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Research assistant - PhD candidate - 13 positions, Germany
salary grade E 13 TV-L Berliner Hochschulen for TUB positions (7 x 0.75 and 1 x 0.5 part-time)
salary grade E 13 TVöD for IGB positions (5 x 0.75 part-time)
Faculties VI and III – Planning-Building-Environment and Process Sciences
Reference Number: VI-80/15 (from 01/07/15 until 30/06/18/closing date for applications 13/04/15)

Project description: UWI is a research training group of engineers and natural scientists focusing on ‘urban water interfaces’, which will play key roles in the urban water cycle. The processes and fluxes across interfaces are highly complex and their current understanding is notably incomplete. Understanding the functioning of natural interfaces and technical interfaces requires a broader integrative framework than is commonly used. This calls for interdisciplinary approaches, especially for processes at interfaces between natural and technical compartments, such as bank filtration. We will develop innovative links between empirical methods, experiments (laboratory and field) and models (conceptual and numerical) to describe the dominant interface processes in urban water systems on different scales of space and time as well as across scales. Over a 3-year period, doctoral candidates will receive training that aims at facilitating completion of research leading to an original thesis and high-quality publications in the scientific literature.The Technische Universität Berlin (TUB) and the Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB), which is member of the Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V., will create a unique interdisciplinary platform for urban water research. Together with associated partners from other research institutions, the water industry and local authorities we aim to create a stimulating research environment, facilitate international mobility, and provide support structures and assistance, all aimed at promoting the candidates' skill set required for successful science. UWI is organized along two groups:
Working Field: Natural interfaces (group N)

N1 Degradation of recalcitrant organic trace pollutants in biofilms at solid-water interfaces
The research will focus on the potential of both defined and natural biofilm communities to degrade (recalcitrant) pharmaceuticals in urban water systems. Both aerobic and anaerobic subpopulations capable of promoting multiple degradation pathways and strategies will be examined by physiological tests and molecular methods (MiSeq sequencing, FISH, CLSM, DGGE, qPCR). The aim is to evaluate if the pollutant-degrading organisms can live on trace pollutants alone or if they require co-substrates to maintain their energy metabolism. Significant interactions (syntrophy, co-metabolism) between organisms for determining degradation efficiency should be identified. It is of special interested to what extent the pharmaceuticals are transformed to compounds which can be integrated in the pool of natural humic substances. Responsible organisms will be detected and quantified by FISH and qPCR methods in both laboratory reactors and natural biofilms. We are looking for a candidate with the following personal and scientific qualifications: Applicants should hold a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) related to the subject area of the project; knowledge in community ecology, experimental work (classical and molecular microbiology), molecular tools to characterize microbial communities, experience in next-generation sequencing will be of an asset, as are strong motivation, flexibility, and the ability to work independently, an excellent oral and written command of English, including scientific writing skills.

Supervisors: Prof. Ulrich Szewzyk (TUB), Dr. Burga Braun (TUB), Dr. Peter Casper (IGB) and Prof. Mark Gessner
(IGB & TUB). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Ulrich Szewzyk
(ulrich.szewzyk@tu-berlin.de) or Dr. Burga Braun (burga.braun@tu-berlin.de).

N2 Heat and vapor transport at the soil-atmosphere interface in urban areas
The aim of this doctoral thesis is to understand the feedback mechanisms at the soil-atmosphere interface, and predict actual evapotranspiration for various sealed urban landscapes. Intensive in-situ measurements with a weighable lysimeter will be combined with thermal infrared remote sensing studies on various land surfaces experiencing different degrees of sealing. Based on machine-learning techniques, a model of actual evapotranspiration by various sealed urban landscapes will be developed on a regional scale, incorporating previously unknown interactions between the urban material fabric and urban thermal behavior.The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Environmental Sciences, Geoecology, Geography, Hydrology, or a related field and is enthused about the prospect of working in a collaborative team with international participation.

Supervisors: Prof. Birgit Kleinschmit (TUB), Prof. Gerd Wessolek (TUB) and Prof. Heiko Sieker (Ingenieurgesellschaft Prof. Dr. Sieker mbH (IPS) & TUB). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Birgit Kleinschmit (birgit.kleinschmit@tu-berlin.de).

