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Urban Ecology & Biotechnology

Department or Institution involved

Modelling of biological processes for treatment and valorisation of wastewater and gas streams


Topic description
The global objective of the post-doc project is to develop, calibrate, validate and exploit mathematical models to understand, design, improve and optimize innovative biological processes for treatment and valorization of wastewater and gas streams. The research line proposed cuts across the three European projects that are currently underway in our research group. The three projects are studying biological processes for the treatment of wastewater and recovery of resources. The type of kinetic models used is based on the basic models developed by the International Water Association. From these models, specific applications will be developed for each project: i) modeling of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) and carbon footprint for WWTP real dynamic conditions, ii) modeling of processes removing autotrophic nitrogen; iii) modeling of processes in reactors types Sequenced Batch Reactor (SBR) including GHG.

To achieve these goals, the Fellow will use the experimental data obtained by other PhD students or post-docs of the hosting group in the development of the projects listed in the next section. Some of the biological processes modeled will be: Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR), Autotrophic Biological Nitrogen Removal (Partial Nitritation and Anammox) in the mainstream of an urban WWTP, Aerobic granular biomass treating complex industrial wastewaters and High-rate activated sludge process in the mainstream of an urban WWTP.

Project supervisor & hosting group
The Project supervisors will be: Dr. Juan Antonio Baeza and Dr. Julián Carrera

Dr. Juan A. Baeza has been an associate professor in the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) since December 2004. His research is focused on Environmental Engineering: nutrient removal from wastewater (nitrification, denitrification, and enhanced biological phosphorus removal), bioelectrochemical systems (MFC, MEC), modelling and process control. He leads research on nutrient removal from urban wastewater in the UAB GENOCOV research group. He has supervised 12 PhD Thesis and is currently supervising 4 PhD students. He has published 80 SCI articles, with h-index = 25. Dr. Baeza is member of the International Water Association and is part of the Management Committee and Newsletter Editor of the IWA Specialist Group of Instrumentation, Control and Automation.
List of publications: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1290-1669
http://www.genocov.com/who-we-are/current-staff/juan-a-baeza

Dr. Julián Carrera Muyo is a chemical engineer (UAB, 1995) and PhD in Environmental Technology. The topic of his research was to develop new biological treatments for urban and industrial wastewaters. This development is carried out through an engineering approach based on experimental assays at lab- and pilot-scales and mathematical modeling. In 2006, he won an associate professor position in the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering of UAB. Together with Dr. Julio Pérez, he started in 2006, a new research line on Aerobic granular biomass applied for treating urban and industrial wastewaters. Moreover, together with Dr. María Eugenia Suárez-Ojeda, he started in 2008, another new research line on Biological treatment for complex industrial wastewaters. He has contributed so far to the publication of 64 international peer-reviewed papers with a high impact factor. According to SCOPUS (02/11/14) he has 1329 citations and a Hirsch index (h=22). He has supervised 7 PhD theses and is currently supervising 2 PhD students.
http://www.genocov.com/who-we-are/current-staff/julian-carrera-1

The hosting group (GENOCOV, www.genocov.com, @GENOCOV) is widely recognized for its activities in the area of environmental engineering. GENOCOV stands for Research Group on Biological Treatment and Valorisation of Liquid and Gas Effluents. The group is composed by researchers of the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering of the School of Engineering at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). GENOCOV has been recognized by the Catalan University Quality System (AQU) as a reference research group (2009 and 2013 SGR). GENOCOV has been active since 1990 in the study of biological processes for the treatment of urban and industrial water and gaseous effluents, with special emphasis on monitoring, modelling and control of complex biological systems, both continuous and discontinuous in the field of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. The group is highly active in research, including: i) Participation in several EU projects and other projects funded by the Spanish Government, ii) Publication of more than 80 peer-reviewed international journals publications during the last 5 years, iii) Important participation in international conferences.

GENOCOV research group has demonstrated its capacity to supervise an important number of researchers. GENOCOV members have supervised 27 PhD Thesis (12 female and 15 male researchers), and are currently supervising 12 PhD Thesis. Eight Post-Doctoral researchers have also been contracted by the research group. In all these cases, a good training and guidance has been demonstrated, obtaining international publications, conference presentations and other complementary activities.
GENOCOV researchers are teaching staff in PhD programmes which are officially recognised as “Programas de Doctorado con Mención de calidad”: Environmental Sciences and Biotechnology (references MCD-2006-00362 and MCD2007-00237).

