Chemistry PhD Project – University of Trieste (UNITS)

Chemistry PhD Project – University of Trieste (UNITS)

National Operational Programme (PON) 2014-20- PhD Programmes for Sustainability and Innovation PhD Research Project for innovation (topic: bioaerosol), in collaboration between:

Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences UNITS and TCR TECORA srl


The Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with the company TCR TECORA® in Cogliate (MB), co-funds a MUR/PON scholarship for 1 PhD research project, subject area: Innovation.

Project title: PON/13: “Presence and removal of pathogenic components in the environmental nano- and micro-bioaerosol: development and application of integrated technologies and procedures for the characterization and mitigation of the risk of inhalation exposure”. 

Project Summary:

“The PhD project focuses on the development of sampling procedures for aerosols carrying significant microbiological components with sub-micrometric dimensional modes, which guarantee high collection efficiency from nanometer to micrometer unit sizes, while maintaining the integrity and replication capacity of microbial agents, through moderated condensation growth technologies for particles in laminar flow with water vapor (doi: 10.1080 / 02786826.2014.881460). The initial focus of the PhD project is on the development and metrological validation of procedures for the detection of SARS-CoV-2 in environmental aerosols; further development of the project will consider antibiotic-resistant bacteria (Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms). At the same time, experimental studies with aerosolization of microorganisms in the BSL3 biosafety laboratory will be aimed at the development of robust evaluation systems for chemical, physical and photochemical air treatment technologies, operating at flows of applicative interest, in the health and design of intelligent living environments. Studies on indoor air treatment systems will take into account air exchanges and treatment and energy efficiency of buildings. The design and construction of infrastructures and technology trains necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of filtration of viruses and bacteria carried by atmospheric particles will benefit from the expertise on aerosol technologies of TCR Tecora SRL (Cogliate – MB). The PhD student will spend at least 6 months of research at the company aimed at the development of aerosolization, sampling and bioaerosol analysis systems, also using advanced detection systems, such as biosensors and advanced particle counters. The chambers for the controlled generation of aerosols with temperature, humidity, irradiation control developed, will be used to study coagulation phenomena between pathogenic bioaerosols and atmospheric particulates separately generated and with different chemical composition (e.g. carbonaceous, saline), evaluating persistence effects or inhibition of infectivity. The sampling technologies developed will finally be adapted and applied as a community sentinel for the presence of pathogens with focus on the aerosols generated in the aeration phases in an urban wastewater treatment plant. Meta-genomic investigations are planned in collaboration with the Department of Life Sciences of the University of Trieste and with foreign universities (e.g. Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Qatar University), developing models to plan and implement a collection of environmental genetic information relating to the presence of pathogens in communities, to highlight the emergence and monitor the evolution of infectious diseases with social impact, in support of health policies.”


Principal Investigator:
prof. Pierluigi Barbieri, University of Trieste


The PhD student will spend a research period of 6 months at the company


Links to download the documentation to apply:


Deadline for online application and uploads of documents: October 21th, 2021 at 1:00pm (Italian time)

We are looking for motivated students interested in experimental research activity on bioaerosol characterization and control technologies, and working within an interdisciplinary research group involved in health, environmental and industrial research.


Candidates interested in more information can contact directly:

Prof. Pierluigi Barbieri
[email protected]