Opportunities

Postgraduate and postdoctoral opportunities for 2023 are listed below. Although most projects have bursaries attached to them, candidates are also encouraged to apply for and secure their own funding as far as possible.

Further to the application instructions detailed for each opportunity, postgraduate applicants must refer to the full application procedure detailed on the Postgraduate page.

Research carried out in the department falls within one of our six research groups

Supervisors’ profiles and research interests can be viewed here

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Opportunities

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Opportunity: Green Hydrogen Engineering Research

The Green Hydrogen Engineering Research Platform at Stellenbosch University seeks applications for the appointment of up to four Postdoctoral Research Fellows in various departments, including within the department of Process Engineering. The successful candidates will focus on conducting scientific research in fields related to green hydrogen engineering.

Host: Prof André Burger

The environment for the hydrogen economy has shifted significantly:

  • The role of green hydrogen in decarbonising the energy system has become widely recognised internationally in several hard to abate sectors
  • Geographic regions that are short of renewable energy resources will need to supplement their energy needs by importing green hydrogen
  • Geographic regions that are rich in both solar and wind energy resources will need to produce and export hydrogen to renewable lean geographies
  • Significant research is needed for the technologies to produce, store, integrate, transport and use green hydrogen. The candidates will be expected to publish the results of the research at local and international conferences, and in high-impact journals.

Limited mentoring and supervision of postgraduate students within the Green Hydrogen Engineering Platform will also be required. The successful candidates will play an active role in shaping the Green Hydrogen Engineering Platform research agenda, including the writing of research and grant proposals, and will collaborate with industry experts to ensure continued alignment with industry needs. The fellowship is initially available for one year, renewable for up to three years, subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Requirements:

  • PhD in relevant field (must have graduated within the last five years)
  • Excellent communication skills in English (both written and verbal)
  • A proven publication record in high -impact journals and a demonstrated capacity to conduct independent research (minimum one relevant published article in a Scimago Q1 or Q2 journal)
  • A good understanding of the production or logistics or utilisation of green hydrogen or ammonia

Areas of potential research include:

  • Systems-level engineering of production, logistics and/or utilisation of green hydrogen and ammonia (technoeconomic assessment)
  • Mechanical hydrogen storage design and prototyping
  • Novel (electrochemical) routes to ammonia synthesis and decomposition
  • Solid oxide cells or photochemical reactors
  • Mass manufacturing of fuel and/or electrolytic cells
  • Green hydrogen uses in biomass upgrading, green steel production, or hydrogen derivatives

Integration of water production, water waste and brine upcycling technologies within water electrolysis plants

Please note that postdoctoral fellows are not appointed as employees and their fellowships are awarded tax free. They are therefore not eligible for employee benefits.

Commencement of duties: January 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.

How to apply: Send a letter of application, accompanied by a comprehensive CV, including a list of publications, link to the candidate’s PhD thesis, and the names and contact details of two referees, to Prof Craig McGregor.

Closing date: 9 December 2022 at 17h00

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow Opportunities: Geometallurgy

Three postdoctoral researcher positions linked to the new African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Chair in Geometallurgy at SU

Hosts: Dr Margreth Tadie & Dr Bjorn von der Heyden

The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Chair in Geometallurgy, housed at the Department of Earth Sciences and the Department of Process Engineering (Stellenbosch University), invites applications for the position of Postdoctoral Researcher in this exciting and interdisciplinary research field. The Research Chair, sponsored by the minerals industry, represents a new research unit at Stellenbosch University that focusses on understanding and modelling ore deposits from their discovery, through mining, to ultimately their beneficiation response. This collaborative research partnership couples geological and minerals processing skillsets with world-class analytical facilities, all housed at Stellenbosch University. With support from postdoctoral researcher appointees, the Research Chair seeks to unlock significant value in the mine-value chain and to become renowned and competitive within both the national- and international research arenas.

Success of the Chair is planned to hinge on three pillars viz. 1. Geology and geological modelling; 2. Process Engineering and flowsheet modelling; and 3. Big Data/Engineering. As such, three postdoctoral researcher positions are currently being offered with each beginning in January 2023. Research contracts will be for one year (12 months), with an option for annual renewal up to a maximum of five years (subject to performance and to the year in which Ph.D. was obtained). The fellowship is a tax-free award, and postdoctoral researchers will not be eligible for employee benefits.

Requirements: Applicants should hold a PhD degree (obtained within the last five years) in one of the following fields: Geology, Earth Sciences, Chemical Engineering, Extractive Metallurgy, Mining Engineering, Mathematics, Data Science, or a related field. Applicants must be fluent in English and possess excellent written communication skills.

Advantageous attributes include:

  1. Experience in using modelling software;
  2. A publication track record of scholarly articles relevant to this position;
  3. Previous postdoctoral experience or work experience in the minerals sector.

Duties: Postdoctoral researchers will be directly involved in developing optimized geometallurgical models and workflows for the minerals sector. Research foci include both theoretical and applied components of this field, and there will be strong emphasis on data management protocols and integration of emerging technologies. Postdoctoral researchers will also be expected to assist with post-graduate student management, teaching of geometallurgy-, geology- and chemical engineering-related subject matter, and preparation of funding proposals (for which the postdoctoral researcher may be the PI). Postdoctoral researchers are expected to produce at least two journal articles per year.

How to apply: Applicants must submit a single PDF document, comprising a cover/motivation letter, a comprehensive CV (including publication list) and the names and contact details of three contactable professional references. Applications should be emailed to both Dr Bjorn von der Heyden and Dr Margreth Tadie by 15 November 2022. For more information related to the positions, please contact either Dr von der Heyden or Dr Tadie via email.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Thermal Separations Technology

Host: Prof. Cara Schwarz

An opportunity for a postdoctoral research fellow in the field of thermal separations technology at the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University is currently available. The focus of the position would be on high-pressure thermodynamics and phase behaviour including both measurement and thermodynamic modelling. The position will be awarded initially for a period of one year but may be extended based on performance and availability of funds.

The postdoctoral researcher would be required to conduct research and provide significant assistance with the following:

  • Supervision of postgraduate student projects;
  • Assist with the management of the research group;
  • Performing experimental work when necessary;
  • Publication of research outputs from research generated;
  • Improving experimental facilities; and
  • Writing new funding proposals to sustain research activities.

 

Desired Skills and Experience

Essential: A PhD in Chemical Engineering, Chemical Technology or similar discipline obtained in the last five years, with a proven research record in the field of thermodynamics and/or phase behaviour measurement and/or modelling.  As the position requires significant communication tasks, good command of the English language, especially written English, is essential.

Desirable: A first degree in Chemical Engineering, allowing registration as a professional engineer, will be considered a significant benefit. Preference will be given to applicants with notable experience and skills and a good publication record. Strong leadership qualities, the ability to co-manage a group of students and experience in co-supervision of students will be an advantage.

 

Application

A covering letter and curriculum vitae, including all research outputs, as well as names and contact details of at least three references, should be sent to Prof. C.E. Schwarz preferably, via e-mail: cschwarz@sun.ac.za. Review of application will commence on the 26th of September but late applications may be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Data-driven process monitoring and control for the minerals industry

In the Machine Learning and Extractive Metallurgy research groups of the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University, a specific research focus is process monitoring and control for the mineral industry. Statistical and machine learning techniques are explored in the context of dynamic simulation and real-world case studies to investigate promising approaches for cost effective and sustainable operation of mineral processing circuits. The main role of the postdoctoral fellow will be to carry out research in data-driven process monitoring and control as applied to mineral processing case studies. This is achieved primarily through the identification of newly developed methods from various fields (e.g. neuroscience, robotics, etc.) through literature studies, followed by application and evaluation thereof in the minerals processing context by means of algorithm studies.

The full advert, detailing the position’s duties and responsibilities, and application requirements, can be downloaded here.

Queries and complete applications can be sent to Prof Tobi Louw

Postdoctoral Research Fellow: Thermal Separations Technology

An opportunity for a post-doctoral researcher in the field of thermal separations technology at the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University is currently available. The focus of the position would be on thermodynamics, phase behaviour, distillation and/or extraction principles with particular focus on either high pressure/supercritical applications or low pressure thermodynamics and modelling thereof. The position will be awarded initially for a period of one year but may be extended based on performance and availability of funds.

The full advert, detailing the position’s duties and responsibilities, and application requirements, can be downloaded here.

