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Internship | The toxic potency of ambient particulate matter

Utrecht, Utrecht 6 mois
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Air pollution is a global problem resulting in 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016 (WHO factsheet) and costs an estimated 8.1 trillion USD in 2019 equivalent to 6.1% of global GDP (Worldbank). Pollution levels increase 8% per year. The latest burden estimates reflect the very significant role air pollution plays in cardiovascular illness and death. Particulate Matter (PM) is a common proxy indicator for air pollution. It affects more people than any other pollutant. The EU and WHO provide guidelines on thresholds and limits that pose health risks. These limits are formulated in terms of mass concentrations for particles with certain dimensions without further distinction with respect to the chemical composition. When studying health risks these mass concentrations are combined with COHORTS in which the health of large groups of people are followed. In reality, particulate matter consists of all kinds of different chemical components, of which it is known from toxicology that they are not all equally harmful. Performing epidemiological studies with unspecified mass may therefore require some upgrade, but how?

What will be your role?

You will sort out how air quality monitoring that relies on chemical transport modelling and PM concentration measurements can be augmented with knowledge on toxicity of chemical species that are part of the particulate mixture. For that you make an overview of what is (potentially) available from monitoring efforts and what is known about the toxicity of the components in PM. Based on these pieces of information you formulate how the modelling and measuring should be altered so that the differentiated harmfulness of the various components can be distinguished. TNO colleagues will implement these suggestions so that the relative toxic potency of similar mass emissions from different chemical compositions can be further investigated.

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

A background in toxicology or similar.Affinity with air quality.High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving.Ability to work autonomously and good social skills to interact with the team and get the information you need.You need to be affiliated with a university during the internship for eligibility.

What you'll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It's not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That's why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

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

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

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.

Contact: Bas Henzing
Phone number: +31 (0)6-117 83139

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