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Joint Postdoctoral Positions in CO2 Capture and Upgrade Research Through TEA, LCA, and Process Design and Optimization

Prof. Jennifer Dunn and Prof. Edward H. Sargent seek jointly to attract postdoctoral fellows analyzing the path to a timely and just energy transition. Elements of research will include the analysis of CO2 capture, CO2 upgrade to fuels and chemicals, and the defossiilization of electricity, industrial processes, and agriculture. The incumbents will join an interdisciplinary team and will contribute expertise that includes:

  • Life cycle assessment (LCA) and techno-economic analysis (TEA), informed by process optimization and uncertainty analysis;
  • The computational and experimental investigation of CO2 capture and release (including electrified), as well as CO2 electrocatalytic upgrade.

Flows of interest/to be evaluated include electrocatalytic processes, biological processes, and thermocatalytic processes, including their combined/cascade approaches. Specific topics and targets for analysis include:

  1. Direct air capture (DAC) of CO2, including capture, transport, and sequestration; as a function of the source of electricity, including analysis of its intermittency, its carbon intensity; and with analysis of the cost and overall carbon intensity of the related capital plant and its maintenance.
  2. The production of food/food molecules from CO2.
Description of Duties:

Successful candidates will place their major focus on achieving original first-authored publications in interdisciplinary academic journals. They will work effectively in a team environment and will value the chance to reach across disciplines and to work with partners in industry and at our partner U.S. Department of Energy national labs. Post-doctoral fellows will take advantage of the opportunity to increase their mentoring skills, helping doctoral students to develop as scientist-engineers.

Essential Qualifications:
  • Applicants must have received, or be close to receiving, their PhD degree in an area of chemical engineering, bioengineering, civil engineering, environmental sciences, chemistry, materials science, or a related field.
  • Applicants must possess at least one of the following, or transferable skills:
    • Expertise in topics related to bioreactors, thermocatalysis, electrocatalysis, and/or carbon capture and separation processes.
    • Expertise in topics related to net GHG emissions associated with the end-to-end process of crop production.
    • Demonstrated ability to perform LCA and TEA and to write related scientific reports.
    • Experience in process modeling, including in the use of tools such as Aspen Plus, CHEMCAD, and SuperPro.
    • Experience levering open-source software such as GREET, openLCA, SimaPro, or GaBi.

The anticipated start date is Sunday, October 15, 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter, for a term of twelve months with the potential for renewal. Expected salary is $58,000 USD/year and above based on the experience of the candidate. Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately and continue until filled.

How to apply:
Please send the following as a single combined PDF, with your first and last name included in the file name, to Melissa Rosen at with the subject line “TEA/LCA PDF Application” by Sunday, October 1, 2023
  • a cover letter;
  • your full academic CV;
  • information on 2 referees that are prepared to be consulted;
  • your two most relevant publications.