Research Assistant (PDRA) in Chemical Engineering

University of Hull - Faculty of Science and Engineering - Chemical Engineering - School of Engineering and Computer Science

Applicants of outstanding experience are sought for the post of RA in Chemical Engineering, at Hull University, UK. The successful candidate will carry out high-quality experimental work to assess, evaluate, integrate, develop and improve the solid fuels pretreatment of leaching with novel microwave extraction technique(s) for optimising the lignocellulosic biomass/waste behaviour when used as alternative fuel in pyrolysers/gasifiers. The post is funded by the EPSRC First Grant-2009: “Microwave assisted pre-treatment of lignocellulosic residues for better performance as solid fuels in fluidized bed (FB) energy production technologies”. By combining Chemical Engineering/Chemistry experimental methods, the project will obtain an understanding of the relationship between the alternative solid fuels pre-treatment processes and impact to bioenergy production via the thermochemical route (pyro-gasification).

Successful applicant will be responsible for realization of a novel combination of traditional fuels pre-treatments and upgrading techniques and for conducting experimental work in lab-scale facilities/analytical equipment to develop suitable methodologies, aiming to optimize the specifications of the alternative solid fuels (biomass/waste), and to characterize and evaluate their thermochemical break down under pyro-gasification environments and address the challenges for future development of a sustainable, practical and affordable pretreatment method for exploitation of such fuels at industrial scale.

You will have an awarded PhD and BSc, MEng or MSc in Chemical Engineering or Chemistry with a proven track record of publications and presentations in prestigious international journals and conferences in UK/ abroad in the field, and a proven track record of a post-doctoral-level experience at least 3 areas: lignocellulosic biomass/waste pretreatment, solid fuels, microwave chemistry and thermochemical treatments.  

This is a challenging and exciting Chemical Engineering laboratory based research project for a highly motivated and experienced candidate with experience who is aiming to work at the interface of solid fuels pre-treatment and energy generation engineering via the thermochemical route and will also have extensive experience in characterization of biomass/waste/solid fuels and thermochemical treatments, by-products by various techniques, including TGA and others (i.e. GC, GC-MS, FTIR, etc.)

You will have excellent and proven chemical engineering/chemistry laboratory and team working skills, verbal and written communication skills and maintain links with other professional institutions and/or with our industrial partners to fulfil the requirements of this role. A demonstrated ability to publish in prestigious international scientific journals is essential. An ability to conduct original experimental research independently and within a team, to carry out sound judgement of research tasks are essential, as well as plan ahead/monitor the work under this project, manage and conduct laboratory research independently, work with colleagues on joint projects, contribute to the B3 Challenge Group and team members supervision of research projects, assess the research students’ knowledge, supervise/guide final year students' research works and participate in Health and Safety Training and other relevant training for optimizing your research skills. Candidates who have experience of working in a multidisciplinary projects and worked with industry will be particularly welcome.

For informal enquiries please contact: Dr Vasiliki Skoulou (  

Latest start date: 1 May 2018

Indicative Interview-dates: end of March 2018 (TBC)

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Northern England