Today, fresh produce is highly unsustainable: 33% of fresh fruit and vegetables is lost or wasted. Would you like to help combat this problem by contributing to the development of the first automated multispecies trace gas sensor, allowing the detection of volatile gases that indicate ripening, fermentation, damage or rotting of produce? Then you have a part to play as a postdoctoral researcher.
You will be part of the Life Science Trace Detection Laboratory at Radboud University, where you will work on the H2020 MAX-FRESH project, developing the world's first automated commercial multi-species trace gas analyser based on mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy.
You will be involved in the development of the gas analyser, focusing on the measurement of volatile organic compounds emitted from fruits and vegetables during long-term storage. These compounds are indicators of biochemical processes such as ripening, fermentation, damage, or rotting. Once unfavourable conditions are detected at early stages, the analyser will provide automated alerts to enable timely and effective interventions, allowing reducing storage losses by 50%, extending storage life by 20%, and reducing post-harvest chemical treatments by 50%. The consortium consists of Radboud University and three industry partners (NKTP, Denmark; Senseair, Sweden; STOREX, Belgium). Prototypes were previously built at TRL6, and the systems were tested and validated for the final application. In the current project, we aim to reach TRL9, meaning that the analyser will be ready for scale-up and commercial exploitation by the end of the project. Your role and responsibility will include: • System design and assembly of various components and modules of the analyser, such as the spectrometer and optics, temperature control units, and gas handling system. • Laboratory and field measurements to assess system performance and validate functionalities. • A minimum of 10% travel (mostly within the Netherlands for system installation, maintenance and support). • Data acquisition and data analysis. • Assisting to improve the integrated analyser software package (LabVIEW/Python). • Contributing to the writing of conference papers and articles in scientific journals.
You hold a PhD or MSc degree in a relevant field such as physics, optics, spectroscopy, or electrical engineering.
You have experience in data processing and data analysis is an advantage.
Knowledge of LabVIEW or Python programming is an advantage.
You should be fluent in English.
The Life Science Trace Detection Laboratory is part of the Department of Analytical Chemistry and Chemometrics at the Institute for Molecules and Materials (IMM), Faculty of Science. We focus on real-time monitoring of volatile compounds relevant for various fields, such as exhaled breath analysis, environmental monitoring or fruit storage. For this, we are developing and using laser-based spectroscopy systems for targeted volatile compounds and applying mass spectrometry for both targeted and untargeted compounds. The project will enable you to develop and maintain a broad network of contacts across a wide variety of technologies, thereby providing a broad interdisciplinary experience within a collaborative academic, governmental and commercial environment. IMM is an interdisciplinary research institute in chemistry and physics at Radboud University's Faculty of Science (FNWI). IMM focuses on fundamental research to understand, design and control the functioning of molecules and materials. You will have the opportunity to interact with researchers at IMM and participate in institute-wide activities to enhance your own research and to contribute to that of your peers.
We want to get the best out of science, others and ourselves. Why? Because this is what the world around us desperately needs. Leading research and education make an indispensable contribution to a healthy, free world with equal opportunities for all. This is what unites the more than 24,000 students and 5,600 employees at Radboud University. And this requires even more talent, collaboration and lifelong learning. You have a part to play!
It concerns an employment for 1.0 FTE.
The gross monthly salary amounts to a minimum of €2,960 and a maximum of €4,670 based on a 38-hour working week, depending on previous education and number of years of relevant work experience (salary scale 10).
You will receive 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
You will be employed for an initial period of 15 months, with the possibility of extensions depending on project funding.
You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
Working for us means getting extra days off. In case of full-time employment, you can choose between 29 or 41 days of annual leave instead of the legally allotted 20.
Additional employment conditions
Work and science require good employment practices. This is reflected in Radboud University's primary and secondary employment conditions. You can make arrangements for the best possible work-life balance with flexible working hours, various leave arrangements and working from home. You are also able to compose part of your employment conditions yourself, for example, exchange income for extra leave days and receive a reimbursement for your sports subscription. And of course, we offer a good pension plan. You are given plenty of room and responsibility to develop your talents and realise your ambitions. Therefore, we provide various training and development schemes.
Would you like more information?
For questions about the position, please contact Simona Cristescu, Assistant Professor, group leader TDLab at +31 24 365 22 77 or simona.cristescu [at] ru.nl. Alternatively, you can contact Mohammadreza Nematollahi, Postdoctoral Researcher at +31 24 365 30 12 or mohammadreza.nematollahi [at] ru.nl.
Practical information and applying
You can apply until 31 October 2022, exclusively using the button below. Kindly address your application to Simona Cristescu. Please fill in the application form and attach the following documents:
A letter of motivation.
There will be interim selection procedures so it is possible that you will be assessed and invited to an interview or rejected before the closing date. You would preferably begin employment on 1 November 2022.
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