Are you motivated by minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases, ammonia, VOCs, and other air pollutants? Are you encouraged by creating knowledge, new technologies, and finding solutions that promote the green transition towards a more sustainable agricultural production with less impact on climate and the environment?

If your focus is on environmental engineering or biochemical processes by developing and testing mitigation strategies or emission models you can contribute to projects centred around mitigating emissions from the agricultural waste management chain from livestock houses and storages to field application. If your focus is on anaerobic digestion you can contribute to several projects to improve the technology and find new ways to improve the digestate with valuable organic fertilizer products. Then the Department of Biological and Chemical Engineering at Aarhus University invites you to apply for a Post Doc position.

Expected start date and duration of employment
Applications are invited for postdoc positions with a length up to 2-year.  The positions are from Juneb 1st 2024 or as soon possible thereafter. 

Job description
Agricultural waste such as liquid animal manure (slurry) is a major atmospheric source of greenhouse gases, ammonia, VOCs, odorants, and other air pollutants that contribute significantly to the environmental and climate impact of agriculture. At the same time, it is a valuable fertilizer source that may require long-term storage before field application with possible pre-storage treatment by anaerobic digestion to substitute fossil energy.
The postdoc candidate will be part of a research team with a portfolio of projects aiming at developing, testing and validating technologies or advanced methods to mitigate or quantify emission from slurry in livestock houses, slurry storages, anaerobic digestion or field application. Agro-emission models to understand, estimate and manage agricultural processes, process kinetics and emissions may be a part of the work.

You will be matched with one or more projects depending on your profile and your interest. The tasks in the project portfolio to be covered by the postdoc positions include:

  • developing and optimizing a new implementable technology based on controlled oxidation of slurry to mitigate methane from slurry storages without increasing emission of other gases, such as ammonia, and nitrogen oxides.
  • developing experimental facilities and validate slurry treatments technologies such as acidification, use of additives, and controlled oxidation in pilot-scale.
  • developing methods and carry out laboratory experiments for understanding and quantifying biochemical processes in stored slurry that lead to GHG emission.
  • develop, optimize and utilize advanced GHG emission models and extract kinetic parameters from experimental work.
  • developing knowledge on quality of anaerobically digested manure and impacts on greenhouse gas emission depending on feed composition, additives, management etc.
  • developing technologies for producing valuable organic fertilizer products from anaerobically digested biomass with high fertilizer value and low environmental impact.
  • measuring ammonia and methane emissions from free-range animals or animal housing using micrometeorological measurement methods.
  • developing and validating a method for laboratory screening of different organic materials (primarily digested slurry) for their ammonia volatilization potential after field application. The ammonia measurements will be coupled with different auxiliary measurements.

State-of-the-art analytical methods will be applied as key measurements in the research e.g. cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) and proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS). Projects range from in-vitro laboratory experiments to full-scale studies with storage facilities or animals in our emission laboratory. Measurement methods may include online flux chamber systems and micrometeorological measurement methods such as inverse dispersion modelling.
Several projects involve close collaboration with external partners, technology suppliers or authorities. You will be part of a group of postdocs with each of you providing necessary research to develop, optimizing and validate each new technology, model or measuring method. This offers a unique possibility to set and develop your own research profile within agricultural emissions at Aarhus University.

Your profile
We are looking for several candidates with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Environmental Engineering or similar.
The successful candidates should have experience and expertise in at least four of the following areas: 

  • Experimental emission research and quantification of emission mitigation.
  • Method development and validation.
  • Anaerobic digestion, biogas potentials of manure and optimization.
  • Experienced with microbial kinetics, measurements, and microbial community analysis.
  • Physical and chemical liquid waste digestate quality characterization.
  • Online measurement systems including mass spectrometry, cavity ring-down spectroscopy (CRDS) and proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS).
  • Handling of large datasets including statistical data treatment.
  • Conducting micrometeorological measurements including data treatment.
  • Conducting measurements using inverse dispersion modelling including data treatment.
  • Knowledge of the agricultural production system.
  • Developing and understanding process-based modelling.
  • Conducting and designing laboratory experiments for quantifying anaerobic processes in waste materials.

Furthermore, applicants are expected to:

  • have strong cooperation and communication skills.
  • be independent in their research.
  • have strong skills in scientific writing and written English as documented by publication of peer-reviewed research articles.
  • be a team player and contribute to a working environment with a positive atmosphere.
  • have a driving license.

Who we are
The successful candidate is employed in the Section of Environmental Engineering, which is a part of Department of Biotechnology and Chemical Engineering. Researchers in the section develop environmental technologies as well as models of physical, chemical, and biological processes that are important for environmental quality. The research activities contribute to better management of animal manure and bio-waste through generation of new knowledge and quantification of mitigation effects. Emission of ammonia, greenhouse gases, VOCs, and sulfur compounds from manure management and biogas production for energy recovery from organic wastes have been the main applications to date. The work in this group is centered around basic chemistry, microbial transformations in natural and engineered ecosystems, mass transfer, data analysis, modelling and computer programming.

What we offer
The department and section offer:

  • a well-developed research infrastructure, laboratories, and access to shared equipment
  • special facilities like a livestock housing climate laboratory, pilot-scale slurry storage facility, and a research biogas plant.
  • an exciting interdisciplinary environment with many national, international and industrial collaborators
  • a research climate encouraging lively, open and critical discussion within and across different fields of research
  • a work environment with close working relationships, networking and social activities
  • a workplace characterised by professionalism, equality and a healthy work-life balance.

Place of work and area of employment
The place of work is Gustav Wieds Vej 10, 8000 Aarhus C or Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele depending on the project, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments.
Experimental work will be conducted at AU Viborg, Blichers Allé 20, 8830 Tjele or at AU Aarhus, Gustav Wieds Vej 10, 8000 Aarhus C depending on your expertises.

Contact information
For further information, please contact: Head of Section, Anders Feilberg, +45 3089 6099, af@bce.au.dk.

Deadline
Applications must be received no later than March 15th, 2024.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants.

Letter of reference
If you want a referee to upload a letter of reference on your behalf, please state the referee’s contact information when you submit your application. We strongly recommend that you make an agreement with the person in question before you enter the referee’s contact information, and that you ensure that the referee has enough time to write the letter of reference before the application deadline.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to ensure that letters of reference received after the application deadline will be taken into consideration.

Formalities and salary range
Technical Sciences refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.
Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities.

Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Taxation and the Confederation of Professional Associations.
Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants.
Research activities will be evaluated in relation to actual research time. Thus, we encourage applicants to specify periods of leave without research activities, in order to be able to subtract these periods from the span of the scientific career during the evaluation of scientific productivity.
Aarhus University offers a broad variety of services for international researchers and accompanying families, including relocation service and career counselling to expat partners. Read more here. Please find more information about entering and working in Denmark here.
Aarhus University also offers a Junior Researcher Development Programme targeted at career development for postdocs at AU. You can read more about it here.
The application must be submitted via Aarhus University’s recruitment system, which can be accessed under the job advertisement on Aarhus University's website.

Aarhus University
Aarhus University is an academically diverse and research-intensive university with a strong commitment to high-quality research and education and the development of society nationally and globally. The university offers an inspiring research and teaching environment to its 38,000 students (FTEs) and 8,300 employees, and has an annual revenues of EUR 935 million. Learn more at www.international.au.dk/

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