Motivation and Goals

Monitoring and control of industrial bioprocesses is still mainly limited to only a few physical and chemical properties that can be measured online with relatively low efforts. Important variables like biomass-, product- and substrate concentrations as well as specific reaction rates are predominantly determined by offline sampling as they are difficult to accurately measure online.

The aim of this Master Thesis is to utilize model based design principles and methods to predict the product formation of induced E. coli cultivations. In a first step process parameters that influence the product formation have to be identified within screening experiments. Based on that data the kinetics should be preserved in a mathematical model in order to be able to estimate the productivity of cells during a process. Finally, the model should form the basis for a soft-sensor based feedback control strategy to optimize product formation in fermentation.

What you will do

  • Modeling and simulation of bioprocesses in MATLAB & Simulink
  • Compare different models and control strategies in simulation and on the real plant
  • Fermentations of Escherichia coli and analysis of the gathered data in MATLAB
  • Fluorescence assays to measure enzymatic activity
  • Apply and improve existing soft sensor algorithms
  • Implement promising control algorithms on industrial digital PLC controller

Requirements

  • Master studies in Biotechnology, Bioprocess technology, Process Engineering, Control Systems Engineering or related field
  • First experiences with numerical programming languages like Matlab/Simulink or Python and willingness to intensify those skills
  • Experience in bioanalytical methods and standard lab work is advantageous
  • A superior command of English

Opportunities

  • Discover the highly interdisciplinary interfaces of biotechnology, control systems engineering and process modeling & simulation
  • Work in a multidisciplinary team on a future-oriented topic
  • Connect with industry and learn their language and thinking

Time-frame and salary

This work will be done at TU Wien, Research Area of Biochemical Engineering and can start in October 2021. It is scheduled for 6 months and compensated with 300 € per month

We looking forward to your application!