The main on-going projects of GENOCOV are:

1) Scale-up of low-carbon footprint material recovery techniques in existing wastewater treatment plants (SMART-Plant).
Project identification: Call H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage, ID 690323
Funding Body: EU H2020. Topic: WATER-1b-2015 - Demonstration/pilot activities. Type of Action: IA

2)Two-Stage Autotrophic N-remoVal for maINstream sewaGe trEatment (LIFE+ SAVING-E).
Project identification LIFE14 ENV/ES/000633
Funding Body: LIFE+ program. European Comission

3)Developing on-line tools to monitor, control and mitigate GHG emissions in WWTPs: C-FOOT-CTRL.
Project identification Call: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014. Type of Action: MSCA-RISE. Acronym: C-FOOT-CTRL. Project ID: 645769

4) Development of an energetically self-sufficient urban wastewater treatment plant through autotrophic nitrogen removal in the mainstream and phosphorus recovery (DESDÉMONA)
Project identification: CTQ2014-60495-R
Funding body: Spanish Government

5) Development of a comprehensive treatment process for Sox and Nox from flue gas addressed to waste gases valorization (SONOVA)
Project identification: CTQ2015-69802-C2-1-R–SONOVA
Funding body: Spanish Government

Regarding the actions planned in relation to the development of the research career of the candidate, the following activities during the scholarship are proposed:
- Secondments in highly recognised universities.
- Attendance at seminars or lectures by experts in the field of knowledge.
- Delivery of an annual seminar on the research project.
- Supervision of Master or PhD students within the proposed research project.
- Development of research articles in high impact journals.
- Participation in the drafting of a proposed research project.
- Presentation of papers (oral or poster) at international conferences.
- Collaboration in teaching activities.
- Following the course of the UAB Health and Safety in the Laboratory.

Planned secondments
The hosting group has a significant number of collaborations with other research groups. The Fellow will participate in these collaborations through short stays, training events or conferences.
Some of the collaborating groups of GENOCOV are:

1)    Dr. Mark van Loosdrecht. TU Delft (The Netherlands)
2)    Dr. Zhighou Yuan. University of Queensland (Australia)
3)    Dr. Diego Rosso. University California Irvine (USA)
4)    Dr. Marc A. Deshusses. Duke University (USA)
5)    Dr. Kartik Chandran. Columbia University (USA)

Candidate’s profile  
A PhD Degree obtained in the field of Chemical Engineering or similar (Biotechnology, Chemistry or Environmental Sciences)
Specific abilities and skills:
•    Modelling of biological processes of treatment and valorisation of wastewater and gas streams.
•    Programming in chemical engineering (MATLAB, AQUASIM).
•    Experience in writing scientific papers.
•    Proactivity.
•    Analytical skills.
•    Communication skills.
•    Teamwork and integration capacity in multidisciplinary environments.
•    Organizational skills and motivation.
•    Commitment and cooperation.
•    Orientation to results.
•    Excellent level of English


If you are an eligible candidate interested in applying, please do contact pr.sphere@uab.cat to get you in contact with the Hosting Group.

Department or Institution involved

Urban Agriculture in the industrial ecology framework


Topic description
Optimizing and evaluating the urban biosphere in the context of Industrial Ecology

