Postdoc/Scientist (m/f/d) in Polymer, Sol-Gel and/or Aerogel Chemistry & Materials Science (60-100%)

Updated: about 2 months ago

Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

The Laboratory for Building Energy Materials and Components provides new porous materials solutions for insulation and sorption applications. Our project portfolio is a healthy mix of fundamental research and applied R&D with academic and industry partners. To strengthen our scientific team, we are looking for a

Postdoc/Scientist (m/f/d) in Polymer, Sol-Gel and/or Aerogel Chemistry & Materials Science (60-100%)

You will join an industry-sponsored research project that targets the development of new materials and solutions based on polyimide, cellulose and silica aerogels, and their composites. This project fall squarely within the core competence of the laboratory, with ample opportunity to collaborate with other people in the lab and across Empa.

After a short training phase and supported by your group leader, you will take over the lead of the project, including the supervision of intern student(s) assigned to your project and the communication with the partner. With your chemical intuition, you will propose creative solutions and ideas, and design and carry out the experiments to put these ideas to the test. You will have the freedom to develop and execute your research ideas in close collaboration with our team and industry partners. You will support the filing of patents and take a lead in the dissemination of you research findings across the community, which includes collaborating with other lab members and institutes, and publishing in scientific journals and conferences.

Your tasks

  • Project coordination
  • Organize brainstorming sessions & propose new solutions and ideas to improve the performance of polyimide, silica and cellulose aerogels and foams
  • Design and execute experiments and parameter studies (synthesis & characterization)
  • Host visiting scientists from the industry partner to maximize know-how transfer
  • Supervise intern student(s) assigned to your project
  • Compilation and interpretation of data
  • Prepare patent applications with support from the team
  • Take the lead in scientific publication and present your work at conferences

Your profile

  • PhD degree in polymer or sol-gel chemistry or materials science, or a closely related field (or a Master degree with equivalent experience)
  • Experience with polyimide chemistry, polymer-solvent interactions and/or aerogels is a strong plus
  • Expertise in at least some porous materials' characterization techniques is a strong plus, e.g. nitrogen sorption analysis (BET, BJH, NLDFT), SEM, TEM, TGA, FTIR, NMR, or thermal conductivity measurements
  • You can work independently when needed, but are happy to collaborate and seek advice when necessary
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are mandatory

We offer a stimulating, international and collaborative research environment at a leading research institution with an excellent infrastructure and a broad interdisciplinary surrounding. We foster a work environment that is inclusive and diverse, where our people can be themselves, and your ideas and perspective will be valued.

As an institution of the ETH Domain, we offer good employment conditions and plenty of opportunities for your professional development. The workplace is Dübendorf, close to Zurich. The contract will be initially limited to 18 months. The position is available from May 2023 or upon agreement.

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