Industrial PhD scholarship in Microbial Water Quality in Recirculating Showers

Wednesday 16 Dec 20

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Apply no later than 20 January 2021
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Flow Loop and DTU Environment at the Technical University of Denmark advertises a fully funded 3-year Industrial PhD-position in Microbial Water Quality in Recirculating Showers.

If you have already established yourself in the area of microbial water quality, the scholarship offers a unique opportunity to both conduct research at the highest level and be part of creating a sustainable product that will be contributing significantly to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The projects purpose is to provide Flow Loop with the water quality “license to operate”, as part of developing a novel recirculating shower panel that recovers and cleans water. The recirculating shower provides households, hotels and workplaces with water and energy saving technology to solving the ever-increasing problem of water scarcity and at the same time significantly reduce the CO2 footprint of showering.

The project will investigate and optimize the microbial water quality in recirculating showers. This will include

  • Identification of microbial water quality indicators for recirculating showers
  • Investigation of how various water treatment methods and components materials affect microbial water quality
  • Investigation of new disinfection approaches
  • Balancing safety and sustainability e.g. by quantitative microbial risk assessment (QMRA)

The investigations will include both traditional indicator organisms (e.g. E. coli), opportunistic pathogens (e.g. Legionella) as well as the heterotrophic microbial population and biofilm.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD student will work 50 % of the time from the Flow Loop office in Allerød and 50 % of the time at the Technical University of Denmark, DTU in Lyngby.

At Flow Loop, the PhD student is member of the technical team with responsibility for water cleaning technologies and expert in water quality. There is access to water laboratory, production, and test facilities. The PhD candidate will also be involved in installation and monitoring of pilot installations, where users are testing the recirculating shower.

At DTU, the PhD student is part of the Department of Environmental Engineering in the section of Urban Water Systems. Here the research focus is on sustainable management of the urban water cycle with respect to its quantity and quality dealing with processes and technologies across the continuum from raw water, to potable water, to wastewater, to storm water.

Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. The master degree needs to be in a relevant academic area, e.g. water quality, environmental engineering or microbiology, and the candidate is expected to have a solid background in water microbiology.

Key areas or experiences to be successful with the industrial PhD project:

  • Industrial and commercial mindset, preferrable 3+ years of experience in relevant field (eg. consultancy, product development, filtration, water treatment)
  • Experience in analysis of water microbiology
  • Experience in conducting microbial experiments at laboratory as well as full scale level
  • Knowledge of water systems, preferably towards individual end-users

The candidate must be highly motivated, and ready to work both in a commercial and scientific environment. This includes having strong work ethic and motivation to succeed in as well as having a strong team spirit and excellent collaboration skills.

The project is fully funded, partly by the Innovation Foundation, Denmark
The project’s primary objective is to establish the balance between sustainability and safety of recirculated shower water for hygienic purposes.

The Flow Loop recirculating shower saves up to 85% water and 75% energy of the traditional shower, so this project becomes an important contributor of the Green Deal, where innovative solutions ensure zero net emissions of greenhouse gases by 2050. This project addresses many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, including 6 “Clean water and sanitation” and 13 “Climate action”.

DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. DTU offers a rewarding and challenging opportunity to be a part of an international environment and strives for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

The PhD student will be supervised by Professor Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen as university supervisor and Brian Ottar Olsen, PhD and Jalen Bigej as company supervisors.

Approval and Enrollment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degrees programmes at DTU under the Industrial PhD programme. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the 
DTU PhD Guide.  

The assessment of the applicants will be carried out by Flow Loop CTO Brian Ottar Olsen, Flow Loop CEO Troels Grene and DTU Professor Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen.

Salary and appointment terms
As an industrial PhD student you will be employed at Flow Loop. 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 and negotiated with Flow Loop. The period of employment is 3 years. 

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Brian Ottar Olsen, or Hans-Jørgen Albrechtsen,

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.

You can read about Flow Loop at and about DTU at

Please submit your application no later than 20 January 2021 (Danish time)

PLEASE NOTE how to apply: send your online application to Flow Loop at

Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials in English. The PDF file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

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

Recirculating showers by Flow Loop
The mission of Flow Loop is to develop a recycling shower panel that can be retrofitted in existing bathrooms. By retrofitting the recirculating shower, the market size and savings in society increases significantly, as installation does not require remodeling the bathroom, reducing the installation cost and environmental footprint and increasing the return on investment. The potential of Flow Loop is proven through development collaboration with IKEA.

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 12,000 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.