Postdoc in enzymatic upgrading of lignocellulose polymers

Updated: 15 days ago
Deadline: 29 Apr 2021

KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.


Job description

Our current climate emergency demands the transition to a biobased and circular economy, where multiple end products can be derived from renewable biomass resources. The postdoctoral researcher will be involved in the BioUPGRADE project “Biocatalytic upgrading of natural biopolymers for reassembly as multipurpose materials” under the program Future Emerging Technologies (FET Open) funded by the European Commission. The radical vision of BioUPGRADE is to integrate functional genomics and material science advances, to transform nature’s major structural polymers into a cascade of high volume and specialized bioproducts. The successful candidate is expected to be an active part of the consortium participating in all activities programmed by the coordinators of the project including research, meetings, dissemination, organization, student guidance, amongst others.

The postdoctoral researcher will participate in the surface functionalization of biofibres using biocatalytic tools towards applications in health and personal care. The candidate will investigate the effect of the biocatalytic modifications on the assembly and multiscale hierarchical organization of the lignocellulosic biofibres. The approach will include structural analysis of the functionalized biofibres using solid-state characterization techniques (e.g. microscopy, scattering and spectroscopy), together with characterization of the macroscopic properties (e.g. mechanical and rheological) of the derived materials.

The other partners in the BioUPGRADE project include Prof. Emma Master at Aalto University (Finland), Prof. Raúl Pérez-Jiménez at Nanoscience Cooperative Research Center CIC nanoGUNE (Spain) and Dr. Janak Sapkota at UPM-KYMMENE (Finland)


What we offer

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Qualifications

Requirements

  • A doctoral degree or an equivalent foreign degree in polymer technology, material sciences, nanotechnology, biotechnology or related disciplines, obtained within the last three years prior to the application deadline (with some exceptions for special reasons such as periods of sick or parental leave, kindly indicate if such reason exists in your resume)
  • The candidate must have practical research competence by the documented publication of scientific publications on several of the following areas: (i) design and modification of lignocellulosic materials, (ii) structural characterisation of soft matter using solid-state techniques, including microscopy, spectroscopy and scattering techniques, (iii) polysaccharide (bio)chemistry, and/or (iv) macromolecular/polymer science
  • The candidate should have excellent communication in scientific English, both orally and written
  • As a person, you should show independence to plan and perform your research experiments after discussion with the team, and excellent cooperation abilities with the researchers in the BioUPGRADE project and within the research group at KTH

Preferred qualifications

  • Competence on the use of advanced methods for carbohydrate analysis, including mass spectrometry, is desirable
  • Proof of (co)-supervision of doctoral, master and bachelor degree students is also desirable
  • Awareness of diversity and equal treatment issues with a special focus on gender equality and sustainability is a merit

Great emphasis will be placed on personal competency


Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH's webbpage .


Application

Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

The application must include:

  • CV including relevant professional experience and knowledge
  • Copy of diplomas and grades from your previous university studies. Translations into English or Swedish if the original documents have not been issued in any of these languages
  • Brief account of why you want to conduct research aligned to the BioUPGRADE vision, your academic interests and how they relate to your previous studies and future goals. Max two pages long
  • Brief description of which approaches, methods and techniques would you use to characterise the surface modification of lignocellulose polymers. Max 1 page long
  • By submitting this application, the candidate accepts that the candidacy may be evaluated by all members of the consortium.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time)


About the employment

The position offered is for, at the most, two years.

A position as a postdoctoral fellow is a time-limited qualified appointment focusing mainly on research, intended as a first career step after a dissertation.


Others

Striving towards gender equality, diversity & equal conditions is both a question of quality for KTH and a given part of our values.

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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.


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