Have you recently successfully defended your doctorate degree in engineering or science? Do you wish to expand your career opportunities by doing a post doctorate?

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POSTDOC DEVELOPMENT BIOPOLYMERS

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The unit Separation- and Conversion Technology (SCT) develops technologies for the sustainability of production processes in the (bio)chemical sector, replacement of fossil resources by renewable resources as feedstock for the chemical industry, and the treatment of waste streams into high value chemicals.

 

The synthesis of (semi)aromatic polymers derived from renewable resources is currently attracting tremendous interest from both academia and industry, as aromatic compounds are key intermediates in the manufacture of polymers and chemicals.

 

VITO is co-initiator of Biorizon, an industry driven Shared Research Center, focusing on technology development for the production of functionalized bio-based aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. As the leading institute, VITO coordinates the development of lignin derived bio-aromatics by its own technology and by collaboration with different technology providers. Lignin is the main source of aromatic bio-based molecules. Various phenols derivatives with a variety of chemical structures can be obtained from lignin deconstruction combined with advanced membrane separation techniques.

 

Up to now, VITO has developed a strong expertise in the valorization of biomass through conversion of lignocellulose into value-added lignin fragments and bio-aromatic derivatives. Our next goal is to develop IP and demonstrate how these new building blocks could be polymerized into value-added products. Depending on the phenol substrates obtained from the lignin separation processes, different chemical modifications and polymerization pathways will be envisaged and developed, leading to (semi)aromatic polymers covering a wide range of industrial applications.

 

We are looking to recruit one PhD graduate for a 2 years postdoctoral position to work in our lignin-derived polymers program. The purpose of the position is to carry out technological research into producing, characterising and testing novel, high-performance polymeric materials derived from lignin. The research will involve aspects of:

  • separation and purification of depolymerised lignin fractions (for instance via membrane-processes);
  • chemical modifications and synthesis of lignin bio-oils and lignin model compounds (preparation of polymerizable synthons derived from lignin fragments);
  • chemical characterization;
  • polymer synthesis and formulation and evaluation of the materials (in collaboration with an industrial partner).

The target products are new bio-aromatic based building blocks that could potentially substitute petrochemical-based resins, adhesives, films and/or coatings.

 

Key accountabilities:

  • Development of a detailed work plan for the project
  • Develop and optimise experimental protocols for the key aspects of the project including:
    • Preparing, purifying and characterising depolymerised lignins fractions and lignin model compounds
    • Pre-polymer synthesis and characterization
    • Polymer formulation, synthesis and applications development
  • Undertaking experiments outlined in the detailed work plan in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Present regular progress report to VITO and its industrial partner, and externally (international conferences).
  • Be lead author in the preparation of patents and scientific manuscript(s).
  • Ensure compliance with VITO’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensuring that all work practices are safe. 

POSTDOC POSITION DEVELOPMENT BIOPOLYMERS

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The unit Separation- and Conversion Technology (SCT) develops technologies for the sustainability of production processes in the (bio)chemical sector, replacement of fossil resources by renewable resources as feedstock for the chemical industry, and the treatment of waste streams into high value chemicals.

The synthesis of (semi)aromatic polymers derived from renewable resources is currently attracting tremendous interest from both academia and industry, as aromatic compounds are key intermediates in the manufacture of polymers and chemicals.

VITO is co-initiator of Biorizon, an industry driven Shared Research Center, focusing on technology development for the production of functionalized bio-based aromatics for performance materials, chemicals & coatings. As the leading institute, VITO coordinates the development of lignin derived bio-aromatics by its own technology and by collaboration with different technology providers. Lignin is the main source of aromatic bio-based molecules. Various phenols derivatives with a variety of chemical structures can be obtained from lignin deconstruction combined with advanced membrane separation techniques.

Up to now, VITO has developed a strong expertise in the valorization of biomass through conversion of lignocellulose into value-added lignin fragments and bio-aromatic derivatives. Our next goal is to develop IP and demonstrate how these new building blocks could be polymerized into value-added products. Depending on the phenol substrates obtained from the lignin separation processes, different chemical modifications and polymerization pathways will be envisaged and developed, leading to (semi)aromatic polymers covering a wide range of industrial applications.

We are looking to recruit one PhD graduate for 2 (or 3) years postdoctoral position to work in our lignin-derived polymers program. The purpose of the position is to carry out technological research into producing, characterising and testing novel, high-performance polymeric materials derived from lignin. The research will involve aspects of

  • separation and purification of depolymerised lignin fractions (for instance via membrane-processes);
  • chemical modifications and synthesis of lignin bio-oils and lignin model compounds (preparation of polymerizable synthons derived from lignin fragments);
  • chemical characterisation;
  • polymer synthesis and formulation and evaluation of the materials (in collaboration with an industrial partner).

The target products are new bio-aromatic based building blocks that could potentially substitute petrochemical-based resins, adhesives, films and/or coatings.

