Postdoc in Polymer Optical Fiber Chemical Sensors for Aquaculture

mandag 07 dec 20

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Frist 1. februar 2021
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If you would like to pursue a scientific career within groundbreaking fiber optical bio/chemical sensor research, this is just the right job for you. Your research will lead to the world’s first sensors for online monitoring of super low cortisol and geosmin concentrations in Recirculated Aquaculture Systems (RAS), and be of high importance for combined effective and sustainable fish food production, i.e. the Green Transition, and animal welfare.

Fiber-Optical bio/chemical Sensors (FOBS) are promising alternatives to traditional chemical measurement methods due to their efficiency, accuracy and convenience. The employed transduction mechanisms in FOBS are usually changes in refractive index, absorption, fluorescence and surface plasmon resonance. Especially POFs offer key properties as chemical sensing platform in industries like RAS. Their dimensions are small and the optical detection solves many compatibility issues. Perhaps the most well-known property is the considerably reduced stiffness of the plastic compared to the glass fiber, which makes it possible to sense a much wider range of strains. It is less well-known that POFs are also much easier to chemically surface/bulk modify and thus integrate with sensing chemistry. Polymers are, however, complex materials and the properties of a sensor in this material are dependent on all stages of the sensor fabrication process, from initial preform production, through fiber drawing to sensing element fabrication. Recent POF advancements now make it possible to produce cheap, reliable, miniaturized sensor systems ready for industrial implementation.

Responsibilities and qualifications
The purpose of the research is to develop cortisol (stress hormone) and geosmin (earthy/musty odor) concentration sensors to control the operation of RAS filters for removal of these chemicals, which will largely reduce water consumption in the cleaning process. You will work in a project (GeoZense) with colleagues and partners from both industry (Pisco Group, Mermaid Seasystems, Atlantic Sapphire, AquaCircle) and academia (DTU Health Tech.).


Your research in GeoZense will strengthen the DTU Fotonik position within POF bio/chemical sensor research, which is in line with the Department’s focus on, “Green and Sustainable Societies”. Thus, you will be responsible for design and fabrication of POF based cortisol and geosmin sensors to be tested in fish farms. Your primary tasks will be:

  • Identification of best POF based optical sensing design using biochemical assays comprising antibody/aptamer chemical recognition together with fluorophore labeled analytes, and e.g. membranes for molecular separation.
  • Chemical and/or physical immobilization of sensing chemistry on the POF.
  • Chemical labeling of analytes.
  • Fabrication, test and optimization of the sensors with respect to parameters such as optical coupling between POF and sensor chemistry, efficient and fast sensor equilibration with cortisol/geosmin in the surrounding water i.e. response time, sensitivity, accuracy, structural strength of the sensor and manufacturability.
  • Supervision of students and assisting with teaching activities.

For the job you must have a solid background in applied photonics, physics and biochemistry / chemistry or similar. Good communication skills in written and spoken English is necessary. You must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent).

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 is 3 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Senior Researcher Jakob Janting (Fiber Sensors and Supercontinuum), email: jajant@fotonik.dtu.dk

You can read more about DTU Fotonik at www.fotonik.dtu.dk/english

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

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 February 2021 (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
  • Academic Diplomas (MSc/PhD)
  • List of publications

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 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.