Open Positions

Postdoctoral Openings

Proton and Hydroxide Transport in Polymers (MD)

Polymer Rheology Position Opening

Multiblock Copolymers

Staff Openings

Research Project Manager: Materials Scientific Experimental Facilities


Proton and Hydroxide Transport in Polymers

OPENING:  Postdoctoral Research Associate

The Opportunity: Prof. Karen Winey at the University of Pennsylvania is leading a new collaborative effort to understand mechanisms of proton and hydroxide transport in functionalized polymers. In this project the team will synthesize a systematic series of both anionic and cationic polymers. Morphology and ion dynamics will be investigated through a variety of experimental and computational methods. The team includes faculty, national lab staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students from four institutions to provide the needed breadth of expertise.
This postdoctoral researcher position will focus on molecular simulations. The postdoc will be located in the Winey group at the University of Pennsylvania and will be jointly advised by Dr. Amalie Frischknecht at Sandia National Labs and by Prof. Winey. Atomistic molecular dynamics (MD) simulations will be performed to understand morphology and water dynamics in the synthesized polymers. Reactive MD simulations will be implemented and used to determine proton and hydroxide conductivity. The high‐ performance computing clusters at Sandia will be used for conducting simulations.


The Organization: The University of Pennsylvania is a top research university located in Philadelphia, PA. In addition to Winey and Frischknecht, the research team includes Prof. Mike Hickner of the Materials Science Dept at Penn State and Prof. Justin Kennemur of the Chemistry Dept at Florida State University. This team project will provide a stimulating atmosphere for postgraduate research and supports an inclusive and diverse environment. The research team is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM and we particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented groups.


The Qualifications: Candidates should have a PhD in chemical engineering, materials science, physics, chemistry, or another relevant discipline. They should also have a successful record in computational science, and a desire to develop innovative research advances. Good communications skills and the ability to work within a diverse research team are essential. Prior experience with molecular dynamics simulations and knowledge of polymer science are useful, although not required.


To Apply: Send a cover letter, CV and up to two publications combined into a single PDF file directly to Amalie Frischknecht (alfrisc@sandia.gov) and Karen Winey (winey@seas.upenn.edu). Requests for additional information are welcome.


Polymer Rheology 

OPENING:  Postdoctoral Research Associate

Polymer Upcycling

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

The Opportunity: Prof. Karen Winey at the University of Pennsylvania is leading a new effort to transform postconsumer plastics into valuable polymers. Motivated by reducing both plastic waste and energy consumption, this interdisciplinary project involves designing new catalysts and new polymer reactions that convert polyolefins into specialty polymers. The team comprises faculty, doctoral students, and postdoctoral researchers from four departments to provide the necessary breadth of expertise.

This postdoctoral researcher position will engage broadly in this effort to facilitate progress across the project. An area of interest is polymer rheology associated with performing heterogeneous catalytic reactions, particularly polymer flow in confinement. A critical issue is identifying or designing catalyst supports that are compatible with viscous polymer melts and provide sufficient catalytic activity. Polymer flow properties will be investigated for as a function of polymer architecture, molecular weight and comonomer concentration, as well as the confinement and chemistry of the catalyst support. Catalyst supports currently under investigation include inorganic frameworks and nanoparticle assemblies.

The Organization: The University of Pennsylvania is a top research university located in Philadelphia, PA. The research team includes faculty, postdocs and graduate students from Departments of Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemistry, as well as the Department of Polymer Science and Engineering at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst), which provides a stimulating atmosphere for postgraduate research and supports an inclusive and diverse environment. The Winey research group is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM, and we particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented groups.

The Qualifications: Candidates should have a PhD in chemical engineering, materials science, physics, or another relevant discipline. They should also have a successful record as an experimentalist, and a desire to develop innovative research advances. Good communications skills and the ability to work within a diverse research team are essential. Prior experience with polymer confinement, polymer rheology, or neutron scattering is useful, although not required.

