Doctoral Student, Sustainable packaging and coating materials based on nanocelluloses

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 24 Sep 2021

We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent, and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility, and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields. More information: http://www.oulu.fi/english/ .

Fiber and Particle Engineering research unit (appr. 50 persons) at the University of Oulu focuses on inorganic binding materials and sustainable materials, chemicals and applications based on cellulose nanomaterials. The group is developing nano- and microcelluloses, their hybrid structures with inorganics/biomaterials and their applications such as barriers and films, filters and membranes, nanopapers, smart materials, biomedical and electronic applications. The team has all relevant processing equipment, analytics, and trained laboratory staff related to water treatment topics. More information: https://www.oulu.fi/pyokuien/

Position summary:

Doctoral Student position in green packaging and coating materials based on nanocelluloses available at the Fiber and Particle Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland, under a project funded by Business Finland.

Anticipated starting date: October-November 2021.

Project background:

The project will develop innovations to substitute fossil-based films and coatings with bio-based solutions using functionalized nanocelluloses and other bio-based materials to be used in packaging, paints, adhesives, sealants, and abrasives. Conventional packaging and coatings are mainly made from non-renewable resources and are linked to many environmental problems and climate change. Bio-based binders and coatings can significantly reduce the use of synthetic or even toxic chemicals and produce lower emissions.

The aqueous dispersion formulations are an attractive option to develop new sustainable coatings e.g., in paper and board products and to replace current laminated layers and metal foils which are based on non-renewable raw materials. Therefore, a controlled preparation of aqueous dispersions is crucial for adoption of new sustainable coatings by the industry. This work will focus on:
i. formulating and analysing the aqueous bio-based coating dispersions based on functionalized nanocelluloses,
ii. addressing the feasible preparation protocols for stable aqueous dispersions and
iii. analysing the properties of aqueous dispersion formulations.

The project will be conducted in close collaboration with other research institutes and companies.

Qualifications:
We are looking for a person with a MSc degree (granted no later than appointment date) in organic or colloid and surface chemistry, chemical or process engineering, or material science or related fields. Especially, the background related to colloidal dispersions, packaging materials, films and coatings is a benefit. You are able to work as a part of a larger, multidisciplinary group, and you have the ability to take your own initiatives and you are able to collaborate with in industrial and research partners. Good communication skills in English both in speech and writing is important.

Application process:

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, should be submitted using the electronic application form by 24th of September 2021 (at 23:59 Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:

  • 1 - 2-page motivation letter (describing your specific interest, motivation and qualifications for the project)
  • a curriculum vitae according to the guidelines of the Finnish National Board on Research Integrity (https://tenk.fi/en/advice-and-materials/template-researchers-curriculum-vitae )
  • copies of Bachelor and Master certificates/diploma, or anticipated date of degree
  • a full list of scientific publications on which the applicant wishes to rely (if available)
  • letters of recommendation
  • possible language certificate (English)
  • Incomplete applications will neither be considered nor evaluated. We may use shortlisting in this process. Data collected from candidates will be used for recruitment purposes only and will not be shared outside of the University of Oulu unless authorized by the applicant.

    The salary is commensurate with the University salary system. (for teaching and research personnel): level 2 - 4. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50 % of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary will be approx. 2,400 € per month. A trial period of six months is applied in the position.

    The project is supervised by Professor Henrikki Liimatainen and is conducted in close collaboration with partner organizations.

    For further information about this position or University of Oulu, please contact Professor Henrikki Liimatainen (henrikki.liimatainen(at)oulu.fi).


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