Research Assistant in the project PORDEX – Portable Sniffer Detection of Improvised Explosives

Thursday 30 Jan 20

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The available positions as Research Assistant in the Section of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry is part of the PORDEX project funded by the Danish Ministry of Defence - Acquisition and Logistics Organisation. The starting date of the position is April 1st or as soon after as possible. The objective of the PORDEX project is to make the world a safer place for the public, by developing an easy to use handheld detector, which can detect improvised explosives and their precursors. The Danish company CRIM-Track Aps heads the project in close collaboration with DTU Chemistry, DTU Compute, the Danish Emergency Management Agency, and Cranfield University, Centre of Defence Chemistry (UK).


The Section of Organic and Inorganic Chemistry comprises activities within: Catalysis and Sustainable Chemistry, Nanochemistry, and Organic Chemistry. Common themes are the synthesis and characterization of small to very large inorganic and organic molecules. The research areas are homogenous and heterogenous catalysis, gas separation and absorption, development of new materials, conversion of biomass, electrochemistry, bioelectrochemistry, graphene nanoparticles, coordination chemistry, chemical biology, and NMR spectroscopy.


DTU Chemistry is a department with a high level of research activities, important publications in high impact journals, and a department with great emphasis on educating the future generation of chemical engineers.


In recent years, the recruitment of new, talented Faculty has strengthened the Department's academic profile. The strong research and education environment are well supported by several state-of-the-art facilities.


DTU Chemistry collaborates closely with other departments at DTU, companies, and both international and national universities - especially within the research areas of Life Science, energy, catalysis and materials.


Responsibilities and tasks

Core of the sniffer system is a colorimetric chip containing an array of chemo-selective compounds (dyes). Each dye on the chip reacts selectively to molecules or mixtures of molecules in the vapor phase. The dye responses are recorded and analyzed by digital imaging of the color changes during sniffing. Using machine learning a classifier is trained to detect target analytes based on a large collection of samples obtained under realistic operational conditions.


You will be involved in the further development of the colorimetric chip, selection of new dyes to be included on the chip, NMR investigation of dye / explosive, dye / precursor interactions at the NMR Centre (DTU Chemistry) and at Cranfield University. You will also be involved in the sensor system optimization, optimization of experimental designs together with the other partners in the project.


Candidates should have a master’s degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or equivalent. Work experience in in in industry or academia will be an advantage.


We are looking for a candidate with a track record in one or more of the following areas:

  • Having experience with experimental design and analysis
  • Having experience in NMR
  • Having experience in analytical chemistry
  • Having experience in Python and / or MATLAB
  • Having experience in / interest in machine learning and classifier development

The PORDEX project is interdisciplinary with national and international partners from both academia and industrial research. The candidate should be motivated to thrive in such a setting.


We offer

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.


Salary and terms of employment

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union.

The period of employment is 2 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Mogens Havsteen Jakobsen, tel.: +45 4525 2347 or mob.: +45 5180 1482


You can read more about DTU Chemistry at


Application procedure

Please submit your online application no later than 19 February 2020 (local time).

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • Diploma (MSc)

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.


All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.


Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.