Urban areas are increasingly larger and more numerous. They use nearly 70% of energy and are responsible for 75% of world GHG emissions. Urban areas are strongly dependent on outside sources for food, water, and energy, making them vulnerable and responsible for high environmental impacts. These three resources are strongly interrelated. The production of energy requires large volumes of water while the supply of water depends on energy for treatment and distribution. Furthermore, the emerging biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, generally regarded as ideal substitutes for the gasoline for the transportation industry, require large amounts of water for irrigation and production. This is further burdened by the need to reduce fossil fuel emissions to reduce carbon emissions. Food production relies on energy (particularly for transportation) and water, which depends on energy for its treatment and transportation. Clearly, there is a growing urgency to combine energy, water, food and environmental factors as synergetic research topics at the city level to support decision and policy design. The Sostenipra research group (www.sostenipra.cat) has dedicated its research efforts in promoting more sustainable urban areas by optimizing the use of resources at city level. Within the project Fertilecity (www.fertilecity.com) funded by the Spanish Ministry of Environment (CTM2013-47067-C2-1-R), the group developed a state-of-the-art horticultural production roof top greenhouse (RTG) in a building, using multi-disciplinary tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and life cycle costing (LCC), to optimize energy, water and carbon via the symbiosis of the greenhouse and the building. The EU-funded project UrbanCO2Flux led by Sostenipra aims to use atmospheric models to quantify greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that result from the metabolism of resources at city level, and determine the contribution of the urban biosphere to the carbon budget.
The aim of the Urban Agriculture in the Industrial Ecology  Framework project is to advance the ongoing research in the water-energy-food nexus carried out by Sostenipra. The overall objective is to learn how to design and manage cities or neighbourhoods in a more sustainable manner, addressing: 1) the challenge of food security and quality in cities through sustainable food production, and/or 2) quantifying GHG emissions at city level, and determining the contribution of sources (fossil fuels) and sinks (urban biosphere). The first topic will focus on buildings and the use of integrated RTGs, applying tools such as LCA, LCC, and Social LCA (SLCA). The goal is have a functional validation of greenhouse-building integration system which exchange flows of energy, water and CO2 to produce food at higher efficiency and with reduced inputs, lower environmental impacts and enhanced food quality. The second topic addresses the question of how efficient green space initiatives are in reducing GHG emissions at city level by understanding the impact of the urban biosphere on the net flux of CO2 from cities into the atmosphere.

Project supervisor & hosting group
Dr. Xavier Gabarrell, Professor Titular in the Department of Environmental, Biological and Chemical Engineering of UAB and researcher at the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA).
Dr Gabarrell leads the research group on Industrial Ecology (±15 researchers) called Sostenipra. Former Director of ICTA (2003-2006), he is an expert in LCA, MFA, industrial ecology and waste management. In addition to several book chapters, he has more than 100 publications in international journals from 2011. ICTA was accredited as ‘María de Maeztu’ Unit of Excellence 2015 (MDM-2015-0552) by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.  The award is the highest institutional recognition of scientific research in Spain and confirms ICTA-UAB as a leading research institute focused on environmental science and global change. Dr Gabarrell is the project leader in the MDM of the following research line: Combining engineering and economic-policy analysis to provide more complete information for policy makers about costs and rebound of technological design for climate solutions.
Sostenipra is one of the leader researcher groups in the world in the Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) field, based on the bibliometric analysis of LCA published in The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment April 2015; as well as in the Industrial Ecology field (Collaboration patterns in industrial ecology research: 2015 update, Jonathan S.  Krones, on ISIE 2015, UK,). More recently and funded by Horizon 2020, Sostenipra aims to integrate atmospheric modelling for improving the understanding of the metabolism of cities. For more information on past and present projects related to the topics offered, please visit www.sostenipra.cat

Planned secondments
Secondments planning will be stablished according to the degree of development reached, for Fertilecity project, MinFuture, and Quantifying the impact of the urban biosphere on the net flux of CO2 from cities into the atmosphere project, when the candidate joined our research group. The relevant collaborations with external organizations are:
Newcastle University’s Sir Joseph Swan Centre for Energy Research (UK);
University of Toledo (USA); Western State Colorado University (USA);
Universidad Federal de Sao Carlos (Brazil); Universidad de Sao Paulo (Brazil);
IPSA-UNIBO (Italy);
INRA-Agroparistech (France).

Candidate’s profile  
Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences or Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Environmental Modelling, Industrial Ecology, and have advanced knowledge of, and experience in, at least one of the following areas: Industrial Ecology and/ or atmospheric modeling.
Specific abilities and skills : Atmospheric or chemical transport modelling such as WRF; Life Cycle Analysis; impact indicators; urban sustainability; CFD; LCA software; environmental databases.
The profile has to be multidisciplinary, proving that the chosen person can work on different disciplines and work teams; ability to work as an independent researcher and to participate in a research group in an international atmosphere; fluent English (speaking and writing); motivated, team-oriented, organised and capable of project management; ability to work as an independent researcher and to participate in a research group in an international environment; experience in the following areas is advantageous: SimaPro (advanced user) and Gabi -Step-(advanced user); MonteCarlo simulation; LCI database; Fortran, python, and graphical tools such as NCL or GRads; ArcGIS; Spanish (speaking and writing), and other languages; agronomy and fisheries.
The candidate is expected to effectively and actively contribute to UAB post graduate programs, by participating in specialized seminars, and supervision of master and PhD students, and Sostenipra’s research projects.


