Research Associate in 'Materials Chemistry for Structural Power'

Imperial College London - Department of Chemistry

South Kensington and White City Campuses

Fixed-term appointment for 24 months , available from January 2017

EPSRC has recently funded a large project grant, between Imperial College and the University of Durham, titled “Beyond structural: multifunctional composites that store electrical energy.” ‘Structural power’ is an emerging interdisciplinary field which brings together novel materials with new concepts in device engineering. This project will develop new reinforcements/electrodes, matrices/electrolytes and their associated interfaces, in order to improve energy density, power density and mechanical properties to practical levels.

We are seeking to appoint a Research Associate to focus on the materials chemistry of the constituent components of structural power composites. It will build on our existing state-of-the-art multifunctional hierarchically-structured laminate systems, to develop the next embodiment of the technology. The goal will be to create new nanostructured systems that simultaneously manifest generally conflicting properties (for example, matrices that provide high mechanical shear stiffness AND high ionic conductivity).

The ideal candidate will be a highly creative experimental nanocarbon scientist, with a good understanding of other nanomaterials, polymer science, electrochemistry and composite theory, able to contribute to idea generation, synthesis, processing, and small scale electrode/nanocomposite characterisation. The position will be within the group of Prof Milo Shaffer, but will integrate with the larger team, including dedicated electrochemists and composite engineers.

The successful candidate will have a PhD (awarded or submitted) in an experimental physical science/engineering, with an emphasis on nanocarbon chemistry an equivalent level of professional qualifications and/or experience. It will be important to combine practical skills with mechanistic insight, in order to establish new composite systems. Essential experience will include a background in experimental nanomaterials chemistry, specifically the preparation/assembly of chemically modified nanotubes, graphene-related materials, or carbon aerogels, and/or deposition of electroactive components to create hybrid electrodes and/or preparation of ordered nanocarbon polymer composite structures.

In addition, knowledge of chemical research methods and techniques, specifically the application of air-sensitive wet synthetic chemistry, UV/vis/ Raman spectroscopy, electron microscopy (SEM/TEM), BET analysis and thermal analysis (TGA, DSC, Pyr-MS), ideally to (functionalised) nanocarbons is required. Practical experience within a strong research environment is essential, as evidenced by preparation and publication of scientific papers in relevant, high-impact, refereed journals (preferably as first author).

*Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £31,740 - £33,370 per annum.

Our preferred method of application is online via our website (please select “Job Search” then enter the job title or vacancy reference number NS2016226SC  into “Keywords”).  Please complete and upload an application form as directed, attaching a curriculum vitae, a cover letter and the name and contact details of two referees. There is no need to reply apply if you recently submitted an application for a similarly advertised job.

Alternatively, if you are unable to apply online, please contact Mr John Murrell by email 

Closing date: 14 December 2016

Committed to equality and valuing diversity.  We are also an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion, a Two Ticks Employer and are working in partnership with GIRES to promote respect for trans people. The Department of Chemistry is also an Athena Gold Swan Award Winner.

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