Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased copolymers for gas separation membranes

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 31 Mar 2020

Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased copolymers for gas separation membranes
Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased copolymers for gas separation membranes
Published Deadline Location
18 Feb 31 Mar Geleen

You are a highly motivated researcher with a PhD degree in chemistry, holding skills in polymer synthesis. You are willing to collaborate closely with both public and private partners on the development of biobased copolymers for membranes for gas separations.
Job description

This project is part of a European BBI (Bio-based industries) consortium with 8 partners from both the public and the private sector. The project team works on “Bio-based copolymers for membrane end products for gas separations (BIOCOMEM)”.
Currently, chemical separations play a major part in energy use in process industry. The processes involved, such as distillation, account for 10–15% of the world's energy consumption. Membrane based separations can be one order of magnitude more energy efficient than heat-driven separations that use distillation but their wider implementation demands materials that have specific functional qualities (permeance and selectivity) for given application. Also, membrane materials are required to have high resistance to contaminants (CO2, H2S, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), O2, NH4, and alkanes) and to process conditions (high pressure 10-80 bar, temperature variations) and to be able to operate for long term (>10 years) with stable performance. In the BIOCOMEM project we will develop biobased gas separation membranes using polyether-block-amide copolymer type chemistry.
The role of the post-doc will be the synthesis and design of biobased copolymer precursors that can be processed into membranes with improved mechanical, thermal and permeation properties. Recycling of the membrane polymers via chemical and enzymatic ways will also be studied.
The candidate will collaborate with researchers at both public and private partners, and based on their feedback, the synthesis work will be tuned. The candidate will also transfer its knowledge to partners responsible for upscaling of the polymers.
The post-doc will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials of Maastricht University, which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will work in the group of Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts, which focusses on the synthesis and design of polymer materials with tunable properties and recyclability exploiting the functionality of biobased building blocks. You will operate from the Brightlands-Chemelot Campus in Geleen (Nl), where the labs are located.

  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Geleen View on Google Maps

Maastricht University (UM)


The post-doc

  • holds a PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related fields;
  • has skills in polymer synthesis and characterization. Experience with polycondensation is a pro;
  • has a strong interest to investigate structure-property relationships of the synthesized copolymers in membrane applications;
  • is open to make polymers for membrane processing and application tests by project partners;
  • aims at helping to create ready-to-market products from the insights gained during the post-doc study – in balance with profound scientific publishing in peer review journals;
  • likes to interact with academic and industrial partners;
  • is result driven, inventive, creative, counts with potential impact, works ‘accountable’ and works with ownership; 
  • masters scientific English for speaking, reading, and writing. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 2 years.

The full-time position is offered for 2 years and starts on June 1, 2020. The salary will be set in Postdoc salary scale 10 of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (between €2.709,00 and €4.274,00 gross per month depending on level of experience). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplemented with local UM provisions. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees


The Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) is a department of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at Maastricht University. AMIBM is a European cross-border research institute established by Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University focusing on the development of advanced biobased materials. The mission of AMIBM is to replace traditional polymer building blocks with innovative and sustainable alternatives for the development of novel and environmentally-beneficial materials. AMIBM promotes world-class multidisciplinary research in the field of biobased materials, by training PhD students with the multiple skills needed to be future leaders in the field, and creating the research breakthroughs that will enable the utilization of sustainable and renewable materials for advanced materials applications. The multidisciplinary team draws together scientists with expertise in organic chemistry, biocatalysis, lead finding of new biobased blocks, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer engineering, biobased and biomedical materials, tissue engineering, and industrial and medical applications. More information can be found via  

Additional information

To apply, please click on the Apply now button and submit:
- Cover letter including your motivation, your relevant experience (referring to the “description of the candidate”, above) 
- CV
- Names and contact data of two people who could provide a reference
- Diplomas/degrees including a grade transcript of previous education 
We will recruit until the position is filled. The selection process commences immediately, but will close when a suitable candidate has been found, even if this prior to the final date of the application window. 
For further information about this post-doc position you can contact Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts (+31 43 388 2636).

Maastricht University is committed to nurturing an inclusive culture and a welcoming atmosphere. This inclusiveness strategy has resulted in a very diverse representation of nationalities and cultures. We strongly believe that diversity (including, but not limited to nationality, age and gender) of the staff and student population will increase the quality of UM education & research. Fostering diversity and inclusivity creates an academic community where individual talents thrive, and values and differences are cherished. We strongly encourage you to apply if you are qualified for this position.

You can send your application to this e-mail: [email protected]

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You can send your application to this e-mail: [email protected]

Don't forget to mention AcademicTransfer and the job number: AT2020.58 in your letter.

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