If you are an eligible candidate interested in applying, please do contact pr.sphere@uab.cat to get you in contact with the Hosting Group.

Department or Institution involved

Chemical speciation using conventional and syncrotron radiation techniques applied to the research fields of food, biomedicine and environment


Topic description
The proposed research line is focused to develop innovative technologies to characterize the chemical forms of target elements and to apply related properties on the fields of environment, food and medicine. Applications will be developed to treat polluted systems and to create new products for medical and agro-food sectors.  This general objective is based on chemical speciation using conventional indirect and direct research methodologies (e.g. synchrotron and hyperspectral techniques).
In the case of environmental applications, speciation methodologies will focus on relevant chemical forms of nanostructured sorbent materials to  treat contaminated systems.
In the case of agro-food sector, applications will be addressed in two different ways: 1) to identify  biomarkers for food traceability and 2) to develop and characterize functional foods.
In the case of medical applications, speciation studies will be addressed to control de development of biomaterials on the area known as “human rocks”, e.g, dental tissues and kidney stones. Such control will help the development of dental care materials and preventive treatment of urological lithiasis.
For these various applications, we will address advances in synchrotron radiation techniques EXAFS (Extended X-ray Absorption Fine Structure), XANES (X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy) -XANES (micro-X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy), TRS (Time Resolve Spectroscopy) XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence ) and Quick-EXAFS. Moreover, the Hyperspectral Imaging (HSI) will contribute to not only complement techniques based on synchrotron but also bring to market the application of methods derived from the direct investigation of speciation, e.g,robust classification of kidney stones.
On the other hand, indirect Speciation methods, including the identification and distribution of chemical forms, contribute to validate the direct spectroscopic methodologies.
The successful development of these methods requires the application of specific analytical software such as for the analysis and classification of spectroscopic data. In this sense, data analysis tools employed jointly developed with Synchrotron ALBA, an institution  having a current strong collaboration with us by developing national and international research projects.

The results derived from developed methodologies will lead to the implementation of chemical speciation, particularly through new products and biomaterials, and technologies for the treatment of polluted environmental systems. To achieve this, there will be three main activities. I) innovative processes for the treatment of soil / contaminated water, including efficient systems of adsorption (synthetic bio-sorbents). II) Robust methodology for the characterization and development of biomedical products, including dental materials (e.g, remineralizing toothpaste) and urological stones (e.g, friendly method for diagnosis). III) New products for the food industry, including functional foods (e.g, foods fortified with selenium) and methods for food traceability (e.g, traceability of Iberian and Italian hams). The validation of the products of the project will be carried out either by implementing in real environments, comparison with conventional processes and the application of reference materials.

Project supervisor & hosting group
Prof. Manuel Valiente.
• The group of separation techniques GTS is part of the Department of Chemistry at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), located in Bellaterra (Barcelona). The GTS is linked to the master's degrees and doctoral programs of the the Department of Chemistry at UAB. The current staff of the group is composed of 18 members, one full Professor (Dr. Manuel Valiente), one Titular Professor (Dr. Cristina Palet), one Associate Professor (Dr. Montserrat López-Mesas), a Project Manager (Dr. Gustavo Pérez), a Research Support and Quality Manager (Dr. Montserrat Resina), an administrative (Maria Dolors Mir), two postdoctoral and 11 PhD students, the latter bear responsibility for the functioning and operation of scientific equipment, which guarantee service offering analysis proposed by the center following the established quality criteria. There are responsible technicians for in charge of ICP-MS, an official HPLC, GC-MS, CZE and FP-XRF equipment. Moreover it is necessary to mention that the group has a technical responsibility to implement the Quality ISO-9001 in our laboratories. This implies the need for training of all members of the group in the corresponding Quality System. The intense training capabilities developed by GTS are reflected by the presentation of 40 doctoral theses since 1996, 12 presented in the period 2009-2015, 46 supervised master degrees since 1996.

