PhD Fellowship in Electrochemical Synthesis in Microfluidics
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Chemical Engineering

This work will be carried out in the Group of Transport Phenomena and Multiphase Systems at KU Leuven under the supervision of Prof. Simon Kuhn. We also form part of the larger Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS) group at the Department of Chemical Engineering with expertise in process intensification, use of alternative energy sources and membrane technology.


Due to the advantages of small-scale flow reactors, such as better control over process conditions and intrinsic safety, there is an increased tendency to apply them to the continuous manufacturing of chemical products. These small-scale reactors also allow to intensify processes further by using alternative energy sources, such as ultrasound and electrochemistry. 
In this project, we will build an ultrasound integrated electrochemical reactor, and thus harness the synergistic effects of both technologies. Electrochemistry itself allows green and sustainable chemistry, and the use of ultrasound will improve the mixing in the reactor to increase its throughput. Secondly, many reactions which would benefit from small-scale reactors involve solids either as reagent or product, which would then clog the small channels. Ultrasonic waves have been proven to be a useful remedy for avoiding clogging issues as they induce cavitation: the creation, expansion and collapse of gas bubbles. 
The goal of this project is to develop a reactor integrated with an ultrasound actuator and to quantitatively study the effects of ultrasound power and frequency on mixing and solid behavior. The reactor will be applied to organic synthesis relevant for the pharmaceutical industry, and will provide a technological solution to channel clogging and therefore enable continuous electrochemical synthesis.
We are looking for highly motivated students, who can perform a PhD project on this challenging topic. 


  • Requirement: Master's degree in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry with strong overall marks
  • Knowledge of flow chemistry and electrochemistry will be regarded as a plus
  • Adequate English (written and verbal communication) for scientific interactions required
  • Strong motivation is a must
  • Willingness to work at interdisciplinary boundaries


The successful candidate will be offered a PhD fellowship to become part of our international team with global research links to work towards a PhD. Funding can be provided for a period of 4 years.


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Simon Kuhn, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than April 30, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: April 30, 2021
  • Tags: Chemische Ingenieurstechnieken

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