N3 Greenhouse gas formation and flux across boundaries in urban water bodies
The aim of this project is to determine rates of greenhouse gas (GHG) formation and consumption from semi-natural and natural urban water bodies and to provide a first estimate of GHG emissions from the surface waters of a large city. The focus will be on methane, but nitrous oxide and other GHG will also be considered. A spatial sampling strategy will be developed to ensure representative coverage of the major types of surface waters in urban areas. Methods established for natural aquatic ecosystems will be adapted to urban water bodies. Control variables assessed at various spatial and temporal scales (e.g. water and sediment chemistry, meteorology, geomorphology, land use, contaminant load, microbial community structure) will be determined concomitantly. This information will be used as a basis to upscale locally measured GHG fluxes to the metropolitan area of Berlin.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Microbial Ecology, Environmental Sciences, Limnology, Biogeochemistry, Ecology or a related field. Experience with measuring trace gas fluxes, characterizing microbial communities and aquatic ecosystems are assets, as are strong numerical, writing and communication skills. The candidate should also be keen on collaborating in an interdisciplinary and international team. The working language is English.

Supervisors: Prof. Mark Gessner (IGB & TUB), Dr. Peter Casper (IGB) and Prof. Birgit Kleinschmit (TUB). Host organization: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries (IGB Stechlin). Please address enquiries to Prof. Mark Gessner and Dr. Peter Casper (stechlin@igb-berlin.de).

N4 Ecosystem metabolism in natural and technical aquatic systems of urban environments
The project will apply the ecological concept of ecosystem metabolism to natural and technical components of the urban water system. All major semi-natural and natural urban water bodies as well as selected technical systems will be covered. The aims are to (i) determine O2-based whole-ecosystem metabolism, (ii) identify the key drivers of gross primary production (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (ER) across diverse urban water bodies, (iii) evaluate the importance of interfaces for GPP and ER, and (iv) estimate CO2 emissions from urban surface waters to the atmosphere. Continuous records of O2 dynamics in a network of urban field sites will be related to control variables assessed at various spatial and temporal scales (e.g. water chemistry, meteorology, geomorphology, land use, contaminant load). This information will be used to upscale process rates measured at selected sites in the field to the metropolitan area of Berlin.
The successful candidate holds Applicants should hold a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Environmental Science or Engineering, Ecology, Biogeochemistry, Hydrology or a related field. Useful skills include competencies in designing and maintaining field monitoring instruments, handling large data sets and applying GIS. Strong numerical, writing and communication skills are further assets. The candidate should also be keen on collaborating in an interdisciplinary and international team. The working language is English.

Supervisors: Prof. Mark Gessner (IGB & TUB), Dr. Gabriel Singer (IGB), Prof. Matthias Barjenbruch (TUB) and Prof. Birgit Kleinschmit (TUB). Host organization: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Fisheries (IGB) in Berlin or Stechlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Mark Gessner (gessner@igb-berlin.de) or Dr. Gabriel Singer (gabriel.singer@igb-berlin.de).

N5 Changes in groundwater seepage due to bank filtration affecting urban lake resilience
Research will focus on effects of bank filtration and groundwater seepage on benthic primary producers in lakes. Field and laboratory investigations will be carried out to test the hypothesis that changes in groundwater seepage due to bank filtration affect the development of submerged macrophytes in lakes. In addition, a dynamic ecosystem model will be adapted to simulate the effects of bank filtration on macrophytes and lake water quality.
The successful candidate must have a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Biology, Geoecology, Environmental Sciences or a related field, be strongly commited to aquatic fieldwork and modelling, and be enthusiastic about the prospect of working in a collaborative team with international participation.

Supervisors: Dr. Sabine Hilt, (IGB), Dr. Michael Hupfer (IGB), Prof. Reinhard Hinkelmann (TUB) and Prof. Wolf M. Mooij (Netherlands Institute of Ecology, NIOO). Host organization: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Berlin. Please address enquiries to Dr. Sabine Hilt (hilt@igb-berlin.de).

N6 Retention of chemical compounds in hyporheic reactors of urban freshwater systems
The research will focus on identifying and quantifying the close coupling of hydrological and biogeochemical processes in the hyporheic zone of urban streams. Special emphasis will be given to retention mechanisms. A suite set of measurement techniques and modelling methods will be used to investigate the coupling of transport hydrodynamics and biogeochemical turnover along flow paths at the aquifer-stream interface. Two urban streams in Berlin (Erpe and Panke) have been chosen for detailed case studies. The combined knowledge of hydrological and biogeochemical processes will be used to evaluate the overall role of the hyporheic zone in urban freshwaters and to develop a conceptual model of the most relevant processes and their interactions.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Geoecology, Geochemistry, Environmental Sciences or a related field and is enthused about the prospect of working in a collaborative team.