Queries and complete applications can be sent to Prof Cara Schwarz

Doctoral Opportunities

PhD Opportunity: Research in geometallurgy with SU and African Rainbow Minerals

Location: Departments of Process Engineering and Earth Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch

Hosts: Dr Margreth Tadie & Dr Bjorn Von der Heyden

The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Chair in Geometallurgy, housed at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Departments of Process Engineering and Earth Sciences, invite candidates to apply for PhD research in this exciting and interdisciplinary field. This Research Chair, sponsored by the minerals industry, represents a new research unit at SU that focuses on understanding and modelling ore deposits from their discovery through mining, to ultimately their beneficiation response. This collaborative research partnership couples geological and minerals processing skillsets with world-class analytical facilities housed at SU. Student projects will cover a range of subtopics within the field of geometallurgy, including themes such as ore body characterization, a meta-analysis of existing datasets, ore body and geometallurgical modelling, process modelling and optimization. Student projects will involve a component of field/mining industry exposure. Supervision and project oversight will be provided by Drs Margreth Tadie and Bjorn von der Heyden, an assigned postdoctoral researcher, and an industry-based engineer. 

Requirements to apply:

Applicants should hold the relevant degree qualifications to meet SU’s entry requirements for admission to the PhD programme. Preference will be given to applicants from the fields of geology, earth sciences, chemical engineering, extractive metallurgy, mining engineering, mathematics, data science, or a related field. Applicants must be fluent in English and possess excellent written communication skills. 

Applications will be evaluated by both SU and African Rainbow Minerals. Students are expected to complete their degrees within the typical SU degree timeframe, i.e. three years for a PhD.

Application documents:

Applicants must submit a single pdf document comprising a cover letter, and comprehensive CV including three professional references. Applications should be addressed to Dr Margreth Tadie and Dr Brjorn Von der Heyden by 21 November 2022.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

PhD Opportunity: Adaptive probabilistic prediction of aerobic biological reactor performance for advanced wastewater treatment

Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, 7600

Host: The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Prof Tobi Louw.

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at doctoral level. The research will use well-established dynamic models of biological wastewater treatment to simulate existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) treating industrial effluent. However, the dynamic models will be parameterized using metagenomic data gathered from the plant, as well as upstream process data, to provide adaptive probabilistic predictions of WWTP performance. The parameterization will rely on machine learning, with a strong emphasis on Bayesian inference.

The research falls within the Machine Learning theme of the Department of Process Engineering and is funded by an industrial partner; close collaboration between the student and industry is expected. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or related field, as well as a Masters degree from an accredited tertiary institution. Previous experience in dynamic modelling, numerical computations using appropriate software (e.g. Python or MATLAB), and machine learning will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Tobi Louw at tmlouw@sun.ac.za.

Commencement of studies: January 2023

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill this position.

PhD Opportunity: Adaptive probabilistic prediction of aerobic biological reactor performance for advanced wastewater treatment

Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, 7600

Host: The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Prof Tobi Louw.

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at doctoral level. The research will use well-established dynamic models of biological wastewater treatment to simulate existing wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) treating industrial effluent. However, the dynamic models will be parameterized using metagenomic data gathered from the plant, as well as upstream process data, to provide adaptive probabilistic predictions of WWTP performance. The parameterization will rely on machine learning, with a strong emphasis on Bayesian inference.

The research falls within the Machine Learning theme of the Department of Process Engineering and is funded by an industrial partner; close collaboration between the student and industry is expected. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering or related field, as well as a Masters degree from an accredited tertiary institution. Previous experience in dynamic modelling, numerical computations using appropriate software (e.g. Python or MATLAB), and machine learning will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Tobi Louw at tmlouw@sun.ac.za.

Commencement of studies: January 2023

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill this position.

PhD Opportunity: Data-driven process modelling of pyrometallurgical operations

Scope of Research: In the Extractive Metallurgy and Machine Learning research groups of the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University, a specific research focus is process monitoring and control for the minerals industry. Statistical and machine learning techniques are explored in the context of dynamic simulation and real-world case studies to investigate promising approaches for cost effective and sustainable operation of mineral processing circuits.

An industrially funded postgraduate opportunity at the PhD level is currently available within the research groups to work on data-driven process modelling of pyrometallurgical operations.

Host: The successful applicant will work under the supervision of Profs Tobi Louw, Guven Akdogan, and Steven Bradshaw.

Requirements and Recommendations: 

  • B.Eng in Chemical Engineering (or related field) with a very good academic record as well as an M.Eng in a relevant field.
  • Strong interest in mathematical modelling, statistics, and machine learning.
  • Experience in machine learning techniques such as multi-layer perceptron neural networks and deep learning.
  • Excellent programming skills (preferably in MATLAB and/or Python).
  • The ability to learn independently and take initiative.

Conditions of bursary: Please note that postgraduate students are not appointed as employees and their bursaries are awarded tax free. They are therefore not eligible for employee benefits.

Commencement of studies: Mid-February 2022

Application closing date: 10 January 2022

Enquiries: Please send your CV as well as a cover letter (briefly describing your interest in the project) to Prof Steven Bradshaw (smb@sun.ac.za).

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to make an appointment for this position.

PhD Opportunity: Optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based PhD degree in Chemical Engineering
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at PhD level focused on the optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane. A number of postgrad positions are available, covering key technical areas such as microbial utilisation of sugar mixtures for conversion to chemicals and proteins, chemical conversion of sugar mixtures to furan derivatives and the application of chromatography for purification of chemicals, oligosaccharices and proteins.

The global sugarcane industry is under substantial pressure to diversify its product range from the conventional sugar, ethanol and electricity regime, to include a broader range of green chemicals, biomaterials and innovative food components. Such a diversification strategy holds potential for new revenue streams that will create a sustainable future for this socially-important agroprocessing industry. Sugarcane will in the future be considered as more of an industrial crop rather than just a source of sugar, with multiproduct facilities, referred as “biorefineries,” considered as a model for such expansion of the commercial footprint of the industry.

These postgraduate projects fall within the Research Chair in Sugarcane Biorefineries at the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. The research chair has broad and in-depth collaborations within the local sugarcane industry, to ensure that the research approaches and outputs remain relevant to industrial practice. Successful postgraduate candidates will be exposed to a network of industry participants, which hold the promise of future career development. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants for PhD studies must hold a master’s degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Previous experience in bioprocess development and/or biomass processing will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

Master’s Opportunities

MEng Opportunity: Research in geometallurgy with SU and African Rainbow Minerals

The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Chair in Geometallurgy, housed at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Departments of Process Engineering and Earth Sciences, invite candidates to apply for master’s research in this exciting and interdisciplinary field. This Research Chair, sponsored by the minerals industry, represents a new research unit at SU that focuses on understanding and modelling ore deposits from their discovery through mining, to ultimately their beneficiation response. This collaborative research partnership couples geological and minerals processing skillsets with world-class analytical facilities housed at SU. Student projects will cover a range of subtopics within the field of geometallurgy, including themes such as ore body characterization, a meta-analysis of existing datasets, ore body and geometallurgical modelling, process modelling and optimization. Student projects will involve a component of field/mining industry exposure. Supervision and project oversight will be provided by Drs Margreth Tadie and Bjorn von der Heyden, an assigned postdoctoral researcher, and an industry-based engineer. 

Requirements to apply:

Applicants should hold the relevant degree qualifications to meet SU’s entry requirements. Preference will be given to applicants from the fields of geology, earth sciences, chemical engineering, extractive metallurgy, mining engineering, mathematics, data science, or a related field. Applicants must be fluent in English and possess excellent written communication skills. 

Applications will be evaluated by both SU and African Rainbow Minerals. Students are expected to complete their degrees within the typical SU degree timeframe, i.e. two years for an MEng/MSc.

