Postdoc in Integrating Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) Models with Microbial metabolic Dynamics to Design Scale-down Simulation Strategies

Wednesday 28 Oct 20

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The department Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU-Biosustain) at the Technical University of Denmark invites applications for a Postdoc position in Integrating Computational Fluid Dynamic models with microbial metabolic dynamics to design scale-down simulation strategies.

The proposed start date of this position is from January 1, 2021. This Post-Doctoral position will be placed at DTU-Biosustain, in the applied research group for High Density Physiology (HDP) at the section of Translational Research, working with an aim towards bridging the gap between academic metabolic engineering projects from cell factories and their commercial application. We aim at establishment and integration of a whole workflow, from synthetic biology through genetic engineering, bench-scale fermentations and scale-up process design towards gate milestone driven project and process development until successful release into the market. The section has a total staff of approx. 30 employees, comprising of a highly motivated team of Engineers, Scientists and Technicians to tackle this challenging task.

Responsibilities and tasks
Scale-up of bioprocesses rely heavily on selecting appropriate “fermenterphiles”, i.e.  robust production organisms that can show minor or no changes in the key process parameters at different cultivation scales or in appropriate scale-down bioreactor conditions. This Post-Doc project aims to design suitable scale-down simulators from coupled CFD-metabolic dynamic simulations, to ensure a precise representation of the organism lifelines and extracellular conditions expected in an industrial scale stirred tank bioreactor.

Therefore, in this project, you will:

  • Develop CFD models of a large-scale bioreactor process
  • Describe and validate kinetic models for the fermenterphile strains of interest
  • Integrate the CFD models and metabolic dynamics of microorganisms to design appropriate scale-down bioreactor configurations
  • Design and validate appropriate lab-scale scale-down bioreactor configurations to mimic the spatial heterogeneity of large-scale industrial bioreactors

Candidates should have a PhD degree (in Biochemical Engineering/Industrial biotechnology) or equivalent.

We are looking for a candidate with a solid background/expertise in:

  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Microbial metabolic network and metabolism
  • Kinetic modelling, Stoichiometric modelling and Bioreactor modelling
  • Bioreactor and Bioprocess design application in bioprocess development
  • Scale-up and scale-down strategies of high-cell-density microbial fermentations
  • Design and execution of fed-batch and continuous cultivation in lab to pilot scale bioreactors
  • Data analysis, parameter estimation and modelling/simulation software (Ansys Fluent, Python, Copasi, Matlab etc…)
  • Project management and mentoring
  • Scientific writing and communication in English

We look forward to a candidate who

  • Enjoys working with complex topics
  • Thrives on collaboration/teamwork and focussed on the process as well as the outcome
  • Believes in dialogue and feedback as the best foundation for sound decision-making
  • Strives to develop talent amongst others

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 Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment can be up to 3 years with a fixed end date 31.12.2023.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Suresh Sudarsan, or +45 93511777.

You can read more about “the Department” at

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 27 November 2020 (Danish 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/PhD)
  • List of publications

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.

The Department of DTU-Biosustain is located at DTU Lyngby campus. The center has approx. over 300 employees and has established a world-class environment for research into the design and development of cell factories. The goal is to further increase its socio-economic impact by developing microbial strains to significantly improve bio-sustainability. Biotechnology will be a key element in the green transition, and thus, the Center is a good example to promote sustainable products and processes in Denmark.

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU Biosustain)
Recent progress in our ability to read and write genomic code, combined with advances in automation, analytics and data science, has fundamentally changed the scope and ambition of harnessing the potential of biological systems. Big data approaches and analysis of biological systems are key research instruments at the Center. DTU Biosustain utilizes these advances for microbial cell factory design to foster sustainable lifestyles in relation to three application areas: Sustainable Chemicals, Natural Products, and Microbial Foods.

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