Polymer Upcycling Postdoctoral Position Opening

Polymer Upcycling   

Postdoctoral Research Associate Position   

University of Pennsylvania 

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 focus on the polymer physics issues associated with performing heterogeneous catalytic reactions in the melt state under continuous flow through a particle bed. The flow properties will be investigated as a function of polymer architecture, molecular weight and comonomer concentration, as well as the confinement and chemistry of the particle bed. Insights from these studies will be used to implement the team’s new melt state reactions with maximum energy efficiencies. 

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 project is closely associated with the Vagelos Institute for Energy Science and Technology (https://web.sas.upenn.edu/viest‐institute/). 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 flow reactors, catalysis, confinement, or polymer melts is useful, although not required.   

To Apply: Send a cover letter, CV 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.