Junior Researcher Groundwater Treatment

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Are you interested in water treatment? Do you want to contribute to a completely new approach to remove iron from groundwater? 

Job description

We are looking for a junior researcher to study both the fundamental and applied side of iron removal in water treatment. Currently, soluble iron(II) is converted to insoluble iron(III) during aeration forming aqueous iron flocs. This is removed upon filtration, which requires frequent backwashing and generates large sludge streams. In our idea, iron is removed anaerobically by forming the iron-phosphate mineral vivianite. It has shown to reduce the sludge volume to a third, while a valuable product is formed instead of a waste product. This novel concept has been awarded an NWO Open Mind grant, allowing to continue this research for an additional year. The title of the project is ‘From waste to value: vivianite precipitation to recover iron from anaerobic groundwater’. See article and pitch. The next steps will be to test this concept in different process conditions and to make the transition from lab scale to pilot scale. Another possible application which will be investigated is the removal of iron from anaerobic membrane concentrate streams.

It is a completely new approach of water treatment, which might become more popular in the future. You will take the lead in the experimental lab work and have the option to work both in the Waterlab of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CiTG) as in the Environmental Biotechnology lab of Applied Sciences (TNW). We are looking for an enthusiastic researcher with preferably experience in (chemical) lab work. At the end of the project, it is likely a scientific publication will follow.

You will be working together and guided by PhD candidate Ir. Roos Goedhart (CiTG), Associate Professor Dr. Ir. Doris van Halem (CiTG) and Professor Dr. Ir. Mark van Loosdrecht (TNW).

What we offer

  • Working on a novel research theme
  • Great opportunity to position yourself in the field, collaboration with experienced researchers.
  • Independent research opportunity – research open to your ideas
  • Collaboration with Dutch drinking water companies
  • Possible co authorship for scientific publication.  


The succesfull candidate

  • Wants to help our research group for 6 months fulltime or 12 months 0,5 fte as a researcher assistant
  • Is self-reliant and confident with (chemical) labwork
  • Experienced and interested in water treatment
  • Skilled in scientific literature reviewing
  • Interested to co-author in scientific publication, experience in academic writing is a pre
  • Acquaintance with iron chemistry and/or anaerobic experiments is a pre

Conditions of employment

The duration of the project is 6 months (1fte) to max 1 year (0.5 fte). Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (Salary indication: € 2.968,00 – € 4.078,00). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. We offer flexible hours – hours per week: 20 (0.5 fte) to 38 (1 fte). The start date is April (or earlier). 

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.
Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. We expect you to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) within three years if you have less than five years of teaching experience. This is provided by the TU Delft UTQ programme.

TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy or questions about the procedure contact [email protected]

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 1 February 2022 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.




IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development