The hosting group is widely recognized for its activities in the area of Chemical Speciation and related Technology transfer.
The main relevant projects associated with data science are:

Reference.GA645024. Title: NANOREMOVAS: ADVANCED MULTIFUNCTIONAL NANOSTRUCTURED MATERIALS APPLIED TO REMOVE ARSENIC IN ARGENTINIAN GROUNDWATER. Funding agency. Research Executive Agency. Call. H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014.  Name of main researcher: Manuel Valiente. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date. 01/01/2015-31/12/208. Final funding. 369.000 €. Participation: Coordinator
Reference. GA609550.Title: FOSTERING PARTNERSHIPS FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF BEST AVAILABLE TECHNOLOGIES FOR WATER TREATMENT & MANAGEMENT IN THE MEDITERRANEAN Funding agency. Research Executive Agency. Call. FP7 INCO.2013-9.1.  Name of main researcher: Manuel Valiente. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date. 01/10/2013-30/09/2016. Final funding. 157.095 € Participation: Coordinator  
Reference. SOE3/P2/F591. Title. OBSERVATOIRE DE RECHERCHE SUR LA QUALITÉ DE L'ENVIRONNEMENT DU GRAND SUD-OUEST EUROPÉEN. INTERREG IVB. Funding agency. Sociedad Gestora del Programa Interreg Espacio Sudoeste Europeo Call. INTERREG IVB  Name of main researcher: Manuel Valiente. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date. 01/11/2013-31/12/2014. Final funding. 1.264.162 € Participation: Research Partner (PI)
Reference. CTM2012-30970 Title. EVOLUCION TECNOLOGICA DE LA ESPECIACION QUIMICA. TECNOLOGIA QUIMICA Y DEL SINCROTRON PARA LA CARACTERIZACION Y DESARROLLO DE SISTEMAS MEDIOAMBIENTALES Y BIOMATERIALES. Funding agency. Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad. Call. CALLS DEL PLAN NACIONAL DE I+D.  Name of main researcher: Manuel Valiente. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date. 01/01/2012-31/12/2015. Final funding. 191.880 € Participation: Principal Investigator
Reference. GA295031. Title. CHARACTERIZATION AND SUSTAINABLE USE OF EGYPTIAN DEGRADED SOILS. SUDSOE. Funding agency. Research Executive Agency Call. FP7-INCO-2011-6-ERAWIDE.  Name of main researcher: Manuel Valiente. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date. 01/01/2012-31/12/2014. Final funding. 499.194 € Participation: Principal Investigator
Reference GA295197 Title. EULANETWORK IN CERAMIC MATERIALS WITH ENVIRONMENTAL AND INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS. EULANETCERMAT. Funding agency. Research Executive Agency Call. FP7-MSCA-IRSES-2010.  Name of main researcher: Jose Luis Briansó. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date 01/10/2012-30/09/2016. Final funding. 552.300 €. Participation: Investigator
Reference. GA245843. Title. NETWORK IN SOLID WASTE AND WATER TREATMENT BETWEEN EUROPE AND SOUTHMEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES (SOWAEUMED). Funding agency. Research Executive Agency. Call. FP7-REGIONS-2009-2.  Name of main researcher: Manuel Valiente. Affilitation entity: Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona. Start and end date. 01/01/2009-30/11/2012. Final funding. 267.400 €. Participation: Coordinator

Another very important aspect is the fact that members of the GTS have made during the last period 2009-2015 intense activity within the various synchrotron radiation facilities scattered throughout Europe and the United States, where we had a remarkable success. The estimated funding received was about € 186,860. On the other hand, we must highlight that the research group has a scientific collaborator at ALBA synchrotron, the Interim Associate Professor Montserrat Lopez Mesas. On the other hand, former members of the GTS center, such as Dr. Martha Avila, who is conducting his post-doctoral research at the facilities of the ALBA synchrotron.

Planned secondments
The planned secondments to be agreed with the candidate could be carried out through the various external organizations having collaboration with our centre GTS in the framework of different projects. Preferentially with those highlighted in bold.