Application documents: Applicants must submit a single pdf document comprising a cover letter, and comprehensive CV including three professional references. Applications should be addressed to Dr Margreth Tadie and Dr Brjorn Von der Heyden by 21 November 2022.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Enzymes for modification of seaweed polysaccharides

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree might be considered for a PhD)
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

Seaweeds polysaccharides have unique chemical structures that are not found in terrestrial plants. Biochemical (enzymatic) manipulation of the chemistry of these polysaccharides opens up avenues to produce high-value products for application in the pharmaceutical, food and precision agriculture sectors. However, there are very few enzymes available on the market that are tailored toward unique seaweed polysaccharides, which is hampering the development of this industry. The project will aim to develop and optimize an industrially-relevant bioprocess that produces and recovers enzymes with specific activity toward seaweed polysaccharides. The project will be multidisciplinary and will include aspects of industrial biotechnology, microbiology and chemical engineering. Applicants should be willing and able to work in a collaborative environment, where unanticipated challenges are likely to present themselves.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University. There is no bursary money associated with this position, and candidates should be able to support registration and living expenses. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you thrive on taking on a challenge, are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc. Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering or a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology or Industrial Biotechnology from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African nationals. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill GoosenIncomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level focused on the optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane. A number of postgrad positions are available, covering key technical areas such as microbial utilisation of sugar mixtures for conversion to chemicals and proteins, chemical conversion of sugar mixtures to furan derivatives and the application of chromatography for purification of chemicals, oligosaccharices and proteins.

The global sugarcane industry is under substantial pressure to diversify its product range from the conventional sugar, ethanol and electricity regime, to include a broader range of green chemicals, biomaterials and innovative food components. Such a diversification strategy holds potential for new revenue streams that will create a sustainable future for this socially-important agroprocessing industry. Sugarcane will in the future be considered as more of an industrial crop rather than just a source of sugar, with multiproduct facilities, referred as “biorefineries,” considered as a model for such expansion of the commercial footprint of the industry.

These postgraduate projects fall within the Research Chair in Sugarcane Biorefineries at the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. The research chair has broad and in-depth collaborations within the local sugarcane industry, to ensure that the research approaches and outputs remain relevant to industrial practice. Successful postgraduate candidates will be exposed to a network of industry participants, which hold the promise of future career development. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants for the master’s degree must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in bioprocess development and/or biomass processing will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimisation of Biomass Gasification

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to optimise biomass gasification and gas reforming technologies, to improve the commercial and environmental benefits associated with its industrial implementation.

Gasification of lignocellulosic plant biomass has been under development for a number of years, and offers unique integration and synergistic opportunities for co-processing of the gasification-product-gas with biogas (from anaerobic digestion), green hydrogen (from solar or wind energy and water electrolysis) and natural gas. Considering the scale of industrial facilities that utilize syngas for either minerals processing or chemical synthesis processes, it is inevitable that a combination of renewable carbons from lignocellulose-gasification and anaerobic digestion be utilized in future. Maximising the potential synergies with co-processing these renewable carbons with green hydrogen and natural gas will provide substantial energy savings, increase the final product yield and maximise their economic and associated environmental benefits.

This project will consider a range of alternative integration and co-processing/reforming scenarios for the four gas-products of interest. New process technologies such as dry reforming will be included in the definition of these scenarios, as well as careful analysis of the most promising technologies for commercial biomass gasification, such as fixed and fluidized bed. Real-world representative costings curves of these technologies will be attained through consultation of literature, industry and technology suppliers. Using a combination of process simulations and equilibrium predictions, detailed mass and energy balances will be drawn up for optimized scenarios, as the basis for subsequent economic and environmental assessments. Both the cost of syngas production, as a function of raw material prices, as well as the life cycle environmental benefits associated with alternative processing methods, will be considered as a means to select the preferred scenario(s) offering the optimal combination of economic and environmental benefits. These outputs are of substantial relevance to a wide range of industries investigating various approaches to green their processing methods, whom will serve as collaborators in the project.

The research work falls within the Bioresource Engineering research focus area of the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in pyrolysis processes will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Advancement of Pyrolysis Technologies to Improve Commercial and Industrial Potential for Implementation

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to further develop pyrolysis technologies, to improve the commercial and industrial potential for implementation. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic compounds at elevated temperatures in the presence of an inert atmosphere, i.e. in the absence of oxygen.

Pyrolysis as a waste-beneficiation approach provides opportunity to convert waste plastics and waste tyre rubbers into valuable liquid and solid (char) products. However, the pyrolysis liquids are often of low quality in comparison to commercial fuel specifications, requiring further upgrading to isolate high value fractions. Research projects will consider both the experimental optimization of pyrolysis, separations and upgrading processes for the products from waste tyres, together with the development of process simulations for technology development and economic/environmental assessments. The combination of pyrolysis with fractional condensation holds much potential to obtain higher quality fuel fractions at an acceptable processing cost, and will specifically be investigated through an available pilot-scale pyrolysis plant.

Whereas various technologies for fractionation and upgrading of the pyrolysis liquids obtained from waste tyres have been developed, the solid char product is still of low commercial value, due to high sulphur and minerals (ash) contents. An attractive opportunity is the upgrading of the char from waste tyre rubber pyrolysis into a sorbent material, through appropriate demineralisation and refinement methods. Such methods will improve the suitability of the char in sorbent applications like waste water treatment and anaerobic digestion, providing substantially improved commercial values compared to low-value fuel application of the char. These approaches will be investigated through experimental optimization at pilot scale.

The pyrolysis of fibrous/woody plant biomasses is a well-established commercial technology for the production of charcoal, through conventional carbonization methods. However, non-conventional feedstocks such as invasive alien plants (IAPs) represent unique challenges in terms of feedstock variabilities and the impacts of these on process performances. Some components of IAPs such as the bark, offer unique opportunities to obtain high-value chemicals through pyrolysis and subsequent separations. An experimental project at pilot scale will consider the impact on IAP feedstock variability of process performance, in terms of both the yields and qualities of the resulting products. The potential to isolate high-value chemicals from liquid products will be considered through advanced analytical methods and associated separations simulations.

The research work falls within the waste valorization, bioresource engineering, and separations technology research focus areas of the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in pyrolysis processes will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Design, construction and evaluation of a falling film evaporator

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

Various industrial processes require the concentration of dilute aqueous streams, particular in the food and bioprocessing industries. Evaporation remains one of the preferred concentration steps, and falling film evaporators are often employed to perform this duty. This project aims to design and construct a laboratory-scale falling film evaporator, and characterize its performance by concentrating different aqueous streams of industrial importance. The position will require skills in heat and mass transfer, as well as material balances.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Repurposing old power stations – quantitative modelling of options

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of  quantitative modelling in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Globally, old coal power stations are being decommissioned in the drive to transition to cleaner forms of energy. However, old power stations still have grid connections and energy infrastructure, which may be usable in a reimagined and repurposed facility. In the case of the decommissioned Athlone power station in the City of Cape Town, the power station is adjacent to wastewater treatment works, and close to communities that have high rates of unemployment. The project will explore various options for repurposing the power station to address multiple goals, using different quantitative modelling approaches. The work is anticipated to be multidisciplinary and will be done in close collaboration with decision makers within the City of Cape Town administration.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University. This is an excellent opportunity to work on a problem of global importance that also has local application. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Producing green hydrogen through light splitting of water

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of green hydrogen development in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The renewable and sustainable production of hydrogen is seen as a route toward long-term provision of sustainable energy. Direct utilisation of sunlight to produce hydrogen from water through photocatalysis is a promising pathway, and the development of efficient and durable catalysts is key in making this technology viable. This project will centre on developing and evaluating new photocatalysts and will be a collaboration between the disciplines of chemical engineering, material science, and physics, and may also include collaboration with other universities in Africa.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. The project is affiliated with the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy, and forms part of the wider efforts in making hydrogen technology technically and financially viable within the South African energy landscape. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Structural analysis of seaweed polysaccharides

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of structural analysis of seaweed polysaccharides in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Seaweeds contain unique macromolecular polysaccharides that have uses in the fields of medicine and nutrition. However, despite much research effort, the exact chemical structure of some of these polysaccharides have not been fully described. The biological functions of these polysaccharides are strongly linked to their structure; determining their structure will therefore provide much needed information to enable development of advanced future applications. This project will aim to determine the chemical structure of a sulphated polysaccharide extracted from South African kelp and will be a collaborative effort between the disciplines of Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science, with possible collaboration with other Universities.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Seaweed biorefinery technology development

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of seaweed biorefinery technology development in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Seaweeds are a potentially sustainable source of high-value and commodity compounds, with applications ranging from agriculture to food and pharmaceuticals. Sustainable processing through seaweed biorefinery approaches is anticipated to become important in the near future, and this project will develop the technology required to investigate different biorefinery approaches. The work will contain significant practical and experimental work and will build on significant prior research at our Department.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Protein extraction from brewer’s spent grains

