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Postdoctoral Training Opportunity - Integrated Design and Fabrication of Robotic Materials

The Robotic Matter Lab at Northwestern University is seeking a postdoctoral trainee with an interdisciplinary and team player-oriented mindset to join this new research group led by Prof. Ryan Truby in the Departments of Materials Science and Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. The position opens as early as September 1, 2021. 

The postdoctoral trainee should be a materials chemist, chemical engineer, or materials scientist interested in developing soft materials and composites with novel robotic functionalities. The postdoctoral trainee will work to complete multiple team-based and independent research projects involving materials synthesis and formulation, 3D printing, and the design of new soft robotic actuators and sensors. Specifically, the postdoctoral trainee will focus on new, electrically-mediated approaches to soft robotic actuation and improving soft robotic sensing through novel ionically conductive materials. This will entail completing team and independent research projects involving 3D printing of novel conductive materials, redox-active polymers, and/or liquid crystalline materials.

Successful applicants will have experience in synthesizing novel polymers, elastomers, and/or hydrogels, soft matter characterization, electrochemistry or designing electrochemical materials, as well as directed patterning or assembly of soft materials. The postdoctoral trainee will also support the Robotic Matter Lab’s broad research and outreach efforts by participating in the preparation and writing of publications, research proposals, patent applications, and materials for outreach activities.

Preferred Background and Qualifications

  • PhD in materials science and engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, or a related discipline with a research background that closely aligns with the mission of the Robotic Matter Lab
  • Demonstrated knowledge of soft materials design and polymer chemistry, and a clear interdisciplinary interest in applying this knowledge to develop new robotic materials
  • Strong scientific track record in soft materials and/or materials chemistry
  • A clear community-minded personality and willingness to collaborate with and mentor fellow group members
  • Strong scientific communication skills and work ethic
  • Ability to work independently and resourcefully while also supporting interdisciplinary team projects
  • Candidates must be a U.S. citizen or be eligible to work in the United States (after obtaining an appropriate visa)

Preferred Experience

  • Synthesis and/or formulation of polymers and their networks (e.g., hydrogels, elastomers), liquid crystalline materials, and/or electrochemically active materials
  • Characterization of soft materials (e.g., microscopy, NMR, X-ray scattering, )
  • Directed patterning and/or assembly of soft materials through custom methods
  • Familiarity with Python, MATLAB, and/or LabView
  • 3D printing of soft matter

This position has a duration of one year, with the possibility of renewal based on funding availability and performance. All candidates should directly email Ryan Truby at rtruby@] and attach a CV, list of references, and cover letter describing previous research and research interests.

For information, please visit the Robotic Matter Lab.

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.