Associate Professor in magnetic or in optical materials for sustainable energy applications (WISE Fellow)

Updated: 10 days ago
Deadline: 19 Sep 2022

Published: 2022-05-16

Uppsala University is a comprehensive research-intensive university with a strong international standing. Our ultimate goal is to conduct education and research of the highest quality and relevance to make a long-term difference in society. Our most important assets are all the individuals whose curiosity and dedication make Uppsala University one of Sweden’s most exciting workplaces. Uppsala University has over 54,000 students, more than 7,500 employees and a turnover of around SEK 8 billion.

The Ångström Laboratory at Uppsala University has a tradition of materials research for energy applications. It has a world-class environment for the development of novel optical, opto-electronic, and magnetic materials with strong nodes in materials synthesis, thin film synthesis, nano- and microfabrication capabilities, device physics, ion beam assisted materials analysis and modification, solid-state spectroscopy, x-ray and neutron scattering, and materials theory distributed over several departments. The research has established Uppsala University as world-leader in magnetism, chromogenic research, thin film solar cells, ion beam-engineered materials, solid state spectroscopic techniques, diamond optics, and with numerous spinoffs. Furthermore, advanced material characterization methodologies exist based on cutting-edge instrumentation, at MAX-IV, ESS and other large-scale facilities, the Tandem laboratory, providing a strong and creative environment for frontline research on novel optical and magnetic materials. Read more about the involved departments here: https://kemi.uu.se/angstrom/ , https://www.physics.uu.se/ , https://www.materialvetenskap.uu.se/

The appointment is part of the new national research program Wallenberg Initiative Material Science for Sustainability (WISE) funded by the  Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation (KAW) (2022-2023). The aim of WISE is to create the conditions for a sustainable society by researching the next generation of ecofriendly materials and manufacturing processes. This will also facilitate better technology for energy systems of the future, and to prevent pollution and toxic emissions. The position as WISE Fellow will benefit from the nationwide WISE network and the appointment includes a package of 2 PhD and 2 post doc positions and running costs. Read more about WISE at https://www.wise-materials.org/

Description of subject area of the employment:
For this position as WISE Fellow we look for a candidate in one of two main research areas: Magnetic materials for sustainable energy applications, or Modern materials optics for sustainable energy. The Magnetic materials position will be hosted by the Department of Chemistry-Ångström or by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, while the Modern material optics will be hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy or by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Candidates should select one of the two research areas and preferred department in their application. 

Magnetic Materials:
The subject area is magnetic materials for a sustainable society. Magnetic materials-based technology is, after semiconductor technology, the second largest industry branch in the world. With increasing industrialization of emerging economies and young industrial nations the need for magnetic materials will steadily increase over the next decades, while natural resources will remain limited. Massive amounts of permanent magnets (PMs) are used in extended range electric vehicles and in wind turbines. The most powerful PMs are the ones based on rare earth metals. However, export quotas posed by the rare earth producers, have resulted in shortages and a dramatic price increase of these strategic materials. Refrigeration and air-conditioning systems are major consumers of electric energy worldwide. Novel refrigeration and air-conditioning systems based on the magnetocaloric effect have potential to be significantly more energy efficient and environmentally friendly compared to current gas compression/expansion-based systems. It is therefore critical to identify candidates of rare earth free/lean permanent magnets and magnetocaloric refrigerants that meet the requirements for an energy efficient technology. Moreover, today’s society generates enormous amounts of digital data, channeled by information and communication technology (ICT) and stored in data centers, requiring vast amounts of energy. With an ever-increasing need of energy, it is expected that the ICT sector in the near future will become one of the largest energy consumers in the world. Hence, there is a need to reduce energy consumption by developing digital logics beyond the scaling limits of CMOS technology. One of the strongest candidates for providing ultralow power digital logics is spin-based logics.

With this recruitment, we want to consolidate research at Uppsala University on modern magnetic materials for sustainable energy applications. The recruitment will have a strong foothold in novel permanent magnets consisting of earth-abundant elements and materials with giant magnetocaloric effect, or magnetic thin film heterostructures with high potential for spin-based logics. With this recruitment we will renew and reinforce our research environment for modern magnetic materials. Major breakthroughs in the field will require data mining for new magnetic materials, ingenious synthesis techniques, state-of-the-art experimental techniques for spin excitations, ultrafast magnetization processes, elemental magnetism, etc., combined with more traditional experimental techniques to prove functionality.

Modern Materials Optics:
Optical properties of materials are crucial for future clean energy technologies, and are the cornerstones of solar energy sources. Engineered optical and opto-electronic materials are found in solar cells, windows, displays, detectors, light sources, heat management devices, and also in communication devices and IoT applications. To make further advancements and to be able to efficiently harness, control or convert light into useful energy forms, fundamental understanding of optical light-matter interaction is required. Today it is possible to synthesize a wide range of material structures with properties controlled by size and precise composition and analytical tools are being developed to study atomic scale processes in those structures. However, there is a need to expand on our fundamental knowledge of how to predictably manipulate optical light-matter interactions and excited state properties of these novel materials for precise control and tuning of optical properties of materials for next-generation sustainable energy management and energy generation technologies. 

With this recruitment, we want to establish a coherent research environment with the specific aim to study optical light-matter interaction from a modern perspective, pushing theoretical and experimental research, and our understanding of optical properties of materials. The proposed recruitment in the Modern materials optics area at UU opens a new line of research, with a strong foothold in fundamental aspects of light-matter interaction. We wish to underpin and reinforce the internationally leading research on solar energy materials at UU, as well as expand into promising new directions in energy materials optics. Optical functionalities of importance for efficient clean energy could include light scattering from nanomaterials, metamaterials, field-enhanced optical pumping of chromogenic and plasmonic nanomaterials, nanostructured materials for solar energy harvesting, electron and vibrational excited state properties for charge transfer and heat exchange, and exciton coupling. 