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree might be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of protein extraction within the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Brewer’s spent grains is a by-product from the beer industry that contains significant amounts of protein that can be recovered. The work will determine the best protein extraction technology and the downstream processing pathway to produce a dried protein powder product. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to spend significant time in at least one other African institution as part of their project, and will collaborate with fellow postgraduate students in other African universities.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. The project forms part of a multi-national research effort around valorisation of brewer’s spent grains from African breweries, and is affiliated with the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in an multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Process simulation using modelling software and a technoeconomic assessment of processes

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)
  • Host: Dr Margreth Tadie

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of Process Development with the Extractive Metallurgy Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The project involves process simulation using modelling software and a technoeconomic assessment of processes. The project is industry led and the candidate will be expected to work in collaboration with industry. The candidate must have strong mathematical skills, experience with programming, an understanding of metallurgical processes and good communication and interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be required to conduct process data from fieldwork, develop simulations and run them using geological data.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a 4-year bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution, or a BEng (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in either Chemical Engineering, or Extractive Metallurgy. Candidates with BTech, three-year BSc, HonsBSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. The candidate must be a South African citizen.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferrably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Margreth Tadie at mtadie@sun.ac.za by Tuesday, 29 April 2022.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Geological characterisation and process simulation using modelling software

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)
  • Host: Dr Margreth Tadie

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of Geometallurgy with the Extractive Metallurgy Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The project involves geological characterisation and process simulation using modelling software. The project is industry led and the candidate will be expected to work in collaboration with industry. The candidate must have strong mathematical skills, experience with programming, an understanding of metallurgical processes and good communication and interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be required to conduct process data from fieldwork, develop simulations and run them using geological data.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a 4-year bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution, or a BEng (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in either Chemical Engineering, or Extractive Metallurgy. Candidates with BTech, three-year BSc, HonsBSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. The candidate must be a South African citizen.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferrably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Margreth Tadie at mtadie@sun.ac.za by Tuesday, 29 April 2022.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: High pressure phase behaviour of CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to investigate the high-pressure phase behaviour of CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems.
Previous studies have shown that for the CO2 + n-alkane + 1-alcohol systems molecular interactions between the n-alkane and 1-alcohol are significant and influence the phase behaviour. However, while this particular series has been well studied, series with other solutes and the molecular interactions present therein are lesser well studied and understood, hindering the implementation of supercritical CO2 processes. The aim of this project is to study the molecular interactions present CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems via experimental measurements and thermodynamic modelling.

The research work falls within the Separations Technology Research Group of the Department of Process Engineering. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply:Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, BSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in experimental measurement of thermodynamic data will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Prof. C.E. Schwarz at cschwarz@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Spectroscopic measurement of monomer fractions in multicomponent solvating mixtures towards thermodynamic model improvement

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Thermodynamic model development has been traditionally geared towards the prediction and correlation of phase equilibrium behaviour. The exponential growth in desktop computing power and the popularisation of fundamental thermodynamic models has facilitated a shift in this focus towards the broader thermodynamic web. The monomer fraction, measurable using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is hailed in the literature as being singularly representative of the extent of hydrogen bonding in the liquid phase of associating and solvating systems – mixtures common to a wide range of applications including biochemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. The lack of extensive data, even for binary mixtures, limits the testing of thermodynamic model performance and prevents the systematic improvement of these models.

The proposed project will consider the systematic measurement of monomer fractions in solvating systems containing one or more alcohols, ketones and other oxygenated organic species. The candidate will then be expected to assess the predictions of these properties by state of the art thermodynamic models, and determine whether predictive capabilities of the models can be improved by such inclusion. Depending on results and motivation of the candidate and supervisor, the project is also readily scoped for an upgrade to a PhD.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering or Analytical Chemistry, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in spectroscopy and/or thermodynamic modelling will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Jamie Cripwell at cripwell@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Cold Thermal Energy Storage using renewable solar energy

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Cold thermal energy storage can alleviate energy supply intermittency as well as increase renewable energy utilization. This project will investigate the use of hydrate based cold storage of energy generated by solar for community-based applications, such as refrigeration and air conditioning. The assessment of the technology will be performed via simulations, based on available experimental data. The work will involve the determination of energy requirements for a selected application, selection of cold storage materials (two), inclusion of the renewable energy source followed by an economic analysis of the technology.

Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a four-year undergraduate BEng. or BSc. Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts and the contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof Prathieka Naidoo at prathiekan@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Measurement and modelling of phase equilibria of multicomponent systems containing associating and non-associating compounds

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Chemical mixtures are generated in various ways –  e.g. through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, which will remain a prominent process for the synthesis of (for example) green chemicals from green hydrogen and bio-carbon. Processes for the subsequent separation of chemicals from such mixtures have been around and evolving for centuries. To design these separation processes, chemical engineers need – amongst other – reliable equilibria data, experimental or predicted. The accurate generation of simple vapour-liquid equilibria (VLE) or liquid-liquid equilibria (LLE) experimental data is time consuming and expensive; with the measurement of similar data for multicomponent systems even more so. Thus, versatile thermodynamic models that can accurately predict the phase equilibria of such systems are essential. Equations of state that are based on association theory use pure component data to successfully predict binary phase equilibria.

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to systematically test the assumption that these models can accurately predict multicomponent phase equilibria with a similar accuracy as they do for binary systems, especially for complex mixtures containing associating, cross-associating, and non-associating components.

The research work falls within the Separations Technology theme of the Department of Process Engineering, and is closely aligned with and supported by industrial collaborations. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in phase equilibria thermodynamics will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof André Burger at ajburger@sun.ac.za or Ms Danielle de Klerk at dldk@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimum integration of desalination technologies in green hydrogen production plants

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering

The production of green hydrogen through electrolysis of water (utilising renewable energy, such as solar and wind) requires clean, demineralised water.  Large electrolysis plants that rely on the sea as source of water would, therefore, include desalination facilities. This project will entail a systematic techno-economic and practical assessment of the integration of desalination systems with electrolyser units, focussing on large-scale hydrogen production systems at the West Coast of South Africa.

The research work falls within the Water Technology theme of the Department of Process Engineering, and is closely aligned with the vision of future sustainability. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities.

Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof André Burger at ajburger@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Research in geometallurgy with SU and African Rainbow Minerals

The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Chair in Geometallurgy, housed at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Departments of Process Engineering and Earth Sciences, invite candidates to apply for master’s research in this exciting and interdisciplinary field. This Research Chair, sponsored by the minerals industry, represents a new research unit at SU that focuses on understanding and modelling ore deposits from their discovery through mining, to ultimately their beneficiation response. This collaborative research partnership couples geological and minerals processing skillsets with world-class analytical facilities housed at SU. Student projects will cover a range of subtopics within the field of geometallurgy, including themes such as ore body characterization, a meta-analysis of existing datasets, ore body and geometallurgical modelling, process modelling and optimization. Student projects will involve a component of field/mining industry exposure. Supervision and project oversight will be provided by Drs Margreth Tadie and Bjorn von der Heyden, an assigned post-doctoral researcher, and an industry-based engineer. 

Requirements to apply:

Applicants should hold the relevant degree qualifications to meet SU’s entry requirements. Preference will be given to applicants from the fields of geology, earth sciences, chemical engineering, extractive metallurgy, mining engineering, mathematics, data science, or a related field. Applicants must be fluent in English and possess excellent written communication skills. 

Applications will be evaluated by both SU and African Rainbow Minerals. Students are expected to complete their degrees within the typical SU degree timeframe, i.e. two years for an MEng/MSc.

Application documents: Applicants must submit a single pdf document comprising a cover letter, and comprehensive CV including three professional references. Applications should be addressed to Dr Margreth Tadie and Dr Brjorn Von der Heyden.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Enzymes for modification of seaweed polysaccharides

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree might be considered for a PhD)
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

Seaweeds polysaccharides have unique chemical structures that are not found in terrestrial plants. Biochemical (enzymatic) manipulation of the chemistry of these polysaccharides opens up avenues to produce high-value products for application in the pharmaceutical, food and precision agriculture sectors. However, there are very few enzymes available on the market that are tailored toward unique seaweed polysaccharides, which is hampering the development of this industry. The project will aim to develop and optimize an industrially-relevant bioprocess that produces and recovers enzymes with specific activity toward seaweed polysaccharides. The project will be multidisciplinary and will include aspects of industrial biotechnology, microbiology and chemical engineering. Applicants should be willing and able to work in a collaborative environment, where unanticipated challenges are likely to present themselves.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University. There is no bursary money associated with this position, and candidates should be able to support registration and living expenses. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you thrive on taking on a challenge, are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc. Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering or a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology or Industrial Biotechnology from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African nationals. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill GoosenIncomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level focused on the optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane. A number of postgrad positions are available, covering key technical areas such as microbial utilisation of sugar mixtures for conversion to chemicals and proteins, chemical conversion of sugar mixtures to furan derivatives and the application of chromatography for purification of chemicals, oligosaccharices and proteins.

