PhD position (m/f/x): Characterization of Grey Water Treatment in Constructed Wetlands

Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ)
Leipzig, Germany
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Water JPI project URBWAT- Designing, implementing, monitoring and understanding a grey water drainage and partial treatment system within an urban informal settlement that started on 1 February 2019 covers three partners from three countries including South Africa. 

The main subject of the project is the treatment of grey water in urban informal settlements by using constructed wetlands. The project includes field monitoring and greenhouse based model experiments to understand and design “low-tech” grey water treatment systems. 

The UFZ Department of Environmental Biotechnology undertakes research regarding biodegradation of organic pollutants in soil and water enhanced by microorganisms and plants. The aim of our work is the application and establishment of effective pollution control via microbial degradation processes in natural and engineered ecosystems. 

The successful applicant should have a background in wastewater treatment, flow description, lab experience in analyzing waste water sum parameters and an interest in discovering microbial communities in constructed wetlands treating grey water.

PhD position (m/f/x)
Subject: Characterization of grey water treatment in constructed wetlands

working time: 65% (25,35 hours per week), limited to 3 years

Your tasks:

  • Management and support of experiments in the model constructed wetlands in the phytotechnicum
  • Analysis of the in- and outflow water samples of the wetlands, based on sum and single component chemical analysis 
  • Investigation of the plant response on plus loaded inflow in constructed wetlands
  • Investigation and description of the flow behavior in model constructed wetlands 
  • Cooperation within the WITS (Centre in Water Research and Development, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa) and LiU (Karin Tonderski, Linköping University, Sweden), the project partners with in the URBWAT consortia

Your profile:

  • University Master degree in Biotechnology, Microbiology, Bioengineering or related Engineering Science Subjects with very strong background in Microbiology and Wastewater Treatment
  • Excellent English speaker (working language of the project)
  • Interest in complex systems like constructed wetlands (see Microbial Processes in the Rhizosphere of Constructed Wetlands -> EWaTT
  • Interest in interdisciplinary collaboration in larger international project

We offer:

  • Top level interdisciplinary research at a research centre which enjoys an excellent reputation within Germany as well as internationally
  • Excellent technical facilities
  • Work in inter-disciplinary and multinational teams
  • Excellent links to national and international research networks
  • Support and optimal training courses by our graduate school (HIGRADE)
  • Remuneration in accordance with the TVöD public-sector pay grade 13 (65%)