PhD Researcher - Doctoral Candidate for Urban Microalgae Protein

WorkplaceZurich, Zurich region, Switzerland


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100%, Singapore, fixed-term

The ETH Sustainable Food Processing Group uses a combination of innovative sustainability assessment and emerging food system approaches to target fundamental challenges in food science and society such as food security.

Project background

Singapore targets increasing its domestic, independent food supply under urbanized constraints by 30% until 2030. The project aims to enable Singapore's independent, domestic, resilient, and urban food/protein supply by consumer relevant bright yellow heterotrophic microalgae biomass:

1. Establish a state-of-the-art urban single-cell protein production platform using food processing side-streams to leverage supply-chain sustainability and mitigate costs employing circular economy concepts.

2. Innovate supply-chain eco-efficiency by improving microalgae production efficiency and final product affordability through pulsed electric field (PEF) processing.

3. Build an R&D platform for concrete food concept development of meat alternatives harnessing extrusion and 3D-printing for large-scale and decentralised food supply.

4. Understand the Singaporean consumers’ preferences and needs related to innovative microalgae-based food products. The project delivers affordable, palatable, and nutritious microalgae-based food products to the market. It strengthens Singapore’s food security, provides strategic and economic benefits through stimulating economic productivity, and leverages global competitiveness on the meat alternative market.

Job description

As a Doctoral Researcher you will be responsible for research that aims to develop, test, and validate a pulsed electric field (PEF)-based biorefinery concept to ameliorate single-cell value-chain efficiency. This work will be performed in collaboration with our research partners at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and A*STAR-SIFBI.

Your tasks will include:

  • Research, develop, and optimize PEF protocols to maximise nutrition yields during and after microalgae cultivation
  • Designing, developing, and performing experiments to establish and validate a PEF-based biorefinery approach
  • Work collaboratively within a multinational team to advance microalgae up- and downstream activities in support of an innovative PEF platform
  • Independently conceive and execute experiments that implement PEF-based biorefinery concepts and test new techniques
  • Communicating research outcomes, e.g., at relevant international conferences and in peer-reviewed journals
  • Maintain effective communication within a cross-functional team
  • Acting at the interface between science and technology when supervising students and collaborating with partners from academia and industryPlease enter text here

Your profile

You should have excellent academic qualifications, writing skills, strong self-motivation and ability to work in a fast-paced interdisciplinary environment.

You must have a Bachelors and Masters degree (or equivalent) in Food Science, Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or a closely related field.

You will also have:

  • A M.Sc. (or equivalent) in Food Science or Engineering, Biotechnology, Bioprocess Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or related fields
  • Expertise and interest in working with biological systems (e.g., single cells such as bacteria or microalgae) and PEF processing
  • Experience with R, Python, or similar programming language
  • A strong interest in working with and developing new approaches for protein separation
  • Experience of working independently and collaborating in an international environment
  • Scientific curiosity and motivation to perform scientifically rigorous experimental work
  • Good “people skills” when interacting with colleagues and collaboration partners
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills in English

The following competences will be advantageous:

  • Experience working with microalgae
  • Experience in pulsed electric field processing
  • At least one peer-reviewed publication
  • Experience in protein separation

Singapore-ETH Centre

The Singapore-ETH Centre provides a multicultural and interdisciplinary environment to researchers working on diverse themes focussed on sustainable and liveable cities, resilient urban systems, and patient-centric healthcare. The centre is home to a community of over 100 doctoral, postdoctoral and professorial researchers working in three main programmes: Future Cities Laboratory, Future Resilient Systems, and Future Health Technologies.
Working, teaching and research at Singapore-ETH Centre

In your application, please refer to and reference JobID 53823.

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