To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, and up to two publications combined into a single PDF file directly to Karen Winey (winey@seas.upenn.edu). Requests for additional information are welcome.


Multiblock Copolymers

OPENING:  Postdoctoral Research Associate

The Opportunity: Prof. Karen Winey at the University of Pennsylvania is leading an ongoing study of morphologies and properties in precise polymers with associating groups. This work has resulted in the observation of new morphologies and improved understanding to structure-property relationships. 

The project focuses on understanding and designing multiblock copolymers for high ion transport via judicious selection of polymer architecture, chemical groups, added solvent, and morphology control via process. The materials for this project will be synthesize in the research group of Stefan Mecking as part of an established and productive collaboration. The postdoc will have primary responsibility for the (1) structural characterization using temperature-dependent X-ray scattering, where we are most interested in building upon our discovery of the double gyroid morphologies in these polymers and (2) ion mobility as measured primarily by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. In addition, the postdoc will collaborate with a variety of simulation/theory groups intrigued by our recent findings to establish the underlying physics of self-assembly in these materials.

The Organization: The University of Pennsylvania is a top research university located in Philadelphia with a notable collection of polymer and soft matter research groups. The Winey research group strives to be welcoming and respectful of all people and is committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM. We particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented groups.

The Qualifications: Candidates should have a PhD in chemical engineering, materials science, physics, chemistry, or another relevant discipline. They should also have a successful record as an experimentalist, and a desire to develop innovative research advances. Good communications skills and the ability to work within a diverse research team are essential. Prior experience with block copolymers, X-ray scattering, or electrochemical impedance spectroscopy is preferrable, but not required.

To Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, and up to two publications combined into a single PDF file directly to Karen Winey (winey@seas.upenn.edu). Requests for additional information are welcome.


Staff Openings:

Research Project Manager
Materials Scientific Experimental Facilities

The Opportunity: The Laboratory of Research on the Structure of Matter (LRSM) operates a number of advanced scientific experimental facilities as part of its mission to support the broad materials research enterprise at the University of Pennsylvania and in the region, particularly activities associated with the Materials Research Science and Engineering Center (MRSEC) funded by the National Science Foundation. This position will support the maintenance, user training and external user support for several critical related instruments in the LRSM portfolio. This includes the Dual Source and Environmental X-ray (DEXS) Facility (Xeuss 2.0 from XENOCS), as well as several X-ray diffractometers. The DEXS facility houses a 10-meter Xeuss 2.0 instrument from Xenocs equipped with Cu and Mo sources, 1M and 100k Dectris detectors, transmission and grazing incidence configurations, and a variety of sample environments. These X-ray scattering facilities provide information regarding the atomic, nanometer and micrometer structure and compositon of materials, and are cornerstone techniques for materials research at Penn and beyond.

The Research Project Manager will be responsible for day-to-day management of projects conducted with collaborators both internal and external to Penn. Activities include maintaining a safe laboratory and inclusive working environment, training and supporting users, scheduling and reporting facility usage, preventive maintenance and repairs, facility development, and communication with the advisory board. In addition, the position will provide general technical support of LRSM Materials Characterization efforts, including analysis and utilization of complementary instruments in the LRSM.

The Organization: The University of Pennsylvania is a highly-ranked private university located in Philadelphia, PA, with exceptional educational and research activities.  Penn and the LRSM are committed to increasing diversity and inclusion in STEM and we particularly welcome applicants from underrepresented groups. The University of Pennsylvania is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

The Qualifications: A degree in a science or engineering field science is required. Previous experience with X-ray scattering methods is required. Good communications skills and the ability to work within a diverse research team are essential. Experience with additional structural characterization methods and with teaching or mentoring are desirable.  The target start date is October 15, 2022. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

To Apply: Applications must be submitted online here. Inquiries are welcome and should be emailed to the chair of the search committee, Prof. Karen Winey (winey@seas.upenn.edu).