Supervisors: Prof. Gunnar Nützmann (IGB), Dr. Jörg Lewandowski (IGB), Dr. Anke Putschew (TUB) and Prof. Mario Schirmer (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Eawag). Host organization: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Gunnar Nützmann (nuetzmann@igb-berlin.de) or Dr. Jörg Lewandowski (lewe@igb-berlin.de).

N7 Integral modelling approach for flow and reactive transport in groundwater-surface water interaction space
The research will focus on developing an integral single-domain model for flow, transport and reaction processes in the transitional area of surface water and groundwater. The starting point of the studies will be the extension of a Navier-Stokes solver for application in a porous medium. Different bed forms and turbulence models will be examined. Conservative and reactive transport will be included in later stages. The new model will first be applied on a small scale and the results will be compared to results of laboratory and field experiments of UWI partners, especially from project N6.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Civil, Water or Environmental Engineering, Geosciences or a related field and is enthused about the prospect of working in an interdisciplinary collaborative team of engineers and natural scientists. The candidate should be experienced in the development and application of computational methods in the hydrosciences (e.g. numerical methods, high-level programming language, hydromechanics).

Supervisors: Prof. Reinhard Hinkelmann (TUB), Prof. Gunnar Nützmann (IGB) and Dr. Bettina Albers (TUB). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Reinhard Hinkelmann (reinhard.hinkelmann@wahyd.tu-berlin.de).

Working field: Technical interfaces (group T)
T1 Role of dust and solid waste on water and contaminant transport processes at the pavement-water interface
Research focuses on the role of dust and litter deposits on water and solute transport as well as on the dynamics of dust and litter at the soil-pavement-atmosphere interface. Processes shall be studied using laboratory column experiments and paved weighable lysimeters. Process models will be used to analyse and assess the source/sink function of pavements with regard to target chemicals, such as phosphorus, trace elements or nicotine.
We seek candidates holding a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) related to environmental sciences (e.g. Hydrology, Urban Ecology, Geosciences) and who are interested in working in an interdisciplinary scientific field and team.

Supervisors: Prof. Gerd Wessolek (TUB), Dr. Thomas Nehls (TUB), Prof. Martin Jekel (TUB) and Dr. Bettina Albers (TUB). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Dr. Thomas Nehls (thomas.nehls@tu-berlin.de).

T2 Corrosion in sewers caused by biochemical processes of sulphurous compounds
The aim of the thesis is to gain knowledge on the interface behaviour of sulphur species in sewers (wastewater - atmosphere - biofilm - construction material). Investigations into the basic parameters under different conditions at a pilot plant will lead to the development of a predictive and control model that can be applied to devise countermeasures (e.g. dosage of chemicals) against odour and corrosion in sewer networks. The resistance to corrosion will be tested for several new concrete mixtures and coating materials in the pilot plant. Practical recommendations for effective handling of countermeasures and appropriate materials will be given to operators of sewer networks. This doctoral thesis will provide data for the three-phase simulation model developed in project T3.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Civil Engineering, Environmental Sciences or a related field and is enthused about the prospect of working in a collaborative team of engineers and natural scientists. Basic knowledge of measurement devices and laboratory experience are expected as well as the willingness to coordinate the operation of the pilot plant. This position is 0.50 part-time TV-L E 13.

Supervisors: Prof. Dietmar Stephan (TUB), Prof. Matthias Barjenbruch (TUB) and Regina Gnirss (Berliner Wasserbetriebe (BWB). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Dietmar Stephan (stephan@tu-berlin.de).

T3 Three-phase simulation model for odour and corrosion in sewer systems
The research will focus on the development of a three-phase model which simulates the complex and coupled flow and reactive transport processes in sewer pipes (wastewater, air, pipe wall). The reactions include biological and chemical transformations of sulphur components including the impacts of O2, N species, pH and temperature. The work will start with the application of a water-gas flow model in a pipe, which will be further developed to simulate reactive transport and interphase mass transfer processes (e.g. degassing, corrosion). The model will be tested and validated using data of the pilot plant of project T2.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Civil, Water or Environmental Engineering or a related field and is enthused about the prospect of working in an interdisciplinary collaborative team of engineers and natural scientists. The candidate should be experienced in the development and application of computational methods in the hydrosciences (e.g. numerical methods, high level programming language, fluid mechanics).