Key accountabilities

  • Development of a detailed work plan for the project
  • Develop and optimise experimental protocols for the key aspects of the project including:
  • Preparing, purifying and characterising depolymerised lignins fractions and lignin model compounds
  • Pre-polymer synthesis and characterisation
  • Polymer formulation, synthesis and applications development
  • Undertaking experiments outlined in the detailed work plan in a timely and efficient manner.
  • Present regular progress report to VITO and its industrial partner, and externally (international conferences).
  • Be lead author in the preparation of patents and scientific manuscript(s).
  • Ensure compliance with VITO’s Health & Safety Policy, and take a proactive approach to ensuring that all work practices are safe.

POSTDOC MINERAL PROCESSING

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 

The Waste Recycling Technologies (ART) team of VITO is looking for a creative and motivated postdoctoral researcher to pioneer the recovery of valuable metals and minerals from mineral waste streams (like metal slags, incineration ashes, industrial sludges,…) through innovative mineral processing technologies.  

As a post-doctoral fellow you will be part of an experienced and well-equipped research team at  advanced material processing techniques, to provide  a clear view on how to  recover resources for both industry and government. Using innovative approaches and a thorough knowledge, we strive towards a sustainable transformation of waste into high-quality products which contributes to the circular economy

The proposed 2 year post doctoral research will focus on the removal and recovery of (valuable) metals/minerals from mineral waste materials by means of physical separation techniques. Traditional techniques for extraction and separation of valuable metals/minerals have often been designed for primary ores and can be hampered by undesirable features (high energy costs, not flexible, low yields or generation of large waste streams,...) when applied to complex waste streams. Therefore, VITO investigates alternative flexible process concepts suitable for treatment of complex waste streams that present opportunities to increase productivity and lower environmental impact and operating costs. Based upon our thorough knowledge of the chemical and physical properties of mineral waste materials, optimal recovery and beneficiation processes are designed which encompass concentration/removal of metals by physical treatment of the waste (density, magnetic, surface properties…). Test work will be complemented by a techno-economic feasibility evaluation.

POSTDOC LIGNIN DERIVED POLYMERS - in collaboration with SCION (New Zealand)

Mol
Postdoc
Description: 
  • Post-Doctoral Fellowship for a polymer chemist to engage in an international research collaboration.
  • We want to give you the opportunity to research novel high performance polymeric materials derived from lignin.
  • Full time, two year, fixed term position, based in Mol, Belgium and Rotorua, New Zealand.

 

VITO (Belgium) and Scion (New Zealand) seek a skilled and enthusiastic polymer chemist to investigate the synthesis and performance of novel thermoplastic and thermoset polymers derived from depolymerised lignins. The project will involve aspects of lignin depolymerisation, lignin model compound synthesis using enzymes, polymer synthesis and characterisation, and materials property testing. Optionally the candidate will have research experience in biocatalysis and/or organic chemistry with a track record of publication in international journals.

 

The Postdoctoral fellow will undertake research work both in Belgium and New Zealand (2 x 6 months) supported by expertise in enzymatic catalysis, lignin and biopolymer chemistry, and materials science at VITO and Scion. This unique opportunity will provide you with internationally recognised skills and knowledge in the field of biopolymer processing for value-added biomaterials that will advance your research career.

 

VITO, the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (www.vito.be), is an independent research organisation with a staff of approximately 760 employees. It implements customer-oriented research and develops innovative products and processes for both the public and private sector in the areas of chemistry, materials, environment, energy and health. The multidisciplinary skills and technological know-how of VITO’s employees make this organisation a crossroads of research & development, where state-of-the-art technologies are successfully blended into practical applications.

 

Scion, a New Zealand Crown Research Institute, is committed to enhancing the environmental and economic transformation of New Zealand, working towards a more sustainable, bio-based future. With more than 60 years of heritage in forestry science, Scion today demonstrates national leadership, world-class innovation and excellence in research and development. Scion’s head office is located in Rotorua, at the edge of the world-famous Whakarewarewa Forest. This location is close to lakes, forests, geothermal areas, beaches and volcanic ski-fields making it a great working environment with many opportunities to balance work with other things that are important in life.

Postdoc @ VITO

We offer you an outstanding research environment at the interface between the field of academic research and the applied industry.

Take a look at the postdoc topic list to see what VITO has in store for you.

VITO regularly launches a call for candidates who would like to do research as a postdoc researcher that supports the strategic research of VITO.

There are several possibilities:

VITO supports candidates who have already obtained a doctorate and who wish to apply for a scholarship within the framework of Marie Sklodowska-Curie, or for another grant. International exchanges are an asset in this case.

On 21st March 2013, FWO and VITO signed a protocol to fund 2 additional post doctorates next to the FWO mandates that are granted annually. This procedure starts by submitting a standard application for an FWO postdoc mandate. Places will be offered to applicants who are ranked high enough and whose research proposal is situated within a strategic VITO domain. More info