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Advanced imaging of particulate–biofilm interactions

   School of Chemical & Bioprocess Engineering

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  Prof Eoin Casey  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Project Context:

Applications are invited for a PhD position as a part of a European Research Council (ERC) funded project.

Wastewater treatment (WWT) processes that use biofilms as their biocatalyst have been in use for over 100 years. Over the past few decades, a greater understanding has emerged on how biofilms can be exploited for enhanced nutrient removal and this knowledge has been translated into new technologies representing about one-third of all WWT processes in a multibillion-euro global wastewater technology market. Despite the success of these technologies, there is significant need for enhanced efficiencies in these processes. To achieve this, there is need for new mechanistic insight, in particular the interaction between biofilms and particulate organic matter in the influent wastewater. The knowledge-gap spans three key areas: (i) non-oxidative interactions, (ii) hydrolysis and (iii) bioflocculation.

Team: The Students will be based in the School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering for a 4-year full-time structured PhD programme.

The student will join an interdisciplinary team of researchers that will use an experimental platform that exploits recent developments in advanced imaging, nanosensors & particle-tracking to probe the fundamentals of particle-biofilm interactions.

Award and Doctoral Training: The student will be registered for a structured doctoral degree programme at UCD and the student's research, training and development will be guided by a Research Studies Panel. The student will also complete a number of advanced PhD-level modules (30 ECTS), as well as professional training, which will benefit their future career.  

Equality, diversity and inclusion: UCD is committed to creating an environment where diversity is celebrated, and everyone is treated fairly (

Candidates must be fluent in English, at a level that meets UCD minimum requirements. See following link

Required Skills / Qualifications/ Aptitudes:

You should be motivated and enthusiastic with an excellent academic record.

You must hold (or soon hold) a Masters or strong Bachelor’s degree in, Microbiology or Life Sciences and have some laboratory experience.

You should have the ability to work independently and as part of a team and have excellent interpersonal skills.

Application Process:

Please pay attention to the following instruction for applying:

Email eoin.casey@ucd with the subject line: ABSOLUTE PhD1 with the following two attachments:

- Cover letter -Stating your motivating for applying for the position (max 2 pages)

- Curriculum Vitae


Funding Notes

This is fully funded by the European Commission (ERC) and a generous stipend and full fees will be paid

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