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PhD Stipend in Oil-Water Separation in the Presence of Production Chemicals (18-19019)

At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, Department of Chemistry and Bioscience, a PhD stipend is available within the research programme Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering. The stipend is open for appointment from 1 May 2019 or soon thereafter and not later than 1 August 2019. The stipend period is 3 years. The Department consists of five sections, of which three are located in Aalborg with research and teaching in Biotechnology, Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science; one in Copenhagen on Sustainable Biotechnology; and one in Esbjerg on Chemical Engineering. The place of employment of the PhD position is the Section of Chemical Engineering in Esbjerg.

Job description

In the Section of Chemical Engineering a PhD stipend is available with the provisional title “Oil/Water Separation in the Presence of Production Chemicals”. The PhD position will be an integrated part of the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Centre (DHRTC) Work Programme “Enhanced Well Chemistry and Integrity”, which has the overall objective of extending the commercial field life by reduction of well related OPEX and downtime. The objective is pursued through developing methods for corrosion and scale prediction and mitigation. These methods include the use of Production Chemicals, which however may end up to some extent in the topside oil/water separators and reduce their efficiency.

In this context, the candidate is expected to perform fundamental and applied research on understanding how the oil/water separation kinetics in topside separators is influenced by the presence of Production Chemicals. In fact, some of the chemicals in use (e.g. film forming corrosion inhibitors) are surface active compounds that can remarkably alter the oil/water interface properties and hinder the separation process.

The candidate is expected to study experimentally the effect of different Production Chemicals, as well as their interaction, on the oil/water separation and to develop physico-chemical models able to capture the effect of the chemicals on coalescence of the dispersed phases and phase separation. The overall aim of the project is to develop simulation models able of predicting the behavior of topside separators with respect to the main operating parameters (e.g. water-to-oil ratio, aqueous and oil phase composition, temperature, residence time) and the concentration of said chemicals.  

PhD scholarships are allocated to individuals who hold a Master's degree (MSc). PhD scholarships are normally for a period of 3 years. It is a prerequisite for allocation of the stipend that the candidate will be enrolled as a PhD fellow at the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science in accordance with the regulations of Ministerial Order No. 1039 of August 27, 2013 on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions. According to the Ministerial Order the progress of the PhD fellow shall be assessed every six months. It is a prerequisite for continuation of salary payment that the previous progress is approved at the time of the evaluation.

Applicants to the PhD scholarship must hold a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Chemical Engineering, Oil & Gas Technology, Chemistry, or similar from an internationally recognized University or they expect to have obtained the above-mentioned type of Master Degree before 31 July 2019. We are looking for highly motivated candidates with the following qualifications:

  • A good knowledge of chemistry, physics, and applied mathematics;
  • Previous experience with experimental research within oil and gas technology, chemistry and chemical engineering is advantageous;
  • Previous experience in developing physico-chemical models and in chemical process simulation is advantageous;
  • Ability to work in a multi-disciplinary environment as an independent researcher;
  • Good writing and communication skills in English.

We offer

  • Access to state of the art laboratories facilities.
  • Multi-disciplinary and international environment.
  • A chance to see your research be brought out into practice.
  • Strong connection to industry.

You may obtain further information from Associate Professor Marco Maschietti (marco@bio.aau.dk) concerning the scientific aspects of the scholarship.

Application procedure
The application must be written in English and must include the following:

  • Copy of diplomas/transcripts (including grades in individual exams);
  • Curriculum vitae;
  • List of written works/publications;
  • 1-2 pages where you introduce yourself, your aspirations, and present your qualifications.

Applicants must ensure that all documents are uploaded online before the submission deadline, as additional material cannot be considered.

The qualifications of the applicants will be assessed by an assessment committee. On the basis of the recommendation of the assessment committee the Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Science will make a decision for allocating the stipend.

For further information about the scholarship, salary as well as practical issues concerning the application procedure, please contact Ms. Ruth Klitte, The Faculty of Engineering and Science, email: rk@adm.aau.dk, phone: +45 9940 7993.

For more information of the Doctoral School of Engineering and Science: www.phd.engineering.aau.dk

AAU wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background or belief.

The application is only to be submitted online by using the "Apply online" button below.


Appointment and salary as a PhD fellow are according to the Ministry of Finance Circular of November 10, 2015 on the Collective Agreement for Academics in Denmark, Appendix 5, regarding PhD fellows, and with the Ministry of Finance current circular on the employment structure at Danish Universities.   

Vacancy number



Thu Mar 28 00:00:00 CET 2019

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