Martí-Franquès COFUND Fellowship Programme


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Engineering and Architecture

Supervisor name and surname:

Dieter Boer

Supervisor email:

Supervisor short biography

Co-supervisor name and surname:

Alberto Fernández Sabate

Co-supervisor email:

Co-supervisor institution:


Co-supervisor short biography

PhD programme:

Nanoscience, Materials and Chemical Engineering

Title of the research project:

Sustainable process systems engineering

Description of the research project:

Project motivation & description: The need to transition towards a more sustainable industry calls for advanced multi-objective decision-support tools embracing the three sustainability dimensions (i.e., economic, environmental and social). In this PhD project, we will develop process systems engineering concepts and tools to assist in the design and planning of more sustainable chemical processes, with emphasis on reducing water and energy consumption as well as waste and emissions in the production of a wide range of chemicals. Focusing on the combined use of process simulation, multi-objective global optimization and life cycle assessment, we will screen thousands of chemical technologies using state-of-the-art computational tools; this approach will be applied to major conventional chemical processes and emerging alternatives, including carbon capture and utilization, biomass & waste conversion, and polymers revalorization. The PhD project will, therefore, advance a more fundamental understanding of how to embed sustainability principles in the chemical industry, while developing tailored computational tools to assess and optimize a wide range of interconnected chemical routes.

The PhD student will have access to and acquire expertise on state-of-the art modelling & optimization tools, including process simulation (e.g., Aspen Plus, Aspen-HYSYS and gPROMS); life cycle assessment and related software packages (e.g. SimaPro, Ecoinvent); algebraic modelling systems (e.g., GAMS, Matlab), optimization solvers (e.g., CPLEX, DICOPT, SBB) and machine learning algorithms (e.g., artificial neural networks, support vector machine, etc.). The PhD project is embedded into a larger, interdisciplinary research effort with international collaborations.
Ethics: This project does not involve ethical aspects.

Workplace location: Campus Sescelades, Tarragona

Gross anual salary:

27103.20 €


Full time

Working hours:

37.5 hours a week

Expected start date:

15 March 2021

European union This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 945413