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Researcher in modelling the processing of organic residues M/F


Vacancy details

Context

Future organization (department / unit)

CIRAD, the French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development, works with its partners in southern countries to generate and pass on new knowledge to support agricultural development and innovation.

It has one main objective: to build sustainable farming systems for tropical and Mediterranean regions capable of feeding ten billion human beings by 2050 while preserving the environment.  

Reference

P-PERSYST-Recyclage & Risque-2020-07-CDI-3895  

Publication end date

30/11/2020

Position description

Category

Science - Environmental Science

Contract

CDI

Job title

Researcher in modelling the processing of organic residues M/F

Begining date

01/02/2021

Job description

The intensification of agricultural systems through recycling of organic waste is a major element in increasing global food production while preserving the environment and recycling the waste resulting from the increase in the urbanised population. However, the agro-environmental performance of agricultural recycling practices depends heavily on the quality of the organic waste and therefore on the processes used to treat it, such as composting and anaerobic digestion. Increased study of these processes is required in developing countries, due to the specific characteristics of the organic waste, the land, and the conditions under which these processes are implemented.
Indeed, the chemical composition of the raw organic waste never matches agronomic and agricultural needs. However, modelling the processing of organic waste enables prediction of the evolution of the substances contained in organic waste during its treatment. This is a key element in the approaches to co-designing optimal solutions for the agricultural recycling of organic waste that our research unit implements.

Studying the operations involved in processing organic waste provides the opportunity to pursue two closely related objectives:
• develop a predictive modelling capability encompassing gas emissions, the stabilisation of organic matter, potential carbon storage, and the dynamics of the availability of various forms of nitrogen. This capability will also enable prediction of changes in the quality of composts and digestate and of the intensity of emissions during composting or anaerobic digestion in an industrial context;
• starting from the desired properties of the finished product, it is possible to identify for each step the factors enabling the intended effects to be obtained, and therefore to reverse engineer the different stages of processing. The evolution of nitrogen and carbon will be the main "drivers” of this engineering.

Desired profiled

You will have a PhD in agronomy, soil sciences or process engineering related to the environment, with expertise in modelling.
Experience in agronomy or soil science is desirable in the case of a PhD in process and environmental engineering. The profile requires a good knowledge of the processes governing the biogeochemical cycles of carbon and nitrogen.

Your research questions aim for a better match between the unitary processing operations and the expected services of organic fertilisers. With a view to modelling the processes during waste treatment, then during the use of the fertilisers produced, your role will be to adapt and develop representations of this organic waste processing. You will draw on work on such topics as modelling of the dynamics of carbon, nitrogen and certain contaminants during organic fertilisation, and on the development of agro-environmental indicators.

You have an interest in experimentation. You will continue the work on dynamic, semi-empirical modelling of composting conducted by our unit, and will be required to design experiments to calibrate and validate composting models. You will extend the process to other forms of processing, including anaerobic digestion, for which different simulation models exist, and its combination with the composting of digestates.

The reverse engineering of processing operations, their parameters and the input materials (waste) best suited to agronomic needs, environmental constraints and stakeholder criteria requires the use of multi-objective optimisation techniques together with consideration of the uncertainties posed by the modelling of processing. Although you will benefit within the unit from the expert knowledge of modelling and IT researchers, an interest in these optimisation techniques will be appreciated.

You will demonstrate a strong aptitude for teamwork and collaboration. You will need to collaborate with many of the unit's researchers, but you will also interact with other researchers in partner units who deal in part with these scientific issues, particularly within INRAE.

You will have a good knowledge of French. Your publications also attest to a good command of English.

Position constraints

Work at a computer screen for more than 4 hours a day

Work in tropical/humid/subtropical areas

Frequent travel in France and abroad

Socio-professional category

Managers

Salaire base France, hors indemnités d'expatriation le cas échéant

27-37 K€

Information

Job location

Reunion

Location

Saint Denis

Description future location

Location

Métropole

Information

Hiring Manager first name

Frédéric

Hiring Manager last name

FEDER

Hiring Manager email

frederic.feder@cirad.fr