A postdoctoral scholar position is open through the Center for the Environment at Purdue University, advised by Prof. Abigail Engelberth in Agricultural & Biological Engineering/Environmental & Ecological Engineering. The appointee will work on an industry funded applied research project to investigate conditions to produce a biochar from spent railroad ties that will be able to safely and effectively remove water-soluble pollutants.
The primary role of appointee will be to explore how biochar (char/pyrogenic organic matter) produced from railroad ties and similar woody materials can been used to for water purification applications. The appointee will work with affiliated faculty to create isotherm models showing sorption equilibrium of the biochar for the contaminants in question, and will demonstrate how key residual organics in the char affect simple aquatic life. Specifically, activities could involve but are not limited to: investigation of pyrolysis conditions for residual PAHs, creation of functionalized biochar, assess sorption rate and the effect of pH/temperature of pollutants such as metals, organic compounds, and nutrients. The applicant is expected to have multidisciplinary experience in related areas including but not limited to: chemical and physical extraction and separation methods, sorption experiments, chromatography, and/or pyrolysis and thermal treatment methods.
Applicants should have a Ph.D. in a relevant engineering field (biological, chemical, or civil), environmental science, chemistry or related fields. Strong English oral and written communication skills are a must. The candidates should be highly motivated with the ambition and commitment to excel in a competitive yet highly cooperative and productive translational research environment. The applicant will be part of a multidisciplinary team and will have the opportunity to connect with a variety of researchers. The position is guaranteed for one year with continuation dependent on future funding. The applicant must be able to work on the Purdue campus as the project will have an extensive experimental component. The applicant will have opportunities for professional development with regular mentoring from Dr. Engelberth. The majority of the research will be conducted in the state-of-the-art Agricultural & Biological Engineering building that is opening in December 2020. A competitive salary commensurate with qualifications and experience will be offered, in addition to annual leave and medical benefits.
Applicants should supply (1) a curriculum vitae, (2) a statement of research interests and goals (maximum 2 pages), (3) name, address, and email of three references to: Prof. Abigail Engelberth (email@example.com) with the Subject Line: Carbon Upcycling Postdoc Application. Application screening will begin immediately and close when the position is filled. Start date is negotiable but project is desired to begin in the first quarter of 2021. Only candidates shortlisted for interviews will be notified of the application result.