Research Fellowship: Chemical Engineering Process - Environment


(Open to international experienced researchers)

Research Field: Chemical Engineering Process - Environment


To convert the European Union Smart Specialisation concept into a regional strategy, the region Centre-Val de Loire has launched the Ambition for Research and Development 2020 (ARD 2020) PIVOTS (Environmental Technology Innovation, Development and Optimisation Platforms project) Programme supported by LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies for the attraction and recruitment of international experienced researchers and scientific animation.

The PIVOTS project is a coordinated set of experimental and analytical platforms focused on environmental quality monitoring and sustainable management of natural resources (soil, subsurface, surface water, groundwater, sediment and air) within a context of global change.

Innovation in the area of the environment, ecotechnology, and ecoservices is a major challenge for sustainable development in today’s societies. This innovation must be founded on an integrated approach based research by academic and industrial experts together at all stages of the value chain, from fundamental research to validation of products and services. The goal of the PIVOTS project is to accomplish this integration and to promote the emergence of an economic stream in the area of environmental metrology, remediation processes and associated services.

The PIVOTS Programme is targeting researchers who embody, in their profile, the three key words that drive the research values of LE STUDIUM: Curiosity, Imagination and Intuition. As a fellow of this progamme and LE STUDIUM Loire Valley Institute for Advanced Studies the successful candidate will be part of an outward looking and highly stimulating pluri-disciplinary scientific and cultural environment.

The successful candidate will benefit from the international scientific environment of Region Centre Val de Loire and work under the leadership of the Interfaces, Confinement, Matériaux et Nanostrutures, UMR 7374, CNRS, in Orleans, France.


The presence of emerging micropollutants (MPs) in surface water, groundwater and sediments is currently of major concern, which will lead to the establishment of more stringent standards for the quality of surface water and industrial wastewater, especially in the European Union countries. MPs cannot be completely removed by biological treatment methods.  With regard to the possibilities of removing trace organics from waste and drinking water, the performance of various technologies, mostly conventional (adsorption, membrane and oxidation processes), have already been investigated. According to these studies, processes such as ozonation and adsorption on powdered activated carbon (PAC) are seen as promising treatment techniques for wastewater containing MPs.  For several years, the laboratory Interfaces, Confinement, Matériaux et Nanostructures (ICMN) in Centre Val de Loire, France, has been active in the development of an advanced oxidative process, in particular O3/Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) combined system, for the elimination of phthalates and pharmaceutical compounds.  It is necessary now to develop a new advanced oxidative process by coupling several processes for the mineralization of refractory emergent organic MPs.


The mission of the research scientist consists in developing a new advanced treatment technique for MPs removal from water and wastewater. One of the goals of the present research proposal consists in establishing the synergistic effects of the combination of several advanced oxidation processes. It is of interest to carry out the implementation of the process and to determine the optimal conditions where the global process cumulates more synergistic effects resulting in a powerful treatment system for MPs. It requires knowledge and experience with regard to the advanced oxidation processes.

Another aim is to establish kinetics degradation mechanisms by coupling experimental analyses (by HPLC coupled with an electrochemical cell) and theoretical approach by modeling using chemical simulation. The degradation mechanisms of model MPs could be investigated to establish optimal synergistic effects in collaboration with two academic labs. It is expected that the suggested technique to be more efficient and cost-effective towards the removal of MPs than most of the available techniques. The economic optimization of this system might prove it to be a feasibly technique for practical applications or a first step towards further approaches such as the development of more efficient catalysts (aerogels, xerogels), and enhancements by means of photo-electrochemical devices. The research scientist will have:

  • To participate in the PIVOTS platform promotion, in the DECAP platform organisation: meeting, communication, industrial and academic relationship, in the projects deposition…;
  • To perform research in this field; the study will be carried out at laboratory scale and industrialized pilot scale in interaction with the PRIME platform (PIVOTS project);
  • The performances of the new system will be studied by comparison with the technique of coupling ozone / granular activated carbon but also with the results obtained by the technique used by the others partners of PIVOTS project within the framework of the DECAP platform.


The successful candidate will work within a research group dedicated to the development of advanced oxidative process for the environment. S/he will show an extensive experience in chemical engineering process, characterization of materials (in terms of chemical and textural properties), in analytical and electrochemical methods and in modelling for the understanding of degradation mechanisms.

  • Senior researcher profile with:
    • publications and significant international networks;
    • ability to mobilize the literature and to build a testable hypothesis;
    • research experience in the field of study, able to innovate and interact with diverse stakeholders including industry;
  • Proven ability to control the whole chain of research from the definition of the problem to the communication of results, both for academic, industrial R & D and non-academic audiences;
  • Experience and motivation for team work and ability to establish fruitful scientific exchange with researchers and actors of different technical and scientific cultures;
  • Experience in functionalization of carbonaceous materials and characterizations (chemical and textural properties),  
  • Experience in chemical engineering process (advanced oxidative processes) and in particular in the Fenton process
  • Experience in analytics methods
  • Experience in statistical modeling: optimization of advanced oxidative process pilot plant, technical-economical optimization;
  • Experience in the study by-products degradation mechanisms;
  • Able to initiate new projects in the field of new wastewater treatments and processes, the conception and design of a new pilot-scale continuous-flow plant for wastewater treatment based;
  • Strong organisational and time management skills - able to prioritize work, manage time effectively and deliver results on time;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to make clear and concise presentations and prepare compelling grant proposals.


The fellowship is intended to attract an experienced international researcher in possession of a doctoral degree and a minimum of five years of full-time research experience, preferably ten.

  • Applicant researchers must be national or long-term resident of a country other than France, ie. having spent a period of full-time research activity of at least 5 consecutive (without breaks in research) years in a country other than France.
  • Applicant researchers must also comply with the following mobility rule: not having resided or carried out their main activity (work, etc.) in France for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately prior to the deadline of application. Compulsory national service and/or short stays such as holidays are not taken into account.


The position is based in Orleans, France and offers a contract of one year.

The successful candidate will be welcomed into the PIVOTS team network and LE STUDIUM faculty of foreign research fellows in the region Centre-Val de Loire. Researchers will be provided with the necessary means of work (laboratory facilities, office, telephone, internet, access to databases, computer tools, etc ...).

The scientific working languages are French and English.

Entitlements detailed in the French labour contract of employment include:

  • a personal salary
  • rental costs of a fully furnished apartment for the applicant and her/his family. Utilities (water, heating, electricity, tax) have to be paid by the fellow.
  • Affiliation to the French social security protection scheme and a contribution to a private medical protection scheme for all health costs complementing the French basic social security protection
  • Working hours, vacation and travelling expenses are bound by the same regulation as those effective for the personnel of the hosting laboratory
  • Access to administrative assistance by a member of LE STUDIUM operational team.

Conditions of application

The deadline for application is 15th January, 2017. Applications will be reviewed as they come in. Positions are expected to be filled in October 2017.

The application will consist of three elements:

  • A completed online LE STUDIUM application form with personal information and details of track records ;
  • A curriculum vitae of maximum two pages including information not in the online application;
  • A motivation letter.

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