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Position: Master thesis in membrane filtration applied to drinking water production
Institution: Eidgenössische Anstalt für Wasserversorgung, Abwasserreinigung und Gewässerschutz
Department: Department of Process Engineering
Location: Dübendorf, Switzerland
Duties: This project will increase our fundamental understanding of the role of hydrodynamic stresses in determining the composition and mechanical properties of the biofilm EPS matrix. The great potential of biofilm-membrane composites is successfully applied in various water treatment systems developed by Eawag, e.g., recycling of grey waters in the Water Wall. But a broader application requires further advances in our fundamental understanding of the mechanisms governing biofilm hydraulic resistance
Requirements: We are looking for master student with initial knowledge in microbiology, biofilm science and/or water treatment processes. The candidate should have strong interests for drinking water production, membrane filtration technologies and biofilm science (biofilm lifecycle, biofilm mechanics)
   
Text: Eawag, the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, is an internationally networked aquatic research institute within the ETH Domain (Swiss Federal Institutes of Technology). Eawag conducts research, education and expert consulting to achieve the dual goals of meeting direct human needs for water and maintaining the function and integrity of aquatic ecosystems. The Department of Process Engineering has a vacancy for a master student Master thesis in membrane filtration applied to drinking water production Topic: Bacteria inevitably colonize membrane filtration systems to form biofilms (van Loosdrecht et al. 2012). The formation of biofilms on membrane surfaces reduces permeate flux due to the increased hydraulic resistance. But practical experience indicates that avoiding the formation of biofilms is almost impossible. Eawag has thus developed a new paradigm for the operation of membrane systems, which consists in taking advantage of biofilms formed on membrane surfaces. The biofilm present controls both the quantity and quality of the permeate. In such a system, more than 80% of the hydraulic resistance is due to the biofilm (Derlon et al. 2016). The extracellular polymeric matrix (EPS) can account for over 90% of biofilm mass (Flemming and Wingender 2010) and consist of polysaccharides (PS), extracellular deoxyribonucleic acids (eDNA), proteins, amyloids, and amphiphilic surfactants. The hydraulic resistance of a biofilm directly correlates with its PS and eDNA content (Desmond et al. 2018), but the causality and nature of this relationship has yet to be demonstrated. This project will increase our fundamental understanding of the role of hydrodynamic stresses in determining the composition and mechanical properties of the biofilm EPS matrix. The great potential of biofilm-membrane composites is successfully applied in various water treatment systems developed by Eawag, e.g., recycling of grey waters in the Water Wall. But a broader application requires further advances in our fundamental understanding of the mechanisms governing biofilm hydraulic resistance. We are looking for master student with initial knowledge in microbiology, biofilm science and/or water treatment processes. The candidate should have strong interests for drinking water production, membrane filtration technologies and biofilm science (biofilm lifecycle, biofilm mechanics). The position is a joint work between the groundwater and hydromechanics lab of ETHZ (Dr E. Secchi) and Eawag (Dr N. Derlon). The preferred starting date is in the beginning of 2019. Eawag offers a unique research and working environment and is committed to promoting equal opportunities for women and men and to support the compatibility of family and work. Applications from women are especially welcome. For more information about Eawag and our work conditions please consult www.eawag.ch and www.eawag.ch/en/aboutus/working/employment . Applications must be submitted by the 31 January 2019 and should include an application letter describing your interests and their relevance to this position, a CV, list of lectures and grades, and the names and contact information for three references. For further information, please contact Dr Derlon: nicolas.derlon@eawag.ch We look forward to receive your application. Please send it through this webpage, any other way of applying will not be considered. A click on the link below will take you directly to the application form. Apply now Print Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology
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