RICE Research Assistant

Swansea University - Engineering

Contract Type: Fixed Term Contract


£28,936 to £32,548 per annum together with USS pension benefits

The normal expectation is that the successful applicant will be appointed to the minimum of the scale with annual increments on 1 October each year (subject to completing six months service).

Main Purpose of the Post

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Assistant to study algae conversion and hydrogen generation, with emerging expertise in heat-to-electricity, CO2 capture, and chemical waste, and their conversion to high value added products. You will join a multi-disciplinary research team at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) and work in cutting edge research labs at the new Swansea University Bay Campus.

The project; Reduced Industrial Carbon Emissions (RICE) Operation is in direct response to Welsh Government targets for CO2 reduction that cannot be met with present technology. In the context of energy research, a focus will be on CO2 utilisation options combining innovative processes that have the potential to yield a significant, net reduction of CO2 emissions in volumes sufficient to make a meaningful contribution to our climate change objectives.

The aim of RICE is to apply an integrated systems approach, combining established expertise in membrane technology, algae conversion, and hydrogen generation with emerging expertise in heat to electricity and CO2 conversion, to the capture of CO2, industrial waste heat (high and low), and chemical waste, and their conversion to high value added products, which create new enterprises and can be integrated into present heavy industry infrastructure to reduce CO2 emission using the Steel Industry as the pilot but with direct application to energy intensive industries such as cement, glass, chemicals, and electricity generation.

The Rice Operation will be delivered by the following objectives:

  • To demonstrate a viable scalable system combining innovative algae and membrane processes for the transformation of CO2 emissions from major emission sources through combination with nitrate chemical waste from industry, SMEs, and public sector organisations ) into useful high value products.
  • To demonstrate a viable scalable system combining world leading innovative technologies that enables the conversion of industrial waste heat, and/or under-utilised Green energy, to useful electrical energy (lowering CO2 emissions) and consequently a key value added product (hydrogen) that is needed for both West Wales Anchor Industry competitiveness as well as offering a carbon zero transportation fuel.

This project will focus on Heavy Industry with the ambitious target of developing previously developed technologies (TRL = 4-7) from laboratory pilot scale to demonstration scale (TRL = 7-8) to ‘supply chain demonstration’.

This role is central to the RICE operation, and requires a combination of technical expertise and research independence as tasks will cover a range of technical activities to facilitate the smooth running of the labs and facilities available for researchers on the RICE program and beyond. The successful candidate must be enthusiastic, creative and capable, with a Chemistry or similarly related background and an ability to facilitate the operation of the laboratory spaces.

Informal enquiries:

Professor Andrew R Barron: a.r.barron@swansea.ac.uk

Dr Charles Dunnill: c.dunnill@swansea.ac.uk

Interview Date: TBC

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