Lund University, Faculty of Engineering, LTH, Dept of process and life science engineering

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top universities. The University has around 47 000 students and more than 8 800 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

Lund University welcomes applicants with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We regard gender equality and diversity as a strength and an asset.

The Division of Chemical Engineering is innovative in separation technology and reaction technology that is part of the Department of process and life science engineering (PLE). Our work has a clear connection to Agenda 2030 through a research focus on energy and cost-effective processes.
Collaboration with industry and other research groups both inside and out of Sweden is an important component of our strategy.
Our students and employees experience a pleasant and inclusive environment at the division.

Description of the workplace

The Department of Process and Life Science Engineering (PLE) covers a wide range of industrially relevant research, including e.g. plant-based meat analogues, carbon capture and formulation and purification of biopharmaceuticals.  The position is a joint position between the Food Bioprocess group and the Membrane group in the Department of Process and Life Science Engineering. The Food Bioprocess group is one of the leading groups in Sweden and the valorisation of plant-based proteins is one of the group’s key research areas, while the Membrane Group is the most established membrane research group in Sweden and has with MemLab – the Industrial membrane process research and development centre – an excellent infrastructure to develop and optimize membrane processes from lab to pilot scale. 

The project is part of the Horizon Europe Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Doctoral Networks 2022 Mem-Fast - Membranes as Enablers for Future Biorefineries: from Fabrication to Advanced Separation Technologies. 

Subject description

The project will focus on the removal and recovery of phytic acid and proteins from oilseed press cake (rapeseed and hemp) and oat fibre residues by membrane processes. The oilseed press cakes are by-products from vegetable oil production and oat fibre residues result from oat beverage production. Currently, high phytic acid concentrations limit the use of the by-product streams, e.g., in the food industry, since phytic acid is an anti-nutrient chelating mineral, and thus high concentrations of it increase the risk of iron deficiency of consumers. The project will combine membrane processes with mild protein extraction methods to reduce the phytic acid content. Ultrafiltration with diafiltration will be used to concentrate and purify the protein, while reverse osmosis will be used to concentrate the phytic acid. Furthermore, forward osmosis and electrodialysis will be explored as concentration and purification alternatives. The protein-rich retentate will be tested for extrusion into meat analogues, while concentrated and purified phytic acid has great potential as raw material for the dental care and pharmaceutical industries. 

Work duties

The main duties of doctoral students are to devote themselves to their research studies which includes participating in research projects and third cycle courses. The work duties will also include teaching and other departmental duties (no more than 10%). 

Detailed description of the work duties:

  • Review of available scientific literature on the research topic and presentation in a report/article.
  • Define the process parameters for removal and recovery of phytic acid and proteins from oilseed press cake.
  • Optimization of the membrane conditions for protein recovery and purification.
  • Select and integrate membrane processes in the current protein recovery process on pilot scale.
  • Evaluate processing strategy in terms of phytic acid reduction.
  • Assess the impact of membrane processes on texture and flavor of meat analogues. 

Adsmission requirements

A person meets the general admission requirements for third-cycle courses and study programmes if the applicant: 

  • has been awarded a second-cycle qualification, or
  • has satisfied the requirements for courses comprising at least 240 credits of which at least 60 credits were awarded in the second cycle, or
  • has acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way in Sweden or abroad.


A person meets the specific admission requirements for third cycle studies in Chemical or Food Engineering or Biotechnology if the applicant has: 

  • a specialized project of at least 30 second-cycle credits with relevance for the subject or
  • a specific degree eg. Master of Engineering, Master of Science or equivalent degree with relevance for the subject. 

Additional requirements:

  • has not stayed in Sweden or carried out research work at LU or at any other Swedish organization for more than a maximum of 12 months in the last three years.
  • very good oral and written ability in English, as large parts of the research work will be carried out in English.
  • experience in practical laboratory work.

Assessment criteria

Selection for third-cycle studies is based on the student’s potential to profit from such studies. The assessment of potential is made primarily on the basis of academic results from the first and second cycle. Special attention is paid to the following: 

Knowledge and skills relevant to the thesis project and the subject of study. 
An assessment of ability to work independently and to formulate and tackle research problems. 
Written and oral communication skills.
Other experience relevant to the third-cycle studies, e.g. professional experience.

Other assessment criteria:

  • Knowledge of food processing and analysis techniques related to food.
  • Experience of isolation of plant proteins in lab scale and/or pilot scale
  • Experience of practical work in pilot scale such as operating a decanter, high speed separator, extruder, drying processes etc.
  • Experience of working with membrane or other separation processes.
  • Experience in building/assembling lab/pilot-scale equipment.
  • Knowledge of modelling and programming skills in e.g. Python C/C++, MATLAB and/or LabView. 

Consideration will also be given to good collaborative skills, drive, and independence, and how the applicant, through experience and skills, is deemed to have the abilities necessary for successfully completing the third cycle programme.

We offer

Lund University is a public authority which means that employees get particular benefits, generous annual leave and an advantageous occupational pension scheme.
Read more on the University website about being a Lund University employee Work at Lund University.

Terms of employment 

Only those admitted to third cycle studies may be appointed to a doctoral studentship. Third cycle studies at LTH consist of full-time studies for 4 years. A doctoral studentship is a fixed-term employment of a maximum of 4.5 years (including 10% departmental duties). Doctoral studentships are regulated in the Higher Education Ordinance (1993:100), chapter 5, 1-7 §§.

How to apply

Applications shall be written in English and include a cover letter stating the reasons why you are interested in the position and in what way the research project corresponds to your interests and educational background. The application must also contain a CV, degree certificate or equivalent, and other documents you wish to be considered (grade transcripts, contact information for your references, letters of recommendation, etc.).

Welcome to apply!

Type of employment Temporary position
First day of employment Latest 2024-11-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2024/1252
  • Frank Lipnizki, Professor, +46 46 222 82 92,
  • HR Admin. Mia Hedin,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-2229362
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet,
Published 17.Apr.2024
Last application date 08.May.2024 11:59 PM CEST

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