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Postdoctoral Training Opportunity - Highly Recyclable Plastics, Fall 2020

Northwestern University and Argonne National Laboratory have received multi-year funding from the U.S. Department of Energy to pursue the improvement of formulations and synthesis of biopolymers to produce alternatives to current fossil-fuel based single use polymers.

The lab is seeking a postdoctoral candidate for a position at Northwestern University to undertake these analyses. This position is open immediately.

This position is based at Argonne National Laboratory and will leverage and interface with the Northwestern-Argonne Institute of Science and Engineering. It will involve significant interaction between Argonne National Laboratory and Northwestern University, with the postdoctoral researcher being an employee of Northwestern University and holding a joint appointment with Argonne National Laboratory. The postdoctoral researcher will be expected to spend four to five days per week at Argonne.


  • Qualified individuals should have a PhD degree in chemical engineering or a related field, experience in polymer chemistry and polymer synthesis should be part of the candidate’s resume. The ideal candidate has experience in the formulation and production of (bio)polymers, and analysis and testing polymers samples.
  • Successful candidates possess knowledge and experience in the following:
  • Plan and conduct experiments in the lab with the aim to develop new industrial uses for biodegradable polymers.
  • Synthesize and produce new biopolymers and test their end of life in both natural and engineered environments
  • Conduct analyses of polymers samples by using one or more of the analytical equipment: thermal (DSC, TGA), mechanical (Instron), or optical (FTIR-ATR, UV-Vis, fluorescence, TEM/SEM, DLS)
  • Operate manual and automatic lab instruments and equipment
  • Manage sample collection, archives, and analytical data files
  • Manage lab activities, including the analysis of health and safety hazards, the preparation of suitable health and safety plans, and the maintenance of a neat, clean and organized environment in the lab.
  • Conduct techno-economic analysis and design of processes
  • Candidates should have significant expertise in working with MS Excel and other relevant software.
  • Knowledge of process modeling software including AspenPlus is also desired.
  • Programming in Python, R, Matlab, Java, or a similar language is ideal.
  • Writing VBA scripts and macros for MS Excel is also desired.
  • Good oral and written communication skills are also required

Please submit a cover letter, a curriculum vitae (CV), and contact information for three references to and to apply.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, underrepresented racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the United States.