The global sugarcane industry is under substantial pressure to diversify its product range from the conventional sugar, ethanol and electricity regime, to include a broader range of green chemicals, biomaterials and innovative food components. Such a diversification strategy holds potential for new revenue streams that will create a sustainable future for this socially-important agroprocessing industry. Sugarcane will in the future be considered as more of an industrial crop rather than just a source of sugar, with multiproduct facilities, referred as “biorefineries,” considered as a model for such expansion of the commercial footprint of the industry.

These postgraduate projects fall within the Research Chair in Sugarcane Biorefineries at the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. The research chair has broad and in-depth collaborations within the local sugarcane industry, to ensure that the research approaches and outputs remain relevant to industrial practice. Successful postgraduate candidates will be exposed to a network of industry participants, which hold the promise of future career development. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants for the master’s degree must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in bioprocess development and/or biomass processing will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimisation of Biomass Gasification

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to optimise biomass gasification and gas reforming technologies, to improve the commercial and environmental benefits associated with its industrial implementation.

Gasification of lignocellulosic plant biomass has been under development for a number of years, and offers unique integration and synergistic opportunities for co-processing of the gasification-product-gas with biogas (from anaerobic digestion), green hydrogen (from solar or wind energy and water electrolysis) and natural gas. Considering the scale of industrial facilities that utilize syngas for either minerals processing or chemical synthesis processes, it is inevitable that a combination of renewable carbons from lignocellulose-gasification and anaerobic digestion be utilized in future. Maximising the potential synergies with co-processing these renewable carbons with green hydrogen and natural gas will provide substantial energy savings, increase the final product yield and maximise their economic and associated environmental benefits.

This project will consider a range of alternative integration and co-processing/reforming scenarios for the four gas-products of interest. New process technologies such as dry reforming will be included in the definition of these scenarios, as well as careful analysis of the most promising technologies for commercial biomass gasification, such as fixed and fluidized bed. Real-world representative costings curves of these technologies will be attained through consultation of literature, industry and technology suppliers. Using a combination of process simulations and equilibrium predictions, detailed mass and energy balances will be drawn up for optimized scenarios, as the basis for subsequent economic and environmental assessments. Both the cost of syngas production, as a function of raw material prices, as well as the life cycle environmental benefits associated with alternative processing methods, will be considered as a means to select the preferred scenario(s) offering the optimal combination of economic and environmental benefits. These outputs are of substantial relevance to a wide range of industries investigating various approaches to green their processing methods, whom will serve as collaborators in the project.

The research work falls within the Bioresource Engineering research focus area of the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in pyrolysis processes will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Advancement of Pyrolysis Technologies to Improve Commercial and Industrial Potential for Implementation

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to further develop pyrolysis technologies, to improve the commercial and industrial potential for implementation. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic compounds at elevated temperatures in the presence of an inert atmosphere, i.e. in the absence of oxygen.

Pyrolysis as a waste-beneficiation approach provides opportunity to convert waste plastics and waste tyre rubbers into valuable liquid and solid (char) products. However, the pyrolysis liquids are often of low quality in comparison to commercial fuel specifications, requiring further upgrading to isolate high value fractions. Research projects will consider both the experimental optimization of pyrolysis, separations and upgrading processes for the products from waste tyres, together with the development of process simulations for technology development and economic/environmental assessments. The combination of pyrolysis with fractional condensation holds much potential to obtain higher quality fuel fractions at an acceptable processing cost, and will specifically be investigated through an available pilot-scale pyrolysis plant.

Whereas various technologies for fractionation and upgrading of the pyrolysis liquids obtained from waste tyres have been developed, the solid char product is still of low commercial value, due to high sulphur and minerals (ash) contents. An attractive opportunity is the upgrading of the char from waste tyre rubber pyrolysis into a sorbent material, through appropriate demineralisation and refinement methods. Such methods will improve the suitability of the char in sorbent applications like waste water treatment and anaerobic digestion, providing substantially improved commercial values compared to low-value fuel application of the char. These approaches will be investigated through experimental optimization at pilot scale.

The pyrolysis of fibrous/woody plant biomasses is a well-established commercial technology for the production of charcoal, through conventional carbonization methods. However, non-conventional feedstocks such as invasive alien plants (IAPs) represent unique challenges in terms of feedstock variabilities and the impacts of these on process performances. Some components of IAPs such as the bark, offer unique opportunities to obtain high-value chemicals through pyrolysis and subsequent separations. An experimental project at pilot scale will consider the impact on IAP feedstock variability of process performance, in terms of both the yields and qualities of the resulting products. The potential to isolate high-value chemicals from liquid products will be considered through advanced analytical methods and associated separations simulations.

The research work falls within the waste valorization, bioresource engineering, and separations technology research focus areas of the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in pyrolysis processes will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Design, construction and evaluation of a falling film evaporator

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

Various industrial processes require the concentration of dilute aqueous streams, particular in the food and bioprocessing industries. Evaporation remains one of the preferred concentration steps, and falling film evaporators are often employed to perform this duty. This project aims to design and construct a laboratory-scale falling film evaporator, and characterize its performance by concentrating different aqueous streams of industrial importance. The position will require skills in heat and mass transfer, as well as material balances.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Repurposing old power stations – quantitative modelling of options

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of  quantitative modelling in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Globally, old coal power stations are being decommissioned in the drive to transition to cleaner forms of energy. However, old power stations still have grid connections and energy infrastructure, which may be usable in a reimagined and repurposed facility. In the case of the decommissioned Athlone power station in the City of Cape Town, the power station is adjacent to wastewater treatment works, and close to communities that have high rates of unemployment. The project will explore various options for repurposing the power station to address multiple goals, using different quantitative modelling approaches. The work is anticipated to be multidisciplinary and will be done in close collaboration with decision makers within the City of Cape Town administration.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University. This is an excellent opportunity to work on a problem of global importance that also has local application. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Producing green hydrogen through light splitting of water

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of green hydrogen development in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The renewable and sustainable production of hydrogen is seen as a route toward long-term provision of sustainable energy. Direct utilisation of sunlight to produce hydrogen from water through photocatalysis is a promising pathway, and the development of efficient and durable catalysts is key in making this technology viable. This project will centre on developing and evaluating new photocatalysts and will be a collaboration between the disciplines of chemical engineering, material science, and physics, and may also include collaboration with other universities in Africa.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. The project is affiliated with the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy, and forms part of the wider efforts in making hydrogen technology technically and financially viable within the South African energy landscape. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Structural analysis of seaweed polysaccharides

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of structural analysis of seaweed polysaccharides in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Seaweeds contain unique macromolecular polysaccharides that have uses in the fields of medicine and nutrition. However, despite much research effort, the exact chemical structure of some of these polysaccharides have not been fully described. The biological functions of these polysaccharides are strongly linked to their structure; determining their structure will therefore provide much needed information to enable development of advanced future applications. This project will aim to determine the chemical structure of a sulphated polysaccharide extracted from South African kelp and will be a collaborative effort between the disciplines of Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science, with possible collaboration with other Universities.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Seaweed biorefinery technology development

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of seaweed biorefinery technology development in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Seaweeds are a potentially sustainable source of high-value and commodity compounds, with applications ranging from agriculture to food and pharmaceuticals. Sustainable processing through seaweed biorefinery approaches is anticipated to become important in the near future, and this project will develop the technology required to investigate different biorefinery approaches. The work will contain significant practical and experimental work and will build on significant prior research at our Department.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Protein extraction from brewer’s spent grains

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree might be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of protein extraction within the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Brewer’s spent grains is a by-product from the beer industry that contains significant amounts of protein that can be recovered. The work will determine the best protein extraction technology and the downstream processing pathway to produce a dried protein powder product. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to spend significant time in at least one other African institution as part of their project, and will collaborate with fellow postgraduate students in other African universities.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. The project forms part of a multi-national research effort around valorisation of brewer’s spent grains from African breweries, and is affiliated with the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in an multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Process simulation using modelling software and a technoeconomic assessment of processes

