N. 1 (one) PhD Scholarship in Physics co-sponsored by FEM through a collaborative project between University of Milan and Universtity of Otago - dea...

FEM and Ionicon have founded a PhD programme in Physics at the University of Milan on the improvement of the analitcal performaces of PTR-MS for agroindustrial applications called INTRANEF: “INcreasing ThRoughput and ANalytical Efficency of direct injection mass spectrometry for agroindustrial applications”. 

The planned activity sees the collaboration of the Universtity of Milan (Prof. Paolo Piseri), the Universtity of Otago (Prof. Patrick Silcock) and the Fondazione Edmund Mach (myself). You can find the project abstract below.

N. 1 (one) PhD Scholarship in Physics co-sponsored by FEM through a collaborative project between University of Milan and Universtity of Otago - dea...

Lunedì, 07 Agosto 2017

Direct injection mass spectrometric analysis (DIMS) of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is gaining wider attention due to the recent significant technological advancements in mass spectrometry. FEM is recognised as one of the leader institutions in this field and demonstrated the viability and interest of this methodology, of PTR-MS in particular, and the possibility of the high throughput, highly sensitive and non-invasive screening of large sample sets which is fundamental in fields such as phenomics, and genomics and a key enabling-condition for quality control in agroindustry. There are, however, well known limitations in DIMS, like its monodimensionality (lack of separation) and the difficulties arising in case of very high concentration of given molecules, such as ethanol in the case of alcoholic beverages.

This project aims at extending the capability of the PTR-MS based facility at FEM towards an ultrafast direct injection method (less than three minutes per sample) with improved analytical capabilities in terms of sensitivity, separation and automation. This objective will be achieved by the interplay of existing apparatus (PTR-ToF-MS, auto-sampler), the optimisation or implementation of new tools (FastGC, ion funnel technology) and the optimisation of software and automation procedures.
The performance of the developed set-up will be tested both on artificial VOCs mixtures and on VOCs associated with real systems of interest for FEM and the partner institutions. Beer is proposed as a challenging case study because of the growing technical and commercial interest in craft beer non only worldwide but also in Trentino.


Scholarship provides full coverage of University fees, a net salary of 14,450 EUR/yr, and a travel grant of 3,000 EUR during the second and third year. Two contributions of 2,000 EUR/yr will be granted to the two bestranking students from outside the Milano area. Additional support (typically 2,000 EUR/yr) may be obtained through part-time teaching assistantships. 

The deadline for applications is 1:00 pm September 4th, 2017.

The scholarships will be awarded based on the candidates' CV, a written non-binding research project, two reference letters and an interview to be held in Milan in September 2017. Foreign candidates may ask to take their interview on-line.

  • The official announcement is available at: http://phd.fisica.unimi.it/admission/year2017/
  • Instructions on how to apply are available at: http://phd.fisica.unimi.it/admission/how-to-apply/
INTRANEF Locandina Bando Application/pdf - (115,62 kB)