Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate in Sustainable Polymer-Biopolymer Hybrid Materials to work with Professor Charlotte Williams FRS and Professor Ben Davis FRS for a period of up to 2 years.
The post is part of the recently awarded Innovation Centre for Advanced Sustainable Technologies (iCAST) between Universities of Oxford, Bath, National Composites Centre and Centre for Process Intensification. The centre will work with a range of industry partners to deliver and translate sustainable materials, processes and products. This project focusses on the delivery of higher performance sustainable polymers and composites; it targets new thermoplastic elastomers, engineering plastics and/or resins. It capitalizes upon recent advances in polymerization catalysis, using bio-derived lactones, epoxides, anhydrides and carbon dioxide, to deliver polyesters/carbonates. It also takes advantage of recent discoveries in precision biopolymer post-translational modification. The objective is to increase both the sustainability and performance to the resulting materials by combining natural reinforcement chemistries from biopolymers, many of which can be reversibly triggered, with precision sustainable thermoplastics. A key goal will be to understand how to combine natural polymers with synthetic bio-based materials, using the methods of precision synthesis and chemical biology to investigate the chemical attachments between the natural and synthetic polymer chains.
The post-holder will have the opportunity to collaborate broadly within the iCAST team of researchers (industry scientists, academics, researchers in the Catapaults, other postdoctoral researchers and postgraduate students). The successful candidate may be expected to lead a small-team of other researchers within the Williams and Davis research teams at Oxford. An interest and willingness to engage with researcher translation and with scientists and engineers working beyond Chemistry/Pharmology will be important.
Applicants must hold a PhD in Sustainable Polymer-Biopolymer Hybrid Materials or a related area (or be close to completion) prior to taking up your appointment. The post-holder should have expertise in biopolymer chemistry and/or polymer synthesis. Experience of polymer characterization, including biopolymer characterization and/or materials thermal-mechanical characterisation is desirable.
Experience of biopolymer post-translational modification, polymer thermal-mechanical characterisation, triggered polymer material property modification and/or polymer recycling are desirable. Key to this programme is a willingness and interest in working broadly with teams of researchers, from multiple disciplines and backgrounds, to deliver sustainable products.
You will be expected to manage your own academic research and administrative activities, this involves small scale project management, coordinating multiple aspects of work to meet deadlines. You will also test hypothesis and analyse scientific data from a variety of sources, reviewing and refining hypothesis as required.
The post will be based in the Department of Chemistry, Chemistry Research Laboratory, Mansfield Road, Oxford; the Department of Pharmacology, Mansfield Road, Oxford, and the Rosalind Franklin Institute, Harwell. This post is available asap
You will be required to upload a supporting statement and CV as part of your online application. Candidates are kindly requested to upload no additional documents to support your application.
The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday, Monday 20 September 2021. Interviews will be held as soon as possible thereafter.