PhD position Reduction Fine-Dust Poultry Production Systems

Wageningen University & Research
August 21 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The world is facing interesting challenges in the years to come: a growing population that needs to be fed, less people interested in working in agriculture, limited natural resources (e.g. fertilizers) and a growing concern about the impact of food production, and especially animal production on the environment. As one of these concerns, the emission of fine dust from poultry houses and its impact on the health of neighbouring residents has become a hot topic in the Netherlands. These emissions have to be reduced significantly in the near future, and more knowledge of involved processes is needed to improve existing and develop new mitigation options. Mitigation is possible through adaptation of current barn systems, or through redesign of the housing system. Wageningen UR Livestock Research and The Farm Technology Group have built up an extensive and unique portfolio in experimental research, monitoring in practice, understanding emission processes and developing reduction strategies. We wish to further develop this position with this PhD position. You will be appointed at the Farm Technology Group, and will closely work together with Wageningen Livestock Research.

As a PhD candidate, you will work on a selection of the following research topics (to be determined based on your interest and qualifications):

  • The origin and process of particles becoming airborne, both for litter and manure on the belts;

  • Physics of particles in an airflow and how they can be captured and removed from air;

  • Measurement methodology to determine fine dust emission from an outdoor yard for poultry;

  • The source and conditions for growth of micro-organisms in feces, manure and litter, and subsequent formation of endotoxins;

  • Working principles of fine dust removal in a heat exchanger with indirect adiabatic cooling;

  • The components that determine human perception of odour from poultry sources, their sources and volatilisation processes

  • Exact demands of laying hens for dust bathing and foraging, e.g. the required floor material, frequency and time periods, and synchronisation.

Your work will consist of literature studies, laboratory and small scale experimental work, data analysis and modelling. You will be member of a larger team of researchers within and outside Wageningen UR working on this topic, and have strong interaction with various stakeholders in the poultry industry, equipment suppliers and local, regional and national governmental organisations. Your project results will be disseminated through papers in peer reviewed journals and conference proceedings.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess