Najczęściej oglądane




Ph.D. student - scholarship holder in the Project

"Water – a great matter of aerosol mass uncertainty",

reg. no. 2021/42/E/ST10/00209,

financed by the National Science Center

as part of the SONATA-BIS 11 grant


InstitutionInstitute of Environmental Engineering Polish Academy of Sciences (IEE PAS), Zabrze, Poland 

Job title: Ph.D. Student

No. of positions: 1



The successful candidate will have:

  • university science degree (MSc or MSc Eng.) in environmental engineering sciences, engineering, chemistry, metrology, or related areas;
  • very good communication skills in English, both spoken and written (confirmed by at least a B2 level certificate);
  • experience in statistical analyses;
  • good skills in compiling, correcting, processing, and analyzing long data series;
  • background in the current metrological measurement techniques (the project includes titration analyses using Karl Fischer coulometry and PM mass measurements using both manual balance and robotic weighing system);
  • strong analytical skills;
  • an inquisitive mindset, attention to accuracy, creativity, and self-reliance;
  • high motivation for research work;
  • a sense of humor and a smile are appreciated.

The assessment will emphasize motivation, and academic and personal suitability for the position and the research project. Emphasis will be put on the potential for research as shown by the Master’s thesis and any other academic works. In addition, we may consider work experience, teaching qualifications, or other activities of significance to Ph.D. studies.

The applicant should be creative, strongly problem-oriented, and enjoy working in collaboration with others. Furthermore, the applicant must be willing to engage in the ongoing development of the discipline.

We are open to applicants from all over the world.

Description of tasks in the project:

Participation in the Doctoral School at the Silesia University of Technology in the discipline “Environmental Engineering, Mining and Energy” at the moment of starting the scholarship.
The proposed topic of the doctoral dissertation can be found under this link:


Proposed topic:  “Quantifying the atmospheric water content to correctly assess equivalence in particulate matter mass measurements”.

1. Coordination and supervision of all the fieldwork carried out in the IEE PAS within the project,

2. Planning and participation in experiments, including creating new methodologies,

3. Analysis of the results – testing repeatability and precision in filters and PM gravimetric analysis,

4. Comparing results from the gravimetric measurements made using manual and automatic methods,

5. Planning and coordinating tests regarding the influence of temperature, humidity, and ionization inside the weighing environment on the variation in PM/filter mass,

6. Performing all chemical analyses regarding PM-bound water quantification and PM-bound water speciation using the Karl Fischer method,

7. Participation in all statistical analyses including reproducibility and repeatability in PM mass measurements analyses, multivariate regression analyses to test to which extent single conditioning parameters influence PM mass uncertainty, and correlation analyses - i.e. correlations between conditioning time and mass stability.

8. Interpretation of results, preparation of scientific articles, presentation of results at conferences and scientific meetings.

Project’s short description:

Multiple sources of uncertainty influence the PM (ENG. Particulate matter) mass to a different extent and result in a perceptible mass change. To ensure precision, the EU regulations specify quality practices that must be adhered to during the gravimetric mass measurements. The uncertainty related to the humidity effect in the PN-EN 12341: 2014 standard is specified as the “effect of humidity on the filter” and “the effect of humidity on particulate” independently. Atmospheric water which can be condensed on filter or PM particles will affect the weight of the filter and the performance of the balance. There are four distinct potential effects of the humidity condition on the final result: 1) Effects on the filter material: hysteretic effects causing the filter mass at the pre-weighing to differ from the mass at the post-weighing, even if the humidity is the same 2) Variations in filter mass because the humidity is different at pre- and post-weightings 3) Effects on the PM: hysteretic hygroscopic effects allowing the PM mass to have two distinct values at the post-weighing, and 4) Variations in PM mass with humidity because of hygroscopic effects, which are of course highly dependent on the PM composition. The composition of PM has changed from being dominated by combustion sources to being a more variable mixture with major components of secondary material such as organics and nitrates - more susceptible to the problems of water content. The fact that the coarse fraction (TSP, PM10) is dominated by crustal components, which are insoluble and non-volatile, makes the PM2.5 fraction proportionately more susceptible to humidity and temperature. The influence of humidity is especially important in the case of fine fractions (PM2.5, PM1) rich in deliquescent components such as ammonium sulfate and sodium chloride, whose mass changes dramatically with air humidity. A well-defined equilibration strategy is considered to be the best way to control uncertainty related to air humidity variations. Traditional manual balances are often powerless in the face of the mentioned problems, therefore the need for automated weighing systems ensuring PM conditioning in the most stable conditions makes the inclusion of robotics in PM mass measurements a worthwhile game. The widespread use of those systems will be possible under one condition – demonstrating their referentiality to manual weighing. If not – this will lead to significantly different masses and this would logically mean that the limit values in the legislation would need to be changed. This project oscillates especially around the influence of atmospheric water on uncertainties in mass measurements as a factor probably strongly disabling proper weighing. The objectives of this project are to 1) To obtain a ground-breaking understanding of mechanisms regulating variation in PM mass due to atmospheric water content 2) To evaluate the hygroscopicity of different materials used for PM collection and 3) Define kinetic limitations related to the up-take of water vapor by PM particles 4) To study the effect of PM mass and its size fractionation on water uptake of particles in sub- and super-saturated conditions. The project will combine, field observations, laboratory experiments, and instrumentation development to explain the mechanisms behind RH-dependent particle’s water uptake with changes in PM mass. By incorporating repeated measurements of PM mass together with Karl Fischer chemometrics we will be able to 1) check comparability between manual and automatic mass measurements and 2) to understood the linkage between physical and chemical properties of PM and weighing precision.