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)
  • Host: Dr Margreth Tadie

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of Process Development with the Extractive Metallurgy Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The project involves process simulation using modelling software and a technoeconomic assessment of processes. The project is industry led and the candidate will be expected to work in collaboration with industry. The candidate must have strong mathematical skills, experience with programming, an understanding of metallurgical processes and good communication and interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be required to conduct process data from fieldwork, develop simulations and run them using geological data.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a 4-year bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution, or a BEng (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in either Chemical Engineering, or Extractive Metallurgy. Candidates with BTech, three-year BSc, HonsBSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. The candidate must be a South African citizen.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferrably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Margreth Tadie at mtadie@sun.ac.za by Tuesday, 29 April 2022.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Geological characterisation and process simulation using modelling software

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)
  • Host: Dr Margreth Tadie

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of Geometallurgy with the Extractive Metallurgy Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The project involves geological characterisation and process simulation using modelling software. The project is industry led and the candidate will be expected to work in collaboration with industry. The candidate must have strong mathematical skills, experience with programming, an understanding of metallurgical processes and good communication and interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be required to conduct process data from fieldwork, develop simulations and run them using geological data.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a 4-year bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution, or a BEng (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in either Chemical Engineering, or Extractive Metallurgy. Candidates with BTech, three-year BSc, HonsBSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. The candidate must be a South African citizen.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferrably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Margreth Tadie at mtadie@sun.ac.za by Tuesday, 29 April 2022.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: High pressure phase behaviour of CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to investigate the high-pressure phase behaviour of CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems.
Previous studies have shown that for the CO2 + n-alkane + 1-alcohol systems molecular interactions between the n-alkane and 1-alcohol are significant and influence the phase behaviour. However, while this particular series has been well studied, series with other solutes and the molecular interactions present therein are lesser well studied and understood, hindering the implementation of supercritical CO2 processes. The aim of this project is to study the molecular interactions present CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems via experimental measurements and thermodynamic modelling.

The research work falls within the Separations Technology Research Group of the Department of Process Engineering. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply:Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, BSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in experimental measurement of thermodynamic data will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Prof. C.E. Schwarz at cschwarz@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Spectroscopic measurement of monomer fractions in multicomponent solvating mixtures towards thermodynamic model improvement

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Thermodynamic model development has been traditionally geared towards the prediction and correlation of phase equilibrium behaviour. The exponential growth in desktop computing power and the popularisation of fundamental thermodynamic models has facilitated a shift in this focus towards the broader thermodynamic web. The monomer fraction, measurable using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is hailed in the literature as being singularly representative of the extent of hydrogen bonding in the liquid phase of associating and solvating systems – mixtures common to a wide range of applications including biochemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. The lack of extensive data, even for binary mixtures, limits the testing of thermodynamic model performance and prevents the systematic improvement of these models.

The proposed project will consider the systematic measurement of monomer fractions in solvating systems containing one or more alcohols, ketones and other oxygenated organic species. The candidate will then be expected to assess the predictions of these properties by state of the art thermodynamic models, and determine whether predictive capabilities of the models can be improved by such inclusion. Depending on results and motivation of the candidate and supervisor, the project is also readily scoped for an upgrade to a PhD.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering or Analytical Chemistry, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in spectroscopy and/or thermodynamic modelling will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Jamie Cripwell at cripwell@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Cold Thermal Energy Storage using renewable solar energy

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Cold thermal energy storage can alleviate energy supply intermittency as well as increase renewable energy utilization. This project will investigate the use of hydrate based cold storage of energy generated by solar for community-based applications, such as refrigeration and air conditioning. The assessment of the technology will be performed via simulations, based on available experimental data. The work will involve the determination of energy requirements for a selected application, selection of cold storage materials (two), inclusion of the renewable energy source followed by an economic analysis of the technology.

Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a four-year undergraduate BEng. or BSc. Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts and the contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof Prathieka Naidoo at prathiekan@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Measurement and modelling of phase equilibria of multicomponent systems containing associating and non-associating compounds

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Chemical mixtures are generated in various ways –  e.g. through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, which will remain a prominent process for the synthesis of (for example) green chemicals from green hydrogen and bio-carbon. Processes for the subsequent separation of chemicals from such mixtures have been around and evolving for centuries. To design these separation processes, chemical engineers need – amongst other – reliable equilibria data, experimental or predicted. The accurate generation of simple vapour-liquid equilibria (VLE) or liquid-liquid equilibria (LLE) experimental data is time consuming and expensive; with the measurement of similar data for multicomponent systems even more so. Thus, versatile thermodynamic models that can accurately predict the phase equilibria of such systems are essential. Equations of state that are based on association theory use pure component data to successfully predict binary phase equilibria.

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to systematically test the assumption that these models can accurately predict multicomponent phase equilibria with a similar accuracy as they do for binary systems, especially for complex mixtures containing associating, cross-associating, and non-associating components.

The research work falls within the Separations Technology theme of the Department of Process Engineering, and is closely aligned with and supported by industrial collaborations. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in phase equilibria thermodynamics will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof André Burger at ajburger@sun.ac.za or Ms Danielle de Klerk at dldk@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimum integration of desalination technologies in green hydrogen production plants

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering

The production of green hydrogen through electrolysis of water (utilising renewable energy, such as solar and wind) requires clean, demineralised water.  Large electrolysis plants that rely on the sea as source of water would, therefore, include desalination facilities. This project will entail a systematic techno-economic and practical assessment of the integration of desalination systems with electrolyser units, focussing on large-scale hydrogen production systems at the West Coast of South Africa.

The research work falls within the Water Technology theme of the Department of Process Engineering, and is closely aligned with the vision of future sustainability. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities.

Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof André Burger at ajburger@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Research in geometallurgy with SU and African Rainbow Minerals

The African Rainbow Minerals (ARM) Chair in Geometallurgy, housed at Stellenbosch University’s (SU) Departments of Process Engineering and Earth Sciences, invite candidates to apply for master’s research in this exciting and interdisciplinary field. This Research Chair, sponsored by the minerals industry, represents a new research unit at SU that focuses on understanding and modelling ore deposits from their discovery through mining, to ultimately their beneficiation response. This collaborative research partnership couples geological and minerals processing skillsets with world-class analytical facilities housed at SU. Student projects will cover a range of subtopics within the field of geometallurgy, including themes such as ore body characterization, a meta-analysis of existing datasets, ore body and geometallurgical modelling, process modelling and optimization. Student projects will involve a component of field/mining industry exposure. Supervision and project oversight will be provided by Drs Margreth Tadie and Bjorn von der Heyden, an assigned post-doctoral researcher, and an industry-based engineer. 

Requirements to apply:

Applicants should hold the relevant degree qualifications to meet SU’s entry requirements. Preference will be given to applicants from the fields of geology, earth sciences, chemical engineering, extractive metallurgy, mining engineering, mathematics, data science, or a related field. Applicants must be fluent in English and possess excellent written communication skills. 

Applications will be evaluated by both SU and African Rainbow Minerals. Students are expected to complete their degrees within the typical SU degree timeframe, i.e. two years for an MEng/MSc.

Application documents: Applicants must submit a single pdf document comprising a cover letter, and comprehensive CV including three professional references. Applications should be addressed to Dr Margreth Tadie and Dr Brjorn Von der Heyden.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Enzymes for modification of seaweed polysaccharides

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree might be considered for a PhD)
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

Seaweeds polysaccharides have unique chemical structures that are not found in terrestrial plants. Biochemical (enzymatic) manipulation of the chemistry of these polysaccharides opens up avenues to produce high-value products for application in the pharmaceutical, food and precision agriculture sectors. However, there are very few enzymes available on the market that are tailored toward unique seaweed polysaccharides, which is hampering the development of this industry. The project will aim to develop and optimize an industrially-relevant bioprocess that produces and recovers enzymes with specific activity toward seaweed polysaccharides. The project will be multidisciplinary and will include aspects of industrial biotechnology, microbiology and chemical engineering. Applicants should be willing and able to work in a collaborative environment, where unanticipated challenges are likely to present themselves.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University. There is no bursary money associated with this position, and candidates should be able to support registration and living expenses. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you thrive on taking on a challenge, are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc. Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering or a B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry, Microbiology or Industrial Biotechnology from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African nationals. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill GoosenIncomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level focused on the optimization of bioprocesses for the production of valuable chemicals and innovative food products from sugarcane. A number of postgrad positions are available, covering key technical areas such as microbial utilisation of sugar mixtures for conversion to chemicals and proteins, chemical conversion of sugar mixtures to furan derivatives and the application of chromatography for purification of chemicals, oligosaccharices and proteins.

