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Master Thesis (m/w/d): TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability

At TUM Campus Straubing for Biotechnology and Sustainability, the Chair of Chemistry of Biogenic Resources (Prof. Volker Sieber) deals with the development of chemical and biotechnological processes for the conversion of biomass to base chemicals, biofuels, and fine chemicals. For this work, the focus of research is on protein biochemistry (enzyme
engineering), molecular biology (cloning, mutagenesis), microbiology (biotransformation, fermentation), chemical (organic synthesis, heterogenic catalysis), & analytical methods (chromatography, spectroscopy, electrophoreses).

In the field of Multienzyme Cascades: Converging conversion of renewable raw materials to base chemicals via multienzymatic cascades.

– Development of an enzymatic cascade for the converging conversion of various sugar acids into chemicals
– Enzyme and medium engineering
– Production and analysis of enzymes (kcat, Km, Tm, T50)
– Synthesis and analysis of products (HPLC, GC, NMR)

– Majoring in biochemistry, chemistry, biotechnology, biocatalysis or related science majors with prove of above average academic performance in the past
– Having experience working with enzymes
– Experience with the analysis of product mixtures
– Curiosity and interest in scientific problem solving
– Strong dedication, soft skills and creative thinking

We offer:
– Balanced supervision and weekly scientific seminars
– A young and international team of talented scientists
– Working at the new TUM Campus Straubing of Biotechnology and Sustainability
– Possibility of providing a Hiwi position
– Possibility of authorship in publication

I am looking forward to receiving your application via email to luca.schmermund[ät]tum.de. Regarding any inquiries contact me
by email. The application phase starts immediately and ends when a suitable candidate has been found.

Kontakt: Dr. Luca Schmermund; luca.schmermund[ät]tum.de

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Master Thesis: Ultrafast Energy Conversion in Biological Photosystems

Kurzbeschreibung: Do you want use femtosecond laser-spectroscopy to study photosynthetic energy-conversion?

Beschreibung: All forms of higher life on earth rely directly or indirectly on photosynthesis – the biological conversion of light into chemical energy. Substantial attention is being paid to these crucial processes, not only in terms of fundamental principles of nature, but also as inspiration for artificial light-driven systems such as photovoltaics and photocatalysts.

The photosystems of green plants and oxygen-evolving bacteria, whose core functionality is maintained by the two pigment-protein complexes Photosystem I and Photosystem II, are especially privileged due to their direct importance to human life.

In this project, we investigate the processes involved from light capture, via energy transfer, to charge separation in the photosynthetic reaction center of Photosystem I. The tools of choice is temperature-controlled and time-resolved absorption spectroscopies, where we can follow dynamics down to only ~10 femtoseconds.

The successfully completed project will provide important insight into the functionality of this complex system, aiding both in the theoretical modeling of pigment-protein complexes and in the interpretation of data from biochemical experiments.

Kontaktperson: Jürgen Hauer, juergen.hauer[ät]tum.de

Link: https://www.department.ch.tum.de/dynspec/startseite/

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Master’s Thesis: Modification of a testing unit for the gas phase hydrogenation of aldehydes

For students of chemical engineering or chemistry with focus technical chemistry (Professur für Anorganische Chemie, Prof. Dr. K. Köhler & Max Hiller)

Motivation and problem definition:
Hydrogenations belong to the most relevant reactions in industrial practice. Structure-activity relationships and mechanistic investigations are important for catalyst optimization. For that reason, an existing and well-working fixed bed catalyst reactor and the testing unit shall be expanded to gas phase hydrogenations of C3-C4-aldehydes.
A liquid feed pump and a vaporization unit shall be installed for constant feed flow in the gas phase. Both conversion and selectivity shall be monitored online via gas chromatography. Critical reaction parameters for the hydrogenation of aldehydes (p, T, GHSV, feed flow, H2:feed ratio, catalyst bed dilution, …) shall be determined. The hydrogenation of croton aldehyde shall be investigated with focus onto the reaction mechanism.

In addition, copper-zinc catalysts shall be synthesized by various synthesis approaches (precipitation, ligand removal, impregnation, …) to aim catalyst with different copper zinc interfaces. The influence of these interfaces shall be investigated both regarding catalytic activity and selectivity. Characterization techniques shall be used to characterize the catalyst (XRD, BET/BJH, TPR/ TPD, IR, Cu-surface area determination, …). The spent catalyst shall be characterized after transfer under inert conditions.

– Dimensioning of a catalyst test unit, calculation of useful reaction conditions
– Development of methods for online gas chromatography for product analysis
– Modification of a catalyst test unit, installation of pumps, vaporization of liquids
– Standard synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts (co-precipitation, -impregnation, …)
– Standard characterization techniques (XRD, BET/BJH, TPR/ TPD, elemental analysis)

Contact: Prof. Dr. Klaus Köhler, klaus.koehler[ät]tum.de
Max Hiller, max.hiller[ät]tum.de, 089-289-54224, lab CRC-2042