•Synchrotrons ESRF (Grenoble, France), HASYLAB (Hamburg, Germany) and SSRL (Stanford, USA), CELLS ALBA (Barcelona, Spain), SOLEIL (Paris, France) for direct speciation techniques applied to environmental samples and biomaterials. Project CHEMSYNCHRO.
•Laboratory of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry Bio Environment, in collaboration with Professor Olivier Donard for the development of new methodologies based on conventional speciation (indirect) determination of organic and inorganic pollutants in samples of biota. Project ORQUE-SUDOE
•Functional Materials Division of KTH - Royal Institute of Technology (Stockholm, Sweden) for the implementation of advanced nanotechnology-based adsorbents for arsenic speciation as polluting industrial effluents. Project NANOREMOVAS.
•ALBA Synchrotron "In-House Collaboration" by the analysis of biomaterials through the technique of FT-IR microscopy. Project CHEMSYNCHRO
•Karolinska Institute. Stockholm (Sweden)
•Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences at Stanford University (USA) to direct speciation techniques based on synchrotron radiation applied to biological and environmental samples.
•Università di Roma - La Sapienza, Rome (Italy) for the application of NIR-hyperspectral imaging technique for the characterization of kidney stones based on speciation and differentiation based on food terroir through the chemical speciation of elements such as Fe and Zn. Project CHEMSYNCHRO
•Masaryk University of Brno (Czech Republic). Collaboration with Professor Josef Havel. Knowledge of the operation of the foundation and operation of the software required to work with Artificial Neural Networks applied to the chemical speciation in food. Project SUDSOE
•University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (New York, USA), collaboration with Prof. Carlos Muñoz, to develop new nanostructured materials based on chemical speciation for implementation in biomaterials used in dental hygiene . Project CHEMSYNCHRO
•UT Southwestern Medical Center (Texas, USA), in collaboration with Prof. Orson Moe, the development of new methodologies for predicting risk litogen based on a better characterization applying the chemical speciation. Project CHEMSYNCHRO
•Stone University Center - Universitätsklinikum Bonn, University of Bonn with Prof. Prof. Roswitha Siena. Collaboration in the study of kidney stones aimed at the establishment and verification of a new methodology for classification of kidney stones bounce and be applied routinely to study promoters and inhibitors of kidney stones in foods. Project CHEMSYNCHRO
•Manresa Technology Centre (CTM), Dr. And Prof. Miquel Rovira Juan Pablo in the development of membrane systems for industrial applications. CHEMSYNCHRO project.
•Leitat Technology Centre (Spain) with Dr. Dr. David lover and Mirko Faccini to develop new nanostructured materials for the treatment of contaminated effluents based on the chemical speciation. DISMEC project.
•Università degli Studi di Udine (Italy) with Prof. Marilena Tolazzi to study the thermodynamic aspects of the formation of complexes between metals and sulfur ligands on cyclic compounds.
•Hospital Clinic Barcelona. Urological Service.

In addition to several departments within UAB such us Geology, Vegetal Physiology, Edaphology, etc….

Candidate’s profile  
Required:
•The applicant must have a doctorate in Chemistry, Physics, Material Science, or related disciplines.
•Previous experience in chemical speciation or related studies with synchrotron techniques using some of the techniques such as EXAFS (Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure), XANES (X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy), -XANES (micro-X-Ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy), TRS (Time Resoleu Spectroscopy), XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) and Quick-EXAFS. The candidate must demonstrate capabilities to spread out scientific research activities conducted as a GTS-UAB member in different areas, through publication in international peer reviewed journals and presentations at conferences or exhibitions of international relevance.Additional valuable experience  
•In chemical separation techniques and some analytical instrumentation (e.g. UV-Vis and FT-IR spectrometry, together with chromatographic analytical set-ups such as HPLC and GC coupled with different detectors (i.e. UV-Visible and mass detectors), and some knowledge of atomic spectroscopy techniques, such as ICP-OES and ICP-MS).
•Experience and capabilities for the systematic search of public and private funding sources, particularly detection of opportunities to participate in consortia and European networks (e.g. Info Days brokerage or events related to the presentation of programs of projects, activities and research clusters partners). Managing skills for the preparation of project proposals for national and regional competitive bidding with the active participation of companies to promote an efficient technology transfer.
•Good interpersonal skills and capabilities to work in a multicultural environment, with high capacity for team coordination, detection of needs and supporting the co-workers as well as to work independently. Having the necessary aptitude to motivate the staff members and create a pleasant atmosphere.
•Communication ability is essential for teamwork. Therefore, a good level of English both written and spoken is mandatory (minimum C level). The working language at GTS-UAB is English.
•Experience working under Quality Assurance System, e.g, ISO 9001, ISO 17025, GLP or a similar quality control tool. Used to deal with internal and external audits, with knowledge about laboratory requirements, measurement standards, evaluation of uncertainty of measurement and any documentation related to the laboratory management and quality system.
•Experience on the establishment of cooperation agreements / contracts for research and technology transfer with private companies, based on the experience of the GTS in different research areas covering environment, biomaterials, energy and food.
•Dissemination skills for the participation in the various activities organized by the UAB Research Park and TECNIO mainly attending trade fairs and brokerage events related technology offer proposed by the researchers of the research group, to carry out the corresponding dissemination and technology transfer activity.

