PhD position “Transforming dredged harbor sediment into a CO2-absorbing building material”

The Department of Ocean Systems (OCS) is looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate with a background in environmental sciences or chemistry to develop and test methods to mitigate emissions of greenhouse gases and contaminants from dredged harbor sediment (principal investigator dr. Peter Kraal).

2020-09-01 12:39:56


VACANCY ID:         2020 - 39

CLOSING DATE:    October 9th, 2020.



Researchers in the Department of Ocean System Research (OCS) study open-ocean processes and aquatic ecosystems from a variety of disciplines including physical and chemical oceanography, marine geology, paleoceanography and deep-sea ecology. We investigate the past and present ocean in order to assess its future role in the Earth system. We collect data during oceanographic research cruises and conduct experiments both at sea and in the laboratory at our home base on Texel. The department carries out work in diverse environments all around the globe, from the Antarctic to the Arctic, and from the Caribbean to the North Sea.



Each year, harbors worldwide remove millions of tons of sediment. This material has great potential as building material, but it can also release the greenhouse gas CO2. In this project, you will explore ways to minimize release of CO2 and other potential contaminants from dredged sediment by applying abundant natural materials such as the CO2-consuming mineral olivine. You will measure emissions from untreated sediment, optimize treatments in the laboratory and test promising strategies in the field. The project is part of the Blue Route initiative, in which research and industry partners team up to improve our understanding, utilization and protection of oceans, seas, deltas and rivers.



We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a Masters-level degree in (aquatic or environmental) chemistry, Earth sciences or a related field. Practical experience with laboratory work is desirable, and the willingness and aptitude to learn and develop these skills are essential. Familiarity with chemical modelling, such as aqueous speciation and saturation calculations, is useful. For the project, the candidate will participate in/organize short field campaigns to collect harbor sediment. A diverse research consortium carries out the project and therefore it is important that the candidate can function in a team environment with intensive collaboration including joint experiments with the postdoc that will be hired for the project.

Furthermore, you should be capable of planning and organizing your work and you should be interested in taking a leading role in directing the course of your own research within the overall framework of the project. Proficiency in spoken and written English is essential, as you will present your results at international conferences, and write manuscripts to submit to peer-reviewed scientific journals. Your position will be hosted by the Department of Ocean Systems (OCS) at the Royal NIOZ on the island of Texel, The Netherlands.



Employment of this position at Royal NIOZ is by NWO (The Netherlands Organization of Scientific Research). We offer a position for a period of 1 year (fulltime). At the end of this first year, the employment will be extended for a fixed-term of a maximum of 4 years, if the first-year evaluation held is positive. The salary is compliant to the CAO-OI (Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Research Institutes). A pension scheme, a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, a year-end bonus, and flexible work arrangements are part of the employment conditions.  



For additional information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Peter Kraal (principal investigator) or prof. dr. Gert-Jan Reichart (department head).

For additional information about the procedure, please contact Alexandra Noppeney (senior HR advisor).

Learn more about the Department of Ocean Systems here.

Interviews will be held online (Microsoft Teams) in week 44 of 2020.


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