Please contact Dr. Eng. Kamila Widziewicz-Rzońca () in every matter related to the doctorate and project.

Type of the NCN project: SONATA-BIS: Deadline for application submission: September 5th, 2022, 23:59Applications must be sent via the website of the Joint Doctoral School (https://rekrutacja.polsl.pl/jsdapply/) Conditions of employment

The condition for engaging the candidate and paying the scholarship in the SONATA_BIS 11 project under the conditions set out in the Act of 20 July 2018 - Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws 2022 item 574, as amended) is his admission to Joint Doctoral School. Details (documents, procedures, dates) are available on the website of the Silesian University of Technology Joint Doctoral School.

The doctorate will last 36 months (from 01/10/2022) at the Institute of Environmental Engineering Polish Academy of Sciences (IEE PAS), Zabrze, Poland under the supervision of Prof. Ph.D. Eng. Marianna Czaplicka and Co-Promoter Dr. Eng. Kamila Widziewicz-Rzońca (project manager: )

The position will initially be offered for one year (from October 1, 2022) and will be renewed for a further 2 years (maximally) by mutual agreement based on the Ph.D. candidate’s progress in the preparation of a doctoral dissertation and research.

Remuneration will be in the form of a doctoral scholarship for 5000 PLN per month (minus non-wage labor costs including health and social security coverage, as required by Polish law). The recruitment procedures for the Ph.D. student position will be by "REGULATIONS FOR AWARDING NCN SCHOLARSHIPS FOR NCN-FUNDED RESEARCH PROJECTS” (https://www.ncn.gov.pl/sites/default/files/pliki/uchwaly-rady/2019/uchwala25_2019-zal1_ang.pdf).

The last year (4-rd year) will be founded by subsidies from the Joint Doctoral School.

Language of education at Joint Doctoral School and dissertation: English or Polish (optional).

More informationThe Ph.D. thesis will be carried out as part of the project entitled “Water – a great matter of aerosol mass uncertainty” (see a short description of the project at https://projekty.ncn.gov.pl/opisy/526286-pl.pdf).
The competition is open to the public. The recruitment procedure is based on the provisions of the Act of 20 July 2018 - Law on Higher Education and Science (Journal of Laws of 2022, item 574, as amended).

The Candidate should apply in accordance with the information provided on the website of the Joint Doctoral School (https://rekrutacja.polsl.pl/jsdapply/).

Before registration to IRK platform candidates should contact the project manager (). Selected candidates will obtain the Supervisor’s statement and preliminary concept of the doctoral dissertation, required during enrolment

Recruitment stages will be according to the calendar of enrolment procedure and entrance examinations https://rekrutacja.polsl.pl/jsdharmeng/

For more information please visit https://irk.polsl.pl/en-gb/home/REK2022_2023_WSD/

All documents should be submitted in pdf format by the online platform https://irk.polsl.pl/en-gb/home/

The Institute reserves the right to award the scholarship to the person who is in the second position on the ranking list, provided that the winner of the competition, before signing the scholarship agreement, resigns from receiving it.

Date of adding job offer: 2022-07.29

At the same time, we would like to inform you that we will contact selected candidates, and incomplete applications, submitted after the deadline or in a form other than indicated in the advertisement will not be considered

Nasza siedziba