If you are an eligible candidate interested in applying, please do contact pr.sphere@uab.cat to get you in contact with the Hosting Group.

Department or Institution involved

Biological Treatment and Valorisation of Liquid and Gaseous Effluents

Topic description
The global objective of the post-doc position is to participate in some research lines of the GENOCOV group, related to biological treatment of wastewater and gaseous effluents. The research line proposed will be integrated in some of the three European projects that are currently underway in our research group. The three projects are studying biological processes for the treatment of wastewater and recovery of resources:

i)C-FOOT-CTRL. Monitoring and control of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions (N2O, CH4 and CO2), and calculation of carbon footprint for WWTP under dynamic conditions.
ii)LIFE+ SAVING-E. Municipal wastewater treatment by high-rate activated sludge process for COD-removal and autotrophic nitrogen removal in the mainstream.
iii)SMART-Plant. Wastewater treatment by a new SBR configuration including Enhanced Biological Phosphorus Removal (EBPR) and nitritation, while recovering struvite and polyhydroxyalkanoates.

The Fellow will collaborate with other PhD students or post-docs of the hosting group in the development of the projects listed.

Project supervisor & hosting group
The Project supervisors will be: Dr. Juan Antonio Baeza and Dr. Julián Carrera

Dr. Juan A. Baeza has been an associate professor in the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB) since December 2004. His research is focused on Environmental Engineering: nutrient removal from wastewater (nitrification, denitrification, and enhanced biological phosphorus removal), bioelectrochemical systems (MFC, MEC), modelling and process control. He leads research on nutrient removal from urban wastewater in the UAB GENOCOV research group. He has supervised 12 PhD Thesis and is currently supervising 4 PhD students. He has published 80 SCI articles, with h-index = 25. Dr. Baeza is member of the International Water Association and is part of the Management Committee and Newsletter Editor of the IWA Specialist Group of Instrumentation, Control and Automation.
List of publications: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1290-1669
http://www.genocov.com/who-we-are/current-staff/juan-a-baeza

Dr. Julián Carrera Muyo is a chemical engineer (UAB, 1995) and PhD in Environmental Technology. The topic of his research was to develop new biological treatments for urban and industrial wastewaters. This development is carried out through an engineering approach based on experimental assays at lab- and pilot-scales and mathematical modeling. In 2006, he won an associate professor position in the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering of UAB. Together with Dr. Julio Pérez, he started in 2006, a new research line on Aerobic granular biomass applied for treating urban and industrial wastewaters. Moreover, together with Dr. María Eugenia Suárez-Ojeda, he started in 2008, another new research line on Biological treatment for complex industrial wastewaters. He has contributed so far to the publication of 64 international peer-reviewed papers with a high impact factor. According to SCOPUS (02/11/14) he has 1329 citations and a Hirsch index (h=22). He has supervised 7 PhD theses and is currently supervising 2 PhD students.
http://www.genocov.com/who-we-are/current-staff/julian-carrera-1

