Programmable Synthesis of Designer Lipids and Phospholipids - Linking chemistry & physics with function and manufacture

Aarhus Universitet (AU)

Ph.d. & forskning
Østjylland (Aarhus)

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Engineering programme. The position is available from 1 February 2020.

Title:
Programmable Synthesis of Designer Lipids and Phospholipids - Linking chemistry & physics with function and manufacture

Research area and project description:
This project is anchored within the research fields across synthetic lipid chemistry, 3D printing manufacturing and food physics; particularly in design and synthesis of novel lipids, programmable purification, modeling and application in 3D printing food.

Lipids are non-gene encoded small molecules, which are ubiquitously occurring in almost all organisms. Lipids are not only the structural molecules for cell/organelle membranes, but also take on various biological functionalities. They find a variety of applications in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. The interest for lipid research continuous to grow. Especially, designer lipid molecules with precise defined structures are of interest. However, the synthesis of lipids has never been standardized to the same extend as peptides that can be reached in a programmable manner. This remains a big challenge in synthesis chemistry.

Recent innovations in 3D print manufacturing open new opportunities for food preparation routes. Current challenges include quality and reproducibility, mechanical strength, print speed and scaleability, and the ability to process composites. These challenges all link directly to the printability of a specific material for a chosen type of print technology. Advancements will emerge from deep understanding of material behaviour combined with novel approaches in materials processing. Recently, Continuous Liquid Interface Print (CLIP) technology based on ultra violet exposure of resin provides a continuous process being up to 100 times faster than traditional fused deposition printing. This is a unique opportunity for food applications.

The ultimate goal of this project is to create product arrays of new lipid molecules with documented programmability and standardized protocols. It is to generate sufficient scientific knowledge and technology for building up a CLIP-based 3D printing platform for food applications.

Qualifications and specific competences:
Applicants should hold a Master’s degree in organic chemistry, applied chemistry, chemical engineering or similar with knowledge about chemistry, chemical engineering and/or material science.

Experience in organic synthesis, analytical chemistry and biocatalysis, and skills in spectroscopic analysis for structural identification, and chromatographic quantification analysis, are basic required qualifications.

Experience in characterization of lipid and protein components, characterization of nanomaterials, and food physics is an additional advantage.

This project is an industry-oriented project, where an industrial partner will be heavily involved. Therefore, the experience of interaction with industries will be an additional competence.

Candidates from a non-English speaking country must have certificated English levels based on the standard of Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University.

Place of Employment and Place of Work:
This is a joint project between iFOOD – Center for Innovative Food Research, a Swedish Company as a professional supplier of synthetic lipids, Department of Engineering and Department of Food Science at Aarhus University.

The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Agro-Biotechnology Science Lab; and Biomechanics and Mechanobiology Lab, Gustav Wieds Vej 10, DK-8000 Aarhus, Denmark. Some activities will be carried out in the place of the industrial partner of the project.

Contacts:
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:

Associate Professor, Ph.D. Zheng Guo, guo@eng.au.dk ; Tel. +45 871 55528, Fax. +45 871 50201

Associate Professor, Ph.D. Jens Vinge Nygaard, jvn@eng.au.dk ; Tel. +45 4189 3170

Or, Associate Professor, Ph.D. Lars Wiking, +4587157805, lars.wiking@food.au.dk , Tel. +45 871 57805

Application procedures

Before you applyInformation and attachments:
Please be aware that you must have all relevant appendices, attachments, addresses for referees, etc. ready when you apply, as the entire application must be uploaded to the system in one go.

Documentation of language skills:
The English language requirement at GSST is comparable to an “English B level” in the Danish upper secondary school (“gymnasium”).

English language qualifications comparable to an “English B level” are documented by one of the following tests:

  • TOEFL test, minimum score: 560 (paper-based test) or 83 (internet-based test). The paper-based test must have a “total score”. From the August 2019 call, GSST will no longer accept the paper-based test.
    Aarhus University does not accept the TOEFL ITP test. Aarhus University’s TOEFL code is 8935. Ask the test centre to send your test results to Aarhus University, in order to enable verification of your test results.
  • IELTS (academic) test, minimum average score: 6.5 points
  • Cambridge English Language Assessment:
    Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency (CPE)
    Cambridge English: Certificate of Advanced English with grade A,B or C (CAE)
    Cambridge English: First Certificate with grade A (FCE)

When to take the test and how to upload the documentation:
The test result must not be more than two years old at the time of application.

The English language test should be taken before applying for admission and uploaded under “language skills documentation” in the online application form.

It is possible to apply for admission before you have taken the test. In this case documentation stating that you have signed up for a test (please state expected submission date) must be uploaded. If the test result is not part of the original application the test result is to be sent to sphd@psys.au.dk no later than one month after the application deadline.

The following applicants are exempted from documenting their English qualifications/taking a test:

  • Applicants with citizenship from the following countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, or one of the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway or Sweden).
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, or the United States. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.
  • Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme completed at a Danish university for which the requirement was English B level at the time of admission. In this case, please upload your Bachelor’s or Master’s diploma under the section ”Language skills documentation”.

The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.

How to apply:
1) Find the application form:
Go to www.phd.scitech.au.dk/for-applicants/apply-here - Note, the online application system opens on 1 September 2019.
Choose November 2019 Call with deadline 1 November 2019 at noon (11.59 AM CET).
You will be directed to the call, and must choose the programme 'Engineering'

2) Fill in the following information:

  • Personal information
  • Academic background
  • Admission
  • Financing (if any)
  • Study: In the dropdown menu you must choose the project: "Programmable Synthesis of Designer Lipids and Phospholipids - Linking chemistry & physics with function and manufacture"
  • Source (how you found out about the call)

Next to some of the information fields you will find a number. Click on the number to get further directions on how to fill in the information field/what information is needed.

3) Application attachments:
Please be aware that you cannot submit the application if one or several of these documents have not been uploaded.

If you wish to upload more than one document under each section, you must scan/merge all documents into one large PDF file and upload this. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like. Instead you can indicate a URL where the information is available.

All information in the application must be in English or Danish, preferably English.

As a minimum all applications must include (pdf-files only, max. 20 MB, no zip):

  • One reference (template for references)
  • Curriculum vitae,
  • Motivation (max. 1 page)
  • Transcripts, grade point averages (weighted and unweighted), and diploma(s) for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degree
  • Project description (½-4 pages). For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. When - as here - you apply for a specific project, please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application. If you wish to, you can indicate an URL where further information can be found. Please note that we reserve the right to remove scientific papers, large reports, theses and the like.
  • Documentation of language skills if required.

After submission of the application, you will receive a confirmation e-mail with an application ID, you should use for reference if needed.

GSST reserves the right to verify the authenticity of your educational diploma and transcripts:

  • Request additional information to verify an application.
  • Reject the application if it is proven, or if the University has reasonable belief, that the information provided is false or if the applicant refuses to provide the requested information, whether or not an offer has already been made.
  • For further information on applying, assessment procedures, etc. please see the GSST Application Guide.

Please note:

  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • The project will only be initiated if final funding (from GSST/the faculty) is secured.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.


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Aarhus Universitet blev grundlagt i 1928 og er i dag i den absolutte verdenselite på flere forskningsfelter. Aarhus Universitet (AU) er blandt verdens 10 bedste universiteter grundlagt inden for de seneste 100 år og har en lang tradition for partnerskaber med nogle af verdens bedste forskningsinstitutioner og universitetsnetværk.

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