Senior scientist Biobased and Circular Technologies | Petten

Contributing to tomorrow’s world. Envision it. Become a senior scientist at TNO in Petten.



Education type



Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will be your role?

Bioenergy and biochemicals/-materials are considered to play a main role in the transition to a sustainable society. Biomass provides structural and molecular functionality, which is very effective in replacing fossil-based chemicals and materials. Moreover, biomass provides a sustainable carbon source. Together with sustainable electricity from wind and solar, bioenergy will deliver the bulk of sustainable energy in 2050. The use of bio residues is expected to shift largely towards sustainable biofuels, for example for aviation and heavy transport, and energy applications that cannot easily be replaced by other sustainable energy sources. Many (thermochemical) technologies, relevant for biobased applications, can also be applied for chemical recycling of fossil-based/plastic residues and converting it into a feedstock again, closing the loop and reducing the need of new resources. 
In order to be able to conduct this research at the highest level, the research department Biobased and Circular technologies (BCT) has extensive labs in Petten (main location) as well as a smaller location on the Green Chemistry Campus in Bergen op Zoom. Recently, large investments have been made in the renovation and extension of these facilities to be able to conduct cutting-edge research into new production chains for sustainable fuels and sustainable chemicals based on feedstock upgrading, gasification and biorefinery concepts.

As a senior scientist within BCT you drive the technical scientific content of our R&D program in the field of biomass conversion and chemical recycling, and together with the technical team and business development define the research and development lines of the group. You develop a vision on the optimal use of biomass/bio-residues and fossil-based residues and how those will contribute to the realization of the energy and chemicals/materials transitions. You identify opportunities for partnerships  with industry, other research institutes and academia. Based on these you define strategies for mixed-funding projects in national and international subsidy frameworks, and together with the technical team you write the associated proposals.

The research department BCT researches and develops breakthrough technologies to convert biomass, and biobased and plastic residues into sustainable chemicals, materials and energy products. These often proprietary technologies are in general based on thermochemical conversion, such as MILENA/OLGA gasification and Torwash upgrading. BCT consists of approximately 50 people with various educational backgrounds, such as in chemistry, chemical technology, and mechanical engineering at both technical and academic level. Technology and application research and development is conducted in multidisciplinary teams and, when successful, technologies are validated at pilot-scale as a first step in bringing them to market together with our commercial partners. In this way we make a concrete impact on the energy and chemicals/materials transition, and we contribute to making the Netherlands and the rest of the world more sustainable.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You are passionate about applied experimental research. You are a team player that recognizes and appreciates the competences of the various team members. You are pro-active and willing to take the lead when action is required for the benefit of the team. Other knowledge and skills you bring to TNO:
  • You have a MSc or PhD in chemical/process technology or Chemistry with proven experience in R&D on thermochemical technology.
  • You have proven experience in defining and setting the direction for an technical-scientific R&D program.
  • You have proven experience in successfully setting up, writing and submitting subsidy projects within The Netherlands and the EU.
  • You have experience in publishing scientific and technical results in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • You are fluent in the English language and preferably in Dutch (if not, we offer courses to master the Dutch language).

What you’ll get in return

Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. We offer a gross monthly salary (based on your knowledge and experience), 8% holiday pay, a 13th month bonus of 8.33% and a flex budget (5.58% + € 180). 

TNO offers optional employee benefits, enabling you to tailor your benefits package to match your personal situation. You may also expect:
  • A good pension scheme.
  • Travel allowance or a bike.
  • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field.
  • 28 days annual leave and 5 compensation days under the reduction in working hours scheme (ATV, arbeidstijdverkorting) on a full-time basis.
  • Great social events with your team and other TNO colleagues. That’s how you will get to know a lot of people really quickly.
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home.
  • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs.
  • Extensive relocation package for international candidates.

Read more about tailoring your benefits package.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

Please apply before August 16. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. The preliminary interview takes place on September 1. The second interview round has been scheduled for September 8. In a final meeting we will discuss the terms of employment and your tailored benefits package. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks.

The selection process may include an online assessment and a reference check.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Recruiter: Lara Dimitrovski
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-507 40690

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.


Apply now


Dr. Mark Overwijk

TNO Job alert


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