ARC CBBC is a regularly seeking highly motivated people throughout the Netherlands, for research and (lab) assistance.


PhD Modelling of shape selective catalysis

Location: Delft
Application deadline: 19 January 2021

Job description

This vacancy concerns a 4 year PhD position on the simulation and modelling of shape-selective catalysis under the supervision of Thijs J.H. Vlugt (TU Delft) and David Dubbeldam (UvA). In this project, a quantitative model for the prediction of hydroisomerization/hydrocracking of hydrocarbons in acid zeolites will be developped. The model will include competitive adsorption thermodynamics of reactants and reaction products, single-event mechanisms for kinetics, (micro)pore diffusion, and a reactor model including adsorption and desorption kinetics. This will be used to predict the conversion and product distribution of longer hydrocarbons from that of smaller hydrocarbons. A fundamental molecular understanding will be obtained for the effect of the zeolite pore structure on the product distribution. Ultimately, this should lead to improved catalytic processes for the conversion of hydrocarbons into valuable products. The project is funded by ARC-CBBC and will be carried out in collaboration with an industrial partner. It is expected that the PhD student will actively participate in ARC-CBBC events.


The candidate has a MSc in Chemical engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics, Computer Science, or a related discipline.

We expect:

  • affinity with numerical modelling, chemical engineering, and catalysis
  • excellent communication skills both in speech and writing
  • good organization skills and ability to work independently and in a team.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy and the selection procedure, please contact Thijs J.H. Vlugt, email: