PhD Position in Development, Simulation and Analysis of Hydrometallurgical Processes
Catholic University of Leuven Department of Chemical Engineering

The ChEMaRTS research team is based at Campus Group T Leuven and deals with the valorization of waste, residues and end-of-life streams. Currently, ChEMaRTS counts three professors and a number of highly competent and motivated PhD students, all active under the unit of Sustainable Materials Processing and Recycling (SeMPeR) of the Department of Materials Engineering (MTM) and/or under the Process Engineering for Sustainable Systems (ProcESS) of the Department of Chemical Engineering (CIT).


The objective of this PhD research is the development, simulation and analysis of a mechanochemically-assisted hydrometallurgical process to valorize secondary raw materials. Principles of comminution, mechanochemistry and extractive metallurgy will be exploited to develop the mechanochemical-hydrometallurgical process. Principles of process engineering and sustainability assessment will be applied to simulate this process and assess its economic and environmental sustainability. This research is based on an extensive laboratory activity (experiments, analysis, etc.) complemented with computational methods (thermodynamic modeling and speciation, techno-economic assessment, life-cycle assessment).

Expected results

  • Definition of the conditions required to maximize the extraction and recovery of the desired values;
  • elucidation of the mechanisms behind physical, chemical, and mechanochemical phenomena;
  • recovery of the target metal values;
  • flowsheet modeling, techno-economic assessment (TEA) and/or life-cycle assessment (LCA);
  • multiple(2-3) Scientific publications;
  • PhD dissertation.

The person in this position is also expected to carry out educational tasks for about 10-15% of his/her time.


The successful candidate:

  • holds a Master degree in chemistry, chemical engineering, or chemical technology disciplines;
  • has a solid knowledge in inorganic chemistry/hydrometallurgy/electrochemistry;
  • has a profound interest in process development via experimental and computational work;
  • has a creative and problem-solving mindset and takes initiative to conduct cutting-edge research;
  • is an enthusiastic, enterprising team-player with resourceful ideas. He/she is always on the look-out for improvements and is capable to approach and solve problems in a creative and transparent way.
  • can assist in teaching activities through project work, exercise and lab sessions;
  • is fluent in English (both spoken and written).


KU Leuven is among the top universities in Europe (ranked 48th in general and 45th in engineering according to Times Higher Education world university ranking). The Group T is located in Leuven, a historic, dynamic and lively city located in the heart of Belgium, within 20minutes from Brussels, the capital of the European Union, and less than two hours from Paris, London and Amsterdam.

We offer:

  • a full-time employment as a doctoral student for a period of one year to be renewed every year up to 4 years upon positive evaluation;
  • a research position in an enticing research environment across the fields of hydrometallurgy, process engineering and material science;
  • an attractive salary package, complemented with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.);
  • the opportunity to participate in international conferences and the possibility to spend a research stay atone of our international contacts;
  • a thorough scientific education and the possibility to obtain a PhD degree from a highly-ranked university;
  • the tools required to start building an academic career (coaching, training, networking, etc.).


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Giuseppe Granata, tel.: +32 16 32 86 62, mail:

Applications should consist of a motivation letter (including contact information of 2 referees) and a CV (including copies of diploma certificates and transcripts at university level). You can apply for this job no later than October 31, 2022 via the online application tool.

You can apply for this job no later than October 31, 2022 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: October 31, 2022
  • Tags: Ingenieurswetenschappen
  • Download: file

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