Medior/senior project manager with biorefinery knowledge



Education type

university (wo)



Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

You lead a team of enthusiastic specialists with different scientific and cultural backgrounds developing solutions to challenging problems, typically in innovation and development type projects. You are responsible as well for the (often complex) legal and financial administrative handling of the project, for which you rely on and communicate with specialists in these fields. You use your communication skills effectively to help the team realize its deliverables within the constraints of time and budget and to steer the internal and external administrative processes. And also to inform and align with a multitude of internal and external stakeholders of the project. Your ambition is to share ownership of the project with the whole team, while being a pragmatic provider of solutions to maximize the impact of the project.

The unit ECN part of TNO develops innovative technologies for the transition to a sustainable society. One of the focus areas of the expertise group Biomass and Energy Efficiency (BEE) within that unit is development of technology for the application of sustainable biomass for energy and materials. The group has a proven track record in scaling up biomass based processes such as the Milena, Olga and Torwash™ technologies.

BEE is looking for an experienced project manager to join the biomass team.
The biorefinery cluster of the biomass team develops fractionation and conversion technologies to produce biobased intermediates, materials and fuels. The three development tracks are the patented FABIOLA™ lignocellulosic pretreatment process, pyrolysis and seaweed biorefinery concepts. The development is carried out in PPS type projects such as H2020, TKI-BBE, EFRO etc., as well as industrial contract research. The candidate will be responsible for the execution of the complex acquisition, project management and finalization processes of various large scale projects.

The Biorefinery team group develops technology for the fractionation and downstream processing of biomass into fuels and chemicals in the existing chemical process industry. The R&D program is a close collaboration with partners from industry, research institutes and universities. The group has an excellent track record in technology development for biorefinery processes. We offer a challenging working environment in a field that is of eminent importance for our future needs. You will be able to coordinate H2020 projects or lead similar large programme driven R&D projects both within PPS or industrially funded settings.

What do we require of you?

The ideal candidate is well versed in the administrative requirements of complex mixed funding projects such as H2020, EFRO, INTERREG or similar national funding schemes. We are looking for a candidate with a proven track record in applying, executing and finishing such projects as project manager. Furthermore, the candidate is willing to become an expert in the TNO internal project managements systems and is by experience or training able to manage projects at the IPMA-C level. It is also expected that the candidate is sufficiently engaged with the content of the projects and is able to contribute substantially to the scientific quality of the projects. Experience with highly confidential contract research projects is preferred.

You are an open minded, enthusiastic, creative and result driven person. You are a good listener and are capable to translate the technological project plan into a SMART project planning. You are able to work in multi-disciplinary teams and can switch easily between different tasks among projects. You are comfortable to work in a multi-national gender balanced team. You have an proven affinity with the financial and administrative management of multi-year large research and development projects.

You have:
  • At least an MSc degree in (Bio)Chemistry, Biotechnology, Chemical or process engineering or relevant discipline and preferably also a Ph.D. degree from an accredited internationally recognized institute.
  • At least 5 years of experience as project manager on complex multi-year large research and development projects.
  • Experience in managing the different interests of your employer, the external project partners as well as the sponsor.
  • A proven track record in resolving potential project conflicts, challenges etc.
  • Good oral and written communication skills in English
  • Knowledge of the Dutch language is a pre
  • Willing to learn Dutch at the highest NT2 level.

Application process

You can apply till the 19th of October. The process comprises at least two (selection) rounds. Once the initial selection round is completed, a selected group of candidates is interviewed in a video interview or for local candidates on site. Generally after this step, up to five candidates are invited for face-to-face interviews with the manager and future colleagues to further discuss your experience, their expectations and cultural fit. A presentation of relevant work and or experience for a selected group of experts and potential co-workers is generally expected. After a positive selection, we will finish off the process by discussing terms and conditions of employment. We try to complete the interviews and assessment within 4 weeks.

After signing a contract, we will take care of the candidate's onboarding together with the hiring manager and ensure that everything is ready from day one. The onboarding is comprised of introductions to the TNO systems (via an onboarding app) and people, as well as a plan for the envisioned tasks and activities. TNO offers support in relocating, visa applications, support to organise school and/or day care facilities for accompanying children, as well as on the job Dutch courses for non-native speakers. Further information can be found on the TNO website. TNO generally assigns a mentor or coach to facilitate the onboarding.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Recruiter: Heleen Stork
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-515 34922

Hiring manager: Mark Overwijk
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 62754

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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