Open positions

Postdoctoral Researcher with strong knowledge in biomass carbonization and (bio-)polymer process engineering

Aalto University is a community of bold thinkers where science and art meet technology and busi-ness. We are committed to identifying and solving grand societal challenges and building an in-novative future. Aalto has six schools with nearly 11 000 students and a staff of more than 4000, of which 400 are professors. Our main campus is located in Espoo, Finland. Diversity is part of who we are, and we actively work to ensure our community’s diversity and inclusiveness. This is why we warmly encourage qualified candidates from all backgrounds to join our community.

The Biopolymer Chemistry and Engineering group at the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems at Aalto University School of Chemical Engineering is looking for a

Postdoctoral Researcher with strong knowledge in biomass carbonization and (bio-)polymer process engineering

The successful applicant will develop strategies to produce fully bio-based carbon fibers from cellulose and other wood-derived constituents. The studies include offline pyrolysis and thermo-analytical tools as well as continuous carbonization via a newly installed carbonization line. A wide spectrum of analytical techniques is needed to monitor reaction and pyrolysis progress. The project is funded by the Academy of Finland and is in collaboration with computational experts from VTT, Research Center of Finland. The project foresees international visits to other renowned research institutions to support the project and broaden the profile of the postdoc researcher.

Research is carried out at our excellent facilities at Aalto University, School of Chemical Engineering (http://www.bioeconomyinfra.fi/). The laboratories are situated on the main campus of Aalto University in Otaniemi (short metro-ride from Helsinki) within the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems (http://bio2.aalto.fi/en/).

Job description

The project may be adjusted according to the talents of the applicants. The activities and responsibilities of the successful applicant will focus on the carbonization of (ligno-) cellulosic fibers and elucidation of the underlying pyrolysis mechanisms during the different stages of carbonization. This includes

  • preparation of various precursor filaments

  • operating a continuous carbonization line

  • conducting or coordinating analyses to elucidate the pyrolysis mechanism of the biopolymer matrix

  • activation and pretreatment strategies for biomass pyrolysis

  • instruction of doctoral candidates

  • contributing to additional fund raising

Requirements

  • recently obtained PhD (max 5 years) in a suitable field, such as (bio-)polymer chemistry, polymer engineering, organic, carbohydrate chemistry, or similar

  • proven experience in biomass pyrolysis and/or carbonization

  • highly committed to science and strive for excellence

  • able to work independently and instruct PhD candidates

  • excellent written and oral communication skills in English

Skills, knowledge or interest in some of the following areas are highly appreciated:

  • (bio-)polymer processing

  • carbohydrate chemistry

  • X-ray analysis of carbon materials

  • spectroscopic methods (NMR, FTIR, Raman, XPS)

  • elucidation of reaction mechanisms

  • supporting in the preparation of high-level international project proposals

We offer

  • high-end laboratory infrastructure and an international and highly professional working environment

  • opportunity to work in an established research group

  • freedom to bring in own ideas

  • funding for 2 + 2 years

The monthly gross salary for a Postdoctoral Researcher is 3560–4040 €/month depending on experience. The contract includes occupational health care and Finland has a comprehensive social security system. Aalto University provides excellent learning and development opportunities, commuter ticket benefit, and Unisport offers versatile exercise services with staff discount.

For more information

For additional scientific information, please contact Prof. Michael Hummel (michael.hummel(a)aalto.fi), in matters related to the recruitment process, HR Coordinator Tiina Torvinen (tiina.torvinen(a)aalto.fi).

How to apply

If you want to join our community, please submit your application through our online recruitment system by using the link on Aalto University’s web page ("Apply now!”).

To apply, please include the following documents in English and in PDF format:

  • Cover letter (highlighting why you are interested in this position and why you think that you are a good candidate)

  • CV, incl. list of publications

  • Research interest description (max. 1 page)

  • Names and contact details of references

Aalto University’s employees and visitors please note: you should apply for the position via our internal system Workday -> Career -> find jobs (not external aalto.fi webpage on open positions) by using your existing Workday user account.

The call is open until September 15th, but review of candidates starts August 15th, and the position may be filled before the end of the call. Aalto University reserves the right for justified reasons to leave the position open, to extend the application period and to consider candidates who have not submitted applications during the application period.

Want to know more about us and your future colleagues? You can watch these videos: Aalto University – Towards a better world, Aalto People, and Shaping a Sustainable Future. You can also check out our webpage about Aalto and Finland: https://www.aalto.fi/en/services/welcome-to-aalto-university-and-finland-info-package and our new virtual campus experience:  https://virtualtour.aalto.fi/.

About Finland

Finland is a great place for living with or without family – it is a safe, politically stable and well-organized Nordic society. Finland is consistently ranked high in quality of life and was just listed again as the happiest country in the world: https://worldhappiness.report/news/its-a-three-peat-finland-keeps-top-spot-as-happiest-country-in-world/. For more information about living in Finland: https://www.aalto.fi/en/careers-at-aalto/why-finland.

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