Supervisors: Prof. Reinhard Hinkelmann (TUB), Prof. Matthias Barjenbruch (TUB) and Prof. Gunnar Nützmann (IGB)
Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Reinhard Hinkelmann (reinhard.hinkelmann@wahyd.tu-berlin.de).

T4 Impact of remaining wastewater constituents on interfaces in surface waters
This project will focus on neglected adverse effects of technical purification systems on nutrient cycles at the sediment-water interface in urban lakes. Special emphasis will be directed to the influence of sulphate, nitrogen and carbon compounds on the retention of phosphorus in urban lake sediments. This information will be used as a basis to establish mass balances and adapt lake models. Results of the envisaged interdisciplinary cooperation will contribute to the development of improved lake management scenarios.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Ecology, (Geo)chemistry, Geoecology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Technology or a related field. The candidate should be interested in the development of novel experimentaexperimental approaches and is enthused about the prospect of working in a collaborative team with international participation.

Supervisors: Dr. Michael Hupfer (IGB), Prof. Sven Geißen (TUB) and Prof. Reinhard Hinkelmann (TUB). Host organization: Leibniz-Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries Berlin. Please address enquiries to Dr. Michael Hupfer (hupfer@igb-berlin.de).

T5 Desorption kinetics and irreversibility in applications of technical adsorbents for water treatment
The research is directed to a better understanding of desorption processes and of irreversible adsorption in the applications of technical adsorbents, such as hydroxides/oxides and activated carbon. The studies will use specific adsorption and desorption methods to derive the extent of these processes and phenomena. The work steps include: (i) Single solute adsorption studies on three selected and powdered adsorbents, (ii) two-step adsorption tests with two competing target compounds, and (iii) studies with differential adsorption filters designed for granular adsorbents. The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Environmental Engineering or Sciences, Chemical Engineering or Physical Chemistry.

Supervisors: Prof. Martin Jekel (TUB), Prof. Eckhard Worch (TU Dresden) and Prof. Juliane Hollender (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Eawag). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Prof. Martin Jekel (martin.jekel@tu-berlin.de).

T6 Deiodination of iodinated contrast media (ICMs) in bank filtration of urban waters
The goal of this project is to derive a comprehensive understanding of the reductive metabolism of iodinated contrast media (ICMs) as important organic pollutants in urban surface and bank filtered ground water. We will study the major influential system parameters (including defined redox conditions, temperature, and co-metabolism mediated by natural organic matter) by means of saturated laboratory soil columns and batch tests. Defined conditions will be established in artificial model waters (one ICM only at higher concentrations) and, later, in natural surface waters polluted by several ICMs. DOC and iodine balances will be applied, including AOI (adsorbable organic bound iodine) as a sum parameter.
The successful candidate holds a university degree (Master, Diplom or equivalent) in Chemistry, Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Geo-ecology or a related field.

Supervisors: Dr. Anke Putschew (TUB), Prof. Martin Jekel (TUB) and Dr. Lorenz Adrian (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, UFZ). Host organization: Technische Universität Berlin. Please address enquiries to Dr. Anke Putschew (anke.putschew@tu-berlin.de).

We invite candidates to apply for one or more of the UWI PhD positions described above. Applicants should submit a CV, cover letter indicating research interests and experience, and the specific thesis topics they wish to apply for (please give your preference). Please include a letter of motivation, a letter of recommendation and a PDF copy of the Master’s Thesis. Fluency in English is required.

Please send your application quoting the reference number and the respective project key (N1 – N7, T1 – T6) preferably by email in a single PDF containing all application documents to apply_uwi@wahyd.tu-berlin.de or in writing to Technische Universität Berlin - Der Präsident -, Fakultät VI, Fachgebiet Wasserwirtschaft und Hydrosystemmodellierung, Prof. R. Hinkelmann, Sekr. TIB 1-B 14, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin.

Addresses:
- TU Berlin, main campus Berlin Charlottenburg, Straße des 17. Juni, 10623 Berlin and campus Berlin Wedding: TIB-Gelände, Gustav-Meyer-Allee 25, 13355 Berlin
- IGB Berlin, main location Berlin Friedrichshagen, Müggelseedamm 310/301, 12587 Berlin and location Neuglobsow / Lake Stechlin, Alte Fischerhütte 2, 16775 Stechlin
The TUB and IGB are devoted to increasing the proportion of women in science and particularly encourages female scientists to apply.
Qualified individuals with disabilities will be favored.
Please send copies only. Original documents will not be returned.
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