Research Assistant/Associate in Polymer and Composite Engineering

Imperial College London Department of Aeronautics

Job summary

The Department of Aeronautics is seeking a Research Assistant/Associate to work with Dr Koon-Yang Lee to manufacture “artificial wood”, i.e. cellulose microfibril-reinforced lignin composites with the native cellulose-I structure preserved (mimicking wood cell wall), using simple and intrinsically scalable manufacturing concepts. There is currently a timely need to design and manufacture renewable materials for high volume structural...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG01532
  • Date posted 27 January 2021
  • Closing date 28 February 2021

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington Campus (map)
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £36,045 – £48,340 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Aeronautics
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

The Department of Aeronautics is seeking a Research Assistant/Associate to work with Dr Koon-Yang Lee to manufacture “artificial wood”, i.e. cellulose microfibril-reinforced lignin composites with the native cellulose-I structure preserved (mimicking wood cell wall), using simple and intrinsically scalable manufacturing concepts.

There is currently a timely need to design and manufacture renewable materials for high volume structural applications and decouple our economy from fossil-derived non-renewable resources. Cellulose-based natural fibres are the prime candidate for the production of low-cost high-performance renewable composites. However, there is still a property-performance gap between natural fibre-reinforced polymers and traditional fossil-derived engineering materials. It is envisaged that the resulting “artificial wood” will target engineering applications that cannot be achieved by conventional bio-based polymers or renewable natural fibre-reinforced polymers alone and could serve as alternative to traditional glass fibre-reinforced polymers.

In this project, you will be (i) manufacturing “artificial wood” from (low cost) ionic liquid, (ii) design and manufacture of unidirectional and continuous “artificial wood” fibre-reinforced renewable composites and (iii) optimising the techno-economics and lifecycle of “artificial wood” manufacturing.

This post is available immediately and the appointment is for 24 months.

Duties and responsibilities

The post holder will be expected to undertake and deliver high quality research that is published in high impact peer-reviewed journals and presented at local, national and international meetings, as well as assist with the supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students. The successful applicant is also expected to work in a multi-disciplinary research environment and interact with researchers from various departments.

Essential requirements

Those appointed at Research Associate level

Applicants should have a genuine passion and excellence in research via their track record and hold a PhD in a relevant subject.

Those appointed at Research Assistant level

Near completion of a PhD in a closely related discipline.

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £36,045-£39,183 per annum

For both levels

The applicant should also have extensive knowledge on:

  • Physics and chemistry of polymeric materials, cellulose and nanocellulose (essential)
  • Polymer and composite processing (essential)
  • Wood science (essential)
  • Physical and chemical characterisations of cellulose, polymer and/or polymer composites (essential)
  • Composite design (desirable)
  • Synthesis of ionic liquids (desirable)

Further information

Informal enquiries - Dr Koon-Yang Lee (koonyang.lee@imperial.ac.uk)

Queries relating to recruitment process: Lisa Kelly: l.kelly@imperial.ac.uk

Technical issues when applying: recruitment@imperial.ac.uk

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research