Microplastic Exploration Intern

The Ocean Cleanup

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱


The Ocean Cleanup develops advanced technology to extract, prevent, and intercept plastic pollution. Our goal is to initiate the largest cleanup in history by mid-2018.

We are a young organization with a mission to tackle a global problem of an unprecedented scale. What we are aiming for is not easy, and we know we need to push the limits of current technological boundaries to reach our goals. Working at The Ocean Cleanup isn’t for everyone, but we believe that through optimism, perseverance, and ingenuity we can succeed.

We are recruiting a diverse team of bright, high-performing people, who feel comfortable going off the beaten path, and who perceive setbacks merely as necessary obstacles to be taken on the route to great and lasting achievement.


The Ocean Cleanup is looking for an intern who will take a dive into one specific subject: concentrating and extracting microplastics. Your tasks will be to:

  • Create an overview of readily available knowledge, both within the organization and outside;
  • Set up hypotheses and create test set-ups to concentrate and extract the microplastics;
  • Report back upon your findings including recommendations for more research and testing.

Please note that experiments will not take place in the ocean, but in a more controlled environment.


  • You are a master’s student in, for example, hydraulic engineering, mechanical engineering, marine biology, process engineering or similar
  • Ideally, you have working knowledge in any of the following: fluid mechanics, sediment transport, hydrology, or… microplastics
  • An internship is a requirement for your master’s degree (you will be asked to provide a letter from your university to substantiate this)
  • This internship can be combined with writing a master’s thesis, although we do expect you to be available for more practical tasks related to the assignment (expect roughly 60% thesis/40% other – no copying or filing tasks, promise)
  • You can start this summer (or earlier) and are available for 4 to 6 months


  • Independent work ethic (and knows when to ask for help)
  • Fast and analytical thinking
  • Practical (for example: you can fix your own bike and enjoy building things)
  • Strong command of English, verbal and written
  • Intrinsic motivation to work on our ambitious and meaningful goal

Please apply by sending your CV and motivation letter to [email protected]. For questions please email to [email protected].