.
  • Software development, aiming to make your own the software BioVL (
  • Development of data flows and analysis from the pilot plant to enhance the learning experience. 

This PhD involves a multidisciplinary project which connects the education, (bio)chemical engineering, and computer science fields. Hence, this project will let you investigate and grow different skill sets with a tangible (but virtual) outcome.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) in chemical or biochemical engineering or related fields, or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree.

Furthermore, the ideal candidate should have an interest in performing experimental work with pilot scale equipment and/or in software development, and preferably have experience with software tools such as Matlab-Simulink and Python. Additional, previous work in this topic has been done using Javascript, Flask, HTML and CSS, as well as MongoDB for the software development. Consequently, it will be beneficial but not mandatory to know about this programming languages. Hands-on experience from working with pilot-scale equipment is also a significant advantage.

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, please see the DTU PhD Guide

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 candidate can expect to spend several months abroad at BTEC (North Carolina State University).

ou can read more about career paths at DTU here.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assoc. Prof. Ulrich Krühne tel.: +45 4525 2960, e-mail

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Please submit your online application no later than 30 June 2021 (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
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

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

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

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 12,900 students and 6,000 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.