BIOTECHNOLOGY, CHEMISTRY AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING
This programme is offered jointly by the
Department of Biotechnology. Chemistry and Environmental
Engineering, the Department of Physics and Nanotechnology, and
Esbjerg Department of Technology.
Biotechnology research focuses on molecular
aspects of protein and enzyme folding and functionality, gene
function and discovery, systems biology, novel and improved
enzymes, fermentation technology, and protein and nanotechnologies
with a view to introducing new pharmaceutical and industrial
products (in Aalborg) and Green biotechnology (Esbjerg).
Chemical Engineering focuses on design of new chemical processes and
products within the fields of glass chemistry, applied
biotechnology, bioenergy, functional materials og drug delivery.
The programme furthermore comprice development of chemical
processes e.g. separation processes, as well as, analytical
chemistry, chemometrics, industrial sampling and PAT (Process
Environmental Engineering comprises
physical, chemical and (micro)biological processes in water,
wastewater and waste treatment in cities as well as industry,
including cleaner production technology. In addition, processes in
soils and sediments, especially in connection with polluted soils
and changes of climate, e.g. from greenhouse gases, are covered.
The Doctoral School in Biotechnology, Chemistry and
Environmental Engineering offers a variety of dedicated research
fields and a number of courses that will support the student in
pursuing the PhD degree. Research fields and courses are described
briefly in the two following sections. Details can be found at www.bio.aau.dk,
www.nanobio.dk, and www.aaue.dk.
Molecular Plant Biotechnology
Current research include proteome and SAGE
transcriptome profiling of potato and other organisms,
development of bioinformatic tools and databases, as well as exploration
of chromatin dynamics.
persons: Professors Karen G. Welinder and Klaus D. Grasser and Associate
Professor Kåre Lehmann Nielsen.
Research focuses on the mechanisms of protein
fibrillation, folding and stability of membrane proteins and
protein-detergent interactions. A variety of molecular
interactions are studied by solution NMR.
Contact persons: Professor Daniel Otzen and Associate
Professor Reinhard Wimmer.
Research focuses on optimization of fermentation of
bacteria, fungi and algae, and on bioconversion, enzyme
catalysed modification and synthesis of carbohydrates.
Contact persons: Associate Professors Lars Haastrup
Pedersen and Niels T. Eriksen.
Nanotechnology - Biostructure
and Protein Engineering
The work includes selfaggregation and structural
dynamics of triacylglyceride lipids stability, function and
protein engineering of lipid associated proteins, structure and
composition of protein surfaces, and interactions between
biomolecules and light and biomolecules in bionanosensors
Professor Steffen B. Petersen.
Growth Physiology & Quality of Cultured Aquatic
Research focuses on biotic and abiotic factors which
impact growth performance and specific quality parameters of
farmed fish. Special emphasis is given to methods for manipulating
the endocrine system to study growth dynamics and how such
manipulations may influence end-product quality.
persons: Associate Professor Bent Rønsholdt.
Sublethal Pollution Effects on Fish
The research concentrates on modelling the effect of
sublethal oxygen levels on brown trout (Salmo trutta).
Quantitative models for these effects are developed through a
combination of tank experiments and observations in nature.
Associate Professor Jens-Ole Frier.
Microbial Diversity and Activity in Complex Systems
The research focuses on structure and function of
microorganisms in natural and engineering systems, and include
identification of microorganism using culture-independent
molecular methods and in
situ characterization of microbial activity by use of
radiotracers and confocal laser microscopy.
Example are microorganisms involved in C, N, P and S cycles
and transformation of pollutants.
persons: Professor Per Halkjær Nielsen and Associate Professor
Jeppe Lund Nielsen.
The research activities focus on process studies and
system control within the following fields: In-sewer processes with focus on sulfide (health risks,
odor and concrete corrosion), sulfide control and process
interactions between sewer networks and wastewater treatment
plants, sewer network development and performance with focus on
e.g. exfiltration from sewer networks, sewer rehabilitation and
ventilation, and urban
and highway drainage with particular emphasis on chemical and
biological process engineering of stormwater runoff, e.g. related
to drainage systems for treatment.
persons: Professor Thorkild Hvitved-Jacobsen and Associate
Professor Jes Vollertsen.
The research focuses on biological wastewater treatment
with focus on biological removal of nitrogen and phosphorus, floc/biofilm
structure, composition and properties, settling and dewatering
properties, control of foam
and filamentous microorganisms.
Professor Per Halkjær Nielsen.
The research in environmental hygiene focuses on
microbial contamination problems in industry, in surface waters,
and in drinking water distribution systems. It includes survival
and fate of bacterial pathogens in natural and engineered systems
including interactions between pathogens and biofilm. Furthermore,
it covers development of microbial methods for tracking bacterial
contaminants including enteric pathogens in natural and engineered
systems (microbial source tracking).
person: Associate Professor Peter Roslev
Production and treatment processes demand application
of reactor and process hydraulics. Research focus on turbulence in
inhomogeneous flows. turbulence-particle interaction, flocculation
and disintegration, non-Newtonian flows and rheology, separation
and dewatering, and numerical and experimental methodologies.
persons: Professors Jens Aage Hansen and Torben Larsen.
