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Postdoctoral Research Assistant-Phase Transitions in Active Matter Experimental Lead

Queen Mary University of London - School of Engineering & Material Sciences

Location: London
Salary: £40,223 to £44,722 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 7th December 2023
Closes: 21st January 2024
Job Ref: 688
 

About the Role

Our pioneering experiments and molecular models of rotator phases (DOI:10.1021/acs.jpcb.3c02027) have led to artificial morphogenesis in oil droplets and new types of active matter rechargeable swimmers (Nature Physics, DOI:10.1038/s41567-021-01291-3). The role, supported by EPSRC funded project “Molecular Manufacturing”, will deepen insights in these novel transitions, with implications for uncovering the origin of life under deep sea vent conditions and minimal life-like systems. Applied aspects vary from emulsification and drug-delivery to the creation of artificial cells.

This opportunity is for candidates interested in academic positions who would be able to grow their skills and output leading to employment opportunities (previous lead moved for family reasons). The ideal project PDRA, with physical chemistry or similar background, will use our significant preliminary results and have a chance to complete more than one paper (likely >3) in less than a year. PDRA will be encouraged to write applications for prestigious fellowships and help the PI with grant applications, and get feedback, developing skills highly valued, especially for academic posts.

A strong work ethic combined with demonstrated ability to generate innovative research solutions is desired.  Work will range from carrying out experiments, to finishing papers characterizing the phase transitions under unique conditions, to designing the next generation instruments, to helping write proposals and potentially commercialization activities. Possible trips to synchrotron x-ray and neutron beam facilities in UK and in Europe, based on short proposals in which we have significant experience.

Responsibilities include managing the experimental part of the Active and Intelligent Materials (AIM) lab, keeping up with literature and suggesting ideas for new experiments, building new instrumental capabilities, initiating collaborations.

The lab activities range from organic molecule and polymer synthesis to colloidal synthesis and characterization, to creating artificial muscles and active matter, low cost instruments running on arduinos and Raspberry Pis, to high end molecular dynamics simulations running on state-of-the-art supercomputer clusters. This project will be carried out under the guidance of Stoyan Smoukov, Head of the Active & Intelligent Materials Lab.

About Queen Mary

At Queen Mary University of London, we believe that a diversity of ideas helps us achieve the previously unthinkable.

Throughout our history, we’ve fostered social justice and improved lives through academic excellence. And we continue to live and breathe this spirit today, not because it’s simply ‘the right thing to do’ but for what it helps us achieve and the intellectual brilliance it delivers.

Our reformer heritage informs our conviction that great ideas can and should come from anywhere. It’s an approach that has brought results across the globe, from the communities of east London to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro.

We continue to embrace diversity of thought and opinion in everything we do, in the belief that when views collide, disciplines interact, and perspectives intersect, truly original thought takes form.

Benefits

In return, we offer 30 days’ leave per annum, access to a pension scheme, a season ticket loan scheme and competitive salaries. We also offer enhanced family friendly leave, and an on-site nursery at the Mile End campus. You will also work with a friendly team, with personal development opportunities.

Queen Mary’s commitment to our diverse and inclusive community is embedded in our appointments processes. Reasonable adjustments will be made at each stage of the recruitment process for any candidate with a disability.

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