The global sugarcane industry is under substantial pressure to diversify its product range from the conventional sugar, ethanol and electricity regime, to include a broader range of green chemicals, biomaterials and innovative food components. Such a diversification strategy holds potential for new revenue streams that will create a sustainable future for this socially-important agroprocessing industry. Sugarcane will in the future be considered as more of an industrial crop rather than just a source of sugar, with multiproduct facilities, referred as “biorefineries,” considered as a model for such expansion of the commercial footprint of the industry.

These postgraduate projects fall within the Research Chair in Sugarcane Biorefineries at the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. The research chair has broad and in-depth collaborations within the local sugarcane industry, to ensure that the research approaches and outputs remain relevant to industrial practice. Successful postgraduate candidates will be exposed to a network of industry participants, which hold the promise of future career development. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants for the master’s degree must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in bioprocess development and/or biomass processing will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimisation of Biomass Gasification

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to optimise biomass gasification and gas reforming technologies, to improve the commercial and environmental benefits associated with its industrial implementation.

Gasification of lignocellulosic plant biomass has been under development for a number of years, and offers unique integration and synergistic opportunities for co-processing of the gasification-product-gas with biogas (from anaerobic digestion), green hydrogen (from solar or wind energy and water electrolysis) and natural gas. Considering the scale of industrial facilities that utilize syngas for either minerals processing or chemical synthesis processes, it is inevitable that a combination of renewable carbons from lignocellulose-gasification and anaerobic digestion be utilized in future. Maximising the potential synergies with co-processing these renewable carbons with green hydrogen and natural gas will provide substantial energy savings, increase the final product yield and maximise their economic and associated environmental benefits.

This project will consider a range of alternative integration and co-processing/reforming scenarios for the four gas-products of interest. New process technologies such as dry reforming will be included in the definition of these scenarios, as well as careful analysis of the most promising technologies for commercial biomass gasification, such as fixed and fluidized bed. Real-world representative costings curves of these technologies will be attained through consultation of literature, industry and technology suppliers. Using a combination of process simulations and equilibrium predictions, detailed mass and energy balances will be drawn up for optimized scenarios, as the basis for subsequent economic and environmental assessments. Both the cost of syngas production, as a function of raw material prices, as well as the life cycle environmental benefits associated with alternative processing methods, will be considered as a means to select the preferred scenario(s) offering the optimal combination of economic and environmental benefits. These outputs are of substantial relevance to a wide range of industries investigating various approaches to green their processing methods, whom will serve as collaborators in the project.

The research work falls within the Bioresource Engineering research focus area of the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in pyrolysis processes will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Advancement of Pyrolysis Technologies to Improve Commercial and Industrial Potential for Implementation

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Johann Görgens

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to further develop pyrolysis technologies, to improve the commercial and industrial potential for implementation. Pyrolysis is the thermal decomposition of organic compounds at elevated temperatures in the presence of an inert atmosphere, i.e. in the absence of oxygen.

Pyrolysis as a waste-beneficiation approach provides opportunity to convert waste plastics and waste tyre rubbers into valuable liquid and solid (char) products. However, the pyrolysis liquids are often of low quality in comparison to commercial fuel specifications, requiring further upgrading to isolate high value fractions. Research projects will consider both the experimental optimization of pyrolysis, separations and upgrading processes for the products from waste tyres, together with the development of process simulations for technology development and economic/environmental assessments. The combination of pyrolysis with fractional condensation holds much potential to obtain higher quality fuel fractions at an acceptable processing cost, and will specifically be investigated through an available pilot-scale pyrolysis plant.

Whereas various technologies for fractionation and upgrading of the pyrolysis liquids obtained from waste tyres have been developed, the solid char product is still of low commercial value, due to high sulphur and minerals (ash) contents. An attractive opportunity is the upgrading of the char from waste tyre rubber pyrolysis into a sorbent material, through appropriate demineralisation and refinement methods. Such methods will improve the suitability of the char in sorbent applications like waste water treatment and anaerobic digestion, providing substantially improved commercial values compared to low-value fuel application of the char. These approaches will be investigated through experimental optimization at pilot scale.

The pyrolysis of fibrous/woody plant biomasses is a well-established commercial technology for the production of charcoal, through conventional carbonization methods. However, non-conventional feedstocks such as invasive alien plants (IAPs) represent unique challenges in terms of feedstock variabilities and the impacts of these on process performances. Some components of IAPs such as the bark, offer unique opportunities to obtain high-value chemicals through pyrolysis and subsequent separations. An experimental project at pilot scale will consider the impact on IAP feedstock variability of process performance, in terms of both the yields and qualities of the resulting products. The potential to isolate high-value chemicals from liquid products will be considered through advanced analytical methods and associated separations simulations.

The research work falls within the waste valorization, bioresource engineering, and separations technology research focus areas of the Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University. Successful candidates will be offered a minimum bursary of ZAR130 000 per year of study, and will be required to start postgraduate studies during January 2023.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, diploma or advanced diploma qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in pyrolysis processes will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Johann Görgens. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Design, construction and evaluation of a falling film evaporator

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

Various industrial processes require the concentration of dilute aqueous streams, particular in the food and bioprocessing industries. Evaporation remains one of the preferred concentration steps, and falling film evaporators are often employed to perform this duty. This project aims to design and construct a laboratory-scale falling film evaporator, and characterize its performance by concentrating different aqueous streams of industrial importance. The position will require skills in heat and mass transfer, as well as material balances.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Repurposing old power stations – quantitative modelling of options

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of  quantitative modelling in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Globally, old coal power stations are being decommissioned in the drive to transition to cleaner forms of energy. However, old power stations still have grid connections and energy infrastructure, which may be usable in a reimagined and repurposed facility. In the case of the decommissioned Athlone power station in the City of Cape Town, the power station is adjacent to wastewater treatment works, and close to communities that have high rates of unemployment. The project will explore various options for repurposing the power station to address multiple goals, using different quantitative modelling approaches. The work is anticipated to be multidisciplinary and will be done in close collaboration with decision makers within the City of Cape Town administration.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University. This is an excellent opportunity to work on a problem of global importance that also has local application. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Producing green hydrogen through light splitting of water

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of green hydrogen development in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The renewable and sustainable production of hydrogen is seen as a route toward long-term provision of sustainable energy. Direct utilisation of sunlight to produce hydrogen from water through photocatalysis is a promising pathway, and the development of efficient and durable catalysts is key in making this technology viable. This project will centre on developing and evaluating new photocatalysts and will be a collaboration between the disciplines of chemical engineering, material science, and physics, and may also include collaboration with other universities in Africa.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. The project is affiliated with the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy, and forms part of the wider efforts in making hydrogen technology technically and financially viable within the South African energy landscape. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Structural analysis of seaweed polysaccharides

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of structural analysis of seaweed polysaccharides in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Seaweeds contain unique macromolecular polysaccharides that have uses in the fields of medicine and nutrition. However, despite much research effort, the exact chemical structure of some of these polysaccharides have not been fully described. The biological functions of these polysaccharides are strongly linked to their structure; determining their structure will therefore provide much needed information to enable development of advanced future applications. This project will aim to determine the chemical structure of a sulphated polysaccharide extracted from South African kelp and will be a collaborative effort between the disciplines of Chemical Engineering and Polymer Science, with possible collaboration with other Universities.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Seaweed biorefinery technology development

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree could be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of seaweed biorefinery technology development in the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Seaweeds are a potentially sustainable source of high-value and commodity compounds, with applications ranging from agriculture to food and pharmaceuticals. Sustainable processing through seaweed biorefinery approaches is anticipated to become important in the near future, and this project will develop the technology required to investigate different biorefinery approaches. The work will contain significant practical and experimental work and will build on significant prior research at our Department.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in a multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering, or a B.Sc. in Chemistry or Polymer Science, from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Protein extraction from brewer’s spent grains

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available). Exceptional candidates that already hold a master’s degree might be considered for a PhD.
  • Host: Prof Neill Goosen

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of protein extraction within the Bioresource Engineering Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

Brewer’s spent grains is a by-product from the beer industry that contains significant amounts of protein that can be recovered. The work will determine the best protein extraction technology and the downstream processing pathway to produce a dried protein powder product. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to spend significant time in at least one other African institution as part of their project, and will collaborate with fellow postgraduate students in other African universities.