Duties: 

  • Research, teaching and administration. Teaching duties include course responsibility and course administration and supervision of second- and third-cycle students. Teaching duties will be adapted to the expertise  of the applicant.
  • Follow developments within the subject area and the development of society in general that is important for the work at the university.
  • Develop research within the subject area. The position as WISE fellow will include planning and coordination of WISE activities as well as to develop new activities in collaboration with the research environment at the Ångström laboratory.

Appointment Period: For a position as Associate Professor, the position is without time limitation.

Qualifications Required: 

  • PhD in materials science or physics or similar for the position in Modern materials optics. PhD in materials science, physics, materials chemistry, or similar for the position in Magnetic materials.
  • Research Expertise and Teaching Expertise. It is necessary that the pedagogical skills, the research expertise and the professional skills are relevant to the content of the employment and the tasks that will be included in the employment.
  • Applicants should have completed teacher training of relevance to operations at the University, comprising ten weeks, or have acquired the equivalent knowledge. If special circumstances apply, this training for teachers in higher education may be completed during the first two years of employment.
  • Documented ability to teach in Swedish or English is a requirement unless special reasons prevail. 
  • Personal capabilities necessary to carry out fully the duties of the appointment.


Assessment Criteria/Ranking of applicants that fulfil the above-mentioned qualifications for either of the research areas:
The ranking of eligible applicants will be based primarily on research and teaching expertise, of which weight will be primarily given to research expertise.

Research Expertise comprises documented research merits as well as the applicant´s potential to contribute to the future development of research. In assessing research excellence quality is ranked highest. The scope of research, primarily in regard to depth and breadth, is also afforded consideration. In assessing research excellence special weight will be attached to research merits in either the field of Magnetic materials or Modern materials optics described above.

Furthermore, consideration must be given to the capacity to plan, initiate, lead, and develop research and education in the third cycle, the ability to acquire funding for research in competition, as well as the demonstrated capacity to interact with others both within academia and in the wider community.

Teaching Expertise comprises educational and teaching qualifications. In assessing teaching excellence, teaching quality is ranked highest. The scope of teaching experience, in terms of both breadth and depth, is also afforded consideration. In assessing teaching excellence, special weight will be attached to merits in materials science, materials chemistry and physics, depending on chosen subject area, Magnetic materials or Modern materials optics.

Furthermore, consideration must be given to the capacity to plan, initiate, lead, and develop teaching and instruction, as well as the ability to connect research to teaching in respect to research in the subject at hand, subject didactics, as well as teaching and learning in higher education. The ability to interact concerning issues of teaching and learning in higher education with actors inside and outside the University is also included in teaching expertise.

Administrative Expertise is important for the employment and will be given consideration. Administrative expertise is demonstrated, for example, through the capacity to plan, organise, and prioritise work in an efficient and task-related manner as well as through the ability to assign and observe time frames. Expertise includes overall operational planning and the capacity to manage resources in a way that reflects operational priorities as well as the ability to work in a structured manner based on an awareness of goals and quality. 

Management Expertise is important and will be given consideration. Management expertise is demonstrated through the capacity to lead operations and personnel, make decisions, take responsibility, and motivate others, providing them with what is needed for the efficient achievement of common goals. The abilities to coordinate the group and help create a sense of involvement, participation, and enjoyment in work and to deal with conflicts constitute further examples of demonstrated expertise.

Collaboration Expertise is important and will be given consideration. Collaborative expertise is demonstrated by the ability and skill of planning, organizing and implementing interaction with the surrounding community. Popular publications, public debate and lectures are examples of forms of interaction with the surrounding community. Other examples of collaboration are patent applications, commercialization and industrial cooperation. The ability to translate knowledge sharing with the surrounding community into activities of importance to the education's development and quality is part of the collaboration expertise.

All merits must be documented in a manner that makes it possible to assess both quality and scope.

In filling this position, the university aims to appoint the applicant who, following a qualitative holistic assessment of her/his competence and expertise, is judged to have the best potential to carry out and develop the relevant duties and to help advance operations.

Further information
In an overall assessment of the applicant’s qualifications, parental leave, part-time work relating to care of children, union assignments, military service, or the like are to be regarded as work experience.

University appointment regulations  

Faculty appointment regulations

Instructions for application  

For further information about the position, please contact: Charlotte Platzer Björkman, charlotte.platzer@angstrom.uu.se , +46-18-4713120

Type of position: Permanent position

Salary: Individually negotiated salary.

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala 

Starting date: 01-02-2023 or as otherwise agreed

Please submit your application by 19 September 2022, UFV-PA 2022/1514.

In the event of any disagreement between the English and the Swedish versions of this announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence. 

If you are an international candidate, you will find a lot of information about working and living in Sweden at www.uu.se/joinus .

Please do not send offers of recruitment or advertising services.

Submit your application through Uppsala University's recruitment system.


Placement: Faculty of Science and Technology

Type of employment: Full time , Permanent position

Pay: Fixed salary

Number of positions: 1

Working hours: 100%

Town: Uppsala

County: Uppsala län

Country: Sweden

Union representative: Seko Universitetsklubben seko@uadm.uu.se
ST/TCO tco@fackorg.uu.se
Saco-rådet saco@uadm.uu.se

Number of reference: UFV-PA 2022/1514

Last application date: 2022-09-19


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