Soil and Sediment Processes
Research focuses on carbon, nitrogen and organic
pollutants dynamics in soils and sediments with emphasis on
integrated measurements and modeling of microbial, chemical and
physical processes. Examples are microscale distribution of
microbially mediated nitrogen and carbon transformations in
agricultural soils, modeling transport and fate of toxic organic
compounds during dynamic water and air flow regime in contaminated
soil, and microbial processes in oxic-anoxic gradient environments
in soils and sediments.
persons: Associate Professors Kaj Henriksen, Niels Iversen and Per
Environmental problems require both social and
technological knowledge in order to establish adequate prevention
and remedial action. Areas of research are for examples cleaner
technologies, life cycle assessments, and management of water,
wastewater and solid wastes. AAU offers unique opportunities for
environmental management research across disciplinary and
traditional professional borders.
persons: Professors Jens Aage Hansen, Hans Gullestrup and Per
The research includes structure, dynamics, relaxation
and properties of glass-forming melts and glasses, especially the
hyperquenched glasses, rheology of inorganic melts, brittleness of
glasses and fibres, diffusion, oxidation, and nucleation and
crystallisation processes of glass and glass fibres.
Associate Professor Yuanzheng Yue.
The research includes synthesis and characterization of inorganic
materials including nanostructured materials, structure, dynamics,
relaxation and properties of glass-forming liquids and glasses,
especially the hyperquenched glasses, rheology of inorganic
liquids, brittleness of glasses and fibres, diffusion, oxidation,
and nucleation and crystallisation processes of glasses.
Contact person: Associate Professor Yuanzheng Yue.
The activities are concentrated around physical
chemistry of water and wastewater treatment processes, particle
rheology, filter cake properties in dewatering and membrane
Associate Professor Kristian Keiding,
Supramolecular chemistry deals with studies of
intermolecular interactions, e.g. how molecular interact by weak
intermolecular forces only. This include the design of novel
molecules for specific recognition of a target molecule e.g.
creating artificial antibodies. The research focuses on the study
and development of applications of cyclodextrins.
Associate Professor Kim Lambertsen Larsen.
Applied Chemometrics, Analytical Chemistry, and
The research includes applied chemometrics
(multivariabel data analysis), analytical chemistry, sampling,
bioenergy & ABC (Anaerob Biotechnological Conversion processes),
applied biotechnology, and acustic chemometrics.
Professor Kim Esbensen
Chemical Fluid Flow Processes
The research focuses on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)
analysis of the flow processes, which are relevant for the
chemical process industry and the oil-and gas industry. This
includes development of methods, models and computer software as
well as Experimental Fluid Dynamics (EFD) using laser based
Professors Bjørn H. Hjertager and Tron Solberg.
Colloid and Interface Chemistry
The research deals with the problems of technical
chemistry related to the remediation of ground waters,
production of drinkable water and purification of water for reuse
purposes, bio-geochemistry, geochemistry, analytical chemistry,
and colloid and interface chemistry provide the theoretical basis
for solving these problems.
Associate Professor Erik G.Søgaard.
Catalysis and MicroKinetic Modelling Research
The research include kinetic modelling of industrial
catalytic reactions, synthesis and experimental studies of
modelcatalysts and quantitative electronmicroscopy studies.
Professor Per Stoltze.
Polymers and Engineering Materials
include polymer chemistry and –technology, and corrosion.
Birgit K. Storm, Associate Professor
Each student must as part of the Doctoral School obtain
credits corresponding to 30 ECTS credits. These are usually split
in 15 ECTS credits of general research courses programme related
courses, and 15 ECTS credits of project related courses.
Programme related courses
will often have participation of students
from other universities. Examples of PhD courses held the past 5
years are presented below. The actual courses offered can be found
on the homepage.
basic science to applied plant biotechnology
sequencing and data analysis
Measuring activity of genes: Transcriptome analysis
of the software MySQL for sequence analysis
Directed molecular evolution
of nanosize particles and surfaces
Membrane proteins: biophysics and biochemistry
measurements on proteins
and diversity in complex microbial systems
Activated sludge population dynamics
Sewer system & processes
Process engineering of urban and highway runoff
experiments: Modelling and communication to experimental set-ups
dynamics and properties of glasses and liquids
technologies to overcome drug delivery and formulation barriers;
Representative sampling of heterogeneous systems
Numerical models of chemical reactors
Population balance methods in computational fluid
methods in chemical engineering
simulation methods for chemical reactions
Project related courses
A sufficient number of project related
courses will be offered at Aalborg University or at other
collaborating universities. For project related courses there may
be a choice of the PhD student to seek supplementary specific
knowledge from either existing M.Sc. or specially designed PhD
courses. Particular use will be made of international links
already established in the context of on-going research at the
departments. This will support the PhD student in acquiring the
requested international dimension of the study programme.
The project related courses will be decided upon when
settling the goals and the scope of the individual PhD study
programme. This will normally take place within the first year of
4. PHD STUDENTS
AND SCIENTIFIC PERSONNEL
and the research units involved in the Doctoral School in
Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering are as
professors, associate professors and assistant professors
of Biotechnology, Chemistry and Environmental Engineering:
Chemistry and Chemical engineering
of Physics and Nanotechnology
Department of Technology
Chemical Engineering Biotechnology
PhD students may visit other universities or government
laboratories as a part of their programme throughout the five
continents, where active collaborative programmes exist. "Non-collaborative
laboratories" may also be visited through prior arrangement
with the host institution and the PhD students supervisor(s).
active links are many and only a few are listed as examples:
Technical University, Gothenburg, Sweden
University of Teknology
University of Florence,
Arizona State University, USA
Clausthal University of Technology, Germany