The position is for full-time, on-campus study at the Department of Process Engineering at Stellenbosch University and is fully funded. The project forms part of a multi-national research effort around valorisation of brewer’s spent grains from African breweries, and is affiliated with the ARUA Centre of Excellence in Energy. Stellenbosch University is one of the leading research institutions on the African continent and is known for its academic excellence and rich on-campus student experience. If you are independent, curiosity driven, innovative, and willing to work in an multidisciplinary environment, then this exciting position could be yours!

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have a good academic record and must hold a four-year B.Eng. or B.Sc.Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited institution, preferably with a course aggregate of >65%. Selection will be based on academic excellence, with preference given to South African citizens. Candidates who hold a diploma/BTech are not eligible to apply.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, completed departmental application, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Refer to the full application procedure here, where the departmental application document can be downloaded. Applications can be sent to Prof Neill Goosen. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Process simulation using modelling software and a technoeconomic assessment of processes

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)
  • Host: Dr Margreth Tadie

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of Process Development with the Extractive Metallurgy Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The project involves process simulation using modelling software and a technoeconomic assessment of processes. The project is industry led and the candidate will be expected to work in collaboration with industry. The candidate must have strong mathematical skills, experience with programming, an understanding of metallurgical processes and good communication and interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be required to conduct process data from fieldwork, develop simulations and run them using geological data.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a 4-year bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution, or a BEng (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in either Chemical Engineering, or Extractive Metallurgy. Candidates with BTech, three-year BSc, HonsBSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. The candidate must be a South African citizen.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferrably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Margreth Tadie at mtadie@sun.ac.za by Tuesday, 29 April 2022.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Geological characterisation and process simulation using modelling software

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)
  • Host: Dr Margreth Tadie

A bursary-funded postgraduate opportunity is available for one master’s candidate in the area of Geometallurgy with the Extractive Metallurgy Group at the Department of Process Engineering.

The project involves geological characterisation and process simulation using modelling software. The project is industry led and the candidate will be expected to work in collaboration with industry. The candidate must have strong mathematical skills, experience with programming, an understanding of metallurgical processes and good communication and interpersonal skills. The successful candidate will be required to conduct process data from fieldwork, develop simulations and run them using geological data.

Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a 4-year bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution, or a BEng (Hons)/BSc (Hons) in either Chemical Engineering, or Extractive Metallurgy. Candidates with BTech, three-year BSc, HonsBSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. The candidate must be a South African citizen.

Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least two academic references. All documents should preferrably be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Margreth Tadie at mtadie@sun.ac.za by Tuesday, 29 April 2022.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: High pressure phase behaviour of CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Full-time research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to investigate the high-pressure phase behaviour of CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems.
Previous studies have shown that for the CO2 + n-alkane + 1-alcohol systems molecular interactions between the n-alkane and 1-alcohol are significant and influence the phase behaviour. However, while this particular series has been well studied, series with other solutes and the molecular interactions present therein are lesser well studied and understood, hindering the implementation of supercritical CO2 processes. The aim of this project is to study the molecular interactions present CO2 + n-alkane + acid systems via experimental measurements and thermodynamic modelling.

The research work falls within the Separations Technology Research Group of the Department of Process Engineering. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply:Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, BSc or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in experimental measurement of thermodynamic data will be a definite advantage but is not required. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Prof. C.E. Schwarz at cschwarz@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Spectroscopic measurement of monomer fractions in multicomponent solvating mixtures towards thermodynamic model improvement

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Thermodynamic model development has been traditionally geared towards the prediction and correlation of phase equilibrium behaviour. The exponential growth in desktop computing power and the popularisation of fundamental thermodynamic models has facilitated a shift in this focus towards the broader thermodynamic web. The monomer fraction, measurable using Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy is hailed in the literature as being singularly representative of the extent of hydrogen bonding in the liquid phase of associating and solvating systems – mixtures common to a wide range of applications including biochemical, pharmaceutical and petrochemical industries. The lack of extensive data, even for binary mixtures, limits the testing of thermodynamic model performance and prevents the systematic improvement of these models.

The proposed project will consider the systematic measurement of monomer fractions in solvating systems containing one or more alcohols, ketones and other oxygenated organic species. The candidate will then be expected to assess the predictions of these properties by state of the art thermodynamic models, and determine whether predictive capabilities of the models can be improved by such inclusion. Depending on results and motivation of the candidate and supervisor, the project is also readily scoped for an upgrade to a PhD.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering or Analytical Chemistry, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in spectroscopy and/or thermodynamic modelling will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Interested candidates should provide a cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. All documents should be merged into a single PDF and attached to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be sent to Dr Jamie Cripwell at cripwell@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Cold Thermal Energy Storage using renewable solar energy

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Cold thermal energy storage can alleviate energy supply intermittency as well as increase renewable energy utilization. This project will investigate the use of hydrate based cold storage of energy generated by solar for community-based applications, such as refrigeration and air conditioning. The assessment of the technology will be performed via simulations, based on available experimental data. The work will involve the determination of energy requirements for a selected application, selection of cold storage materials (two), inclusion of the renewable energy source followed by an economic analysis of the technology.

Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a four-year undergraduate BEng. or BSc. Eng. degree in Chemical Engineering from an accredited tertiary institution. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts and the contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof Prathieka Naidoo at prathiekan@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Measurement and modelling of phase equilibria of multicomponent systems containing associating and non-associating compounds

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering (one position available)

Chemical mixtures are generated in various ways –  e.g. through Fischer-Tropsch synthesis, which will remain a prominent process for the synthesis of (for example) green chemicals from green hydrogen and bio-carbon. Processes for the subsequent separation of chemicals from such mixtures have been around and evolving for centuries. To design these separation processes, chemical engineers need – amongst other – reliable equilibria data, experimental or predicted. The accurate generation of simple vapour-liquid equilibria (VLE) or liquid-liquid equilibria (LLE) experimental data is time consuming and expensive; with the measurement of similar data for multicomponent systems even more so. Thus, versatile thermodynamic models that can accurately predict the phase equilibria of such systems are essential. Equations of state that are based on association theory use pure component data to successfully predict binary phase equilibria.

An opportunity is available for postgraduate research at master’s level to systematically test the assumption that these models can accurately predict multicomponent phase equilibria with a similar accuracy as they do for binary systems, especially for complex mixtures containing associating, cross-associating, and non-associating components.

The research work falls within the Separations Technology theme of the Department of Process Engineering, and is closely aligned with and supported by industrial collaborations. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities. Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions. Previous experience in phase equilibria thermodynamics will be a definite advantage. Preference will be given to South African citizens and permanent residents who display academic excellence.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof André Burger at ajburger@sun.ac.za or Ms Danielle de Klerk at dldk@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.

MEng Opportunity: Optimum integration of desalination technologies in green hydrogen production plants

  • Location: Department of Process Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch
  • Degree level: Research-based master’s degree in Chemical Engineering

The production of green hydrogen through electrolysis of water (utilising renewable energy, such as solar and wind) requires clean, demineralised water.  Large electrolysis plants that rely on the sea as source of water would, therefore, include desalination facilities. This project will entail a systematic techno-economic and practical assessment of the integration of desalination systems with electrolyser units, focussing on large-scale hydrogen production systems at the West Coast of South Africa.

The research work falls within the Water Technology theme of the Department of Process Engineering, and is closely aligned with the vision of future sustainability. These positions also offer postgraduate candidates significant exposure to the associated industries, providing networking opportunities.

Successful candidates will be required to start postgraduate studies in January 2022.

  • Requirements to apply: Applicants must have good academic record (preferably with a course aggregate of >65%) and hold a previous qualification in Chemical Engineering, specifically BEng, BScEng, HonsBScEng or HonsBSc degrees from an accredited tertiary institution. Candidates with BTech, MTech, MEng or MSc qualifications will not be considered for these positions.
  • Application documents: Cover letter, CV, complete academic transcripts, and contact details of at least three academic references. Merge all documents into a single PDF and attach it to the application. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications can be submitted to Prof André Burger at ajburger@sun.ac.za.

*Stellenbosch University reserves the right not to fill the position.