The hosting group (GENOCOV, www.genocov.com, @GENOCOV) is widely recognized for its activities in the area of environmental engineering. GENOCOV stands for Research Group on Biological Treatment and Valorisation of Liquid and Gaseous Effluents. The group is composed by researchers of the Department of Chemical, Environmental and Biological Engineering of the School of Engineering at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). GENOCOV has been recognized by the Catalan University Quality System (AQU) as a reference research group (2009 and 2013 SGR). GENOCOV has been active since 1990 in the study of biological processes for the treatment of urban and industrial water and gaseous effluents, with special emphasis on monitoring, modelling and control of complex biological systems, both continuous and discontinuous in the field of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. The group is highly active in research, including: i) Participation in several EU projects and other projects funded by the Spanish Government, ii) Publication of more than 80 peer-reviewed international journals publications during the last 5 years, iii) Important participation in international conferences.

GENOCOV research group has demonstrated its capacity to supervise an important number of researchers. GENOCOV members have supervised 27 PhD Thesis (12 female and 15 male researchers), and are currently supervising 12 PhD Thesis. Eight Post-Doctoral researchers have also been contracted by the research group. In all these cases, a good training and guidance has been demonstrated, obtaining international publications, conference presentations and other complementary activities.
GENOCOV researchers are teaching staff in PhD programmes which are officially recognised as “Programas de Doctorado con Mención de calidad”: Environmental Sciences and Biotechnology (references MCD-2006-00362 and MCD2007-00237).

The main on-going projects of GENOCOV are:

1)    Scale-up of low-carbon footprint material recovery techniques in existing wastewater treatment plants (SMART-Plant).
Project identification: Call H2020-WATER-2015-two-stage, ID 690323
Funding Body: EU H2020. Topic: WATER-1b-2015 - Demonstration/pilot activities. Type of Action: IA

2)    Two-Stage Autotrophic N-remoVal for maINstream sewaGe trEatment (LIFE+ SAVING-E).
Project identification LIFE14 ENV/ES/000633
Funding Body: LIFE+ program. European Comission

3)    Developing on-line tools to monitor, control and mitigate GHG emissions in WWTPs: C-FOOT-CTRL.
Project identification Call: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2014. Type of Action: MSCA-RISE. Acronym: C-FOOT-CTRL. Project ID: 645769

4)    Development of an energetically self-sufficient urban wastewater treatment plant through autotrophic nitrogen removal in the mainstream and phosphorus recovery (DESDÉMONA)
Project identification: CTQ2014-60495-R
Funding body: Spanish Government

5)    Development of a comprehensive treatment process for Sox and Nox from flue gas addressed to waste gases valorization (SONOVA)
Project identification: CTQ2015-69802-C2-1-R–SONOVA
Funding body: Spanish Government

Regarding the actions planned in relation to the development of the research career of the candidate, the following activities during the scholarship are proposed:
- Secondments in highly recognised universities.
- Attendance at seminars or lectures by experts in the field of knowledge.
- Delivery of an annual seminar on the research project.
- Supervision of Master or PhD students within the proposed research project.
- Development of research articles in high impact journals.
- Participation in the drafting of a proposed research project.
- Presentation of papers (oral or poster) at international conferences.
- Collaboration in teaching activities.
- Following the course of the UAB Health and Safety in the Laboratory.

Planned secondments
The hosting group has a significant number of collaborations with other research groups. The Fellow will participate in these collaborations through short stays, training events or conferences.
Some of the collaborating groups of GENOCOV are:

1)    Dr. Mark van Loosdrecht. TU Delft (The Netherlands)
2)    Dr. Zhighou Yuan. University of Queensland (Australia)
3)    Dr. Diego Rosso. University California Irvine (USA)
4)    Dr. Marc A. Deshusses. Duke University (USA)
5)    Dr. Kartik Chandran. Columbia University (USA)

Candidate’s profile  
A PhD Degree obtained in the field of: Chemical Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Microbiology or related.

General abilities and skills:
•    Experience in writing scientific papers.
•    Proactivity.
•    Analytical skills.
•    Communication skills.
•    Teamwork and integration capacity in multidisciplinary environments.
•    Organizational skills and motivation.
•    Commitment and cooperation.
•    Orientation to results.
•    Excellent level of English.


If you are an eligible candidate interested in applying, please do contact pr.sphere@uab.cat to get you in contact with the Hosting Group.