National Renewable Energy Laboratory Postdoctoral Researcher – Process modeling and sustainability analysis for plastics upcycling in Golden, Colorado
Postdoctoral Researcher – Process modeling and sustainability analysis for plastics upcycling
CO - Golden
Postdoc (Fixed Term)
Hours Per Week
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The NREL mission is to develop renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and practices, advance related science and engineering, and transfer knowledge and innovation to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. The National Bioenergy Center at NREL has an opening for a full time Postdoctoral Researcher within the Chemical and Material Process Development group. The initial appointment is for one year, with possible renewal up to three years.
The National Bioenergy Center is conducting research aimed at upcycling today’s plastics using chemical and biological catalysis and designing tomorrow’s plastics to be recyclable-by-design. This position will focus on rigorous techno-economic analysis and process modeling, life-cycle assessment, and use of the Material Flows through Industry Supply Chain modeling tool to baseline today’s manufacturing processes for plastics and to compare those to new chemical and biological recycling approaches. This position will specifically focus on the development of detailed process models to baseline the business-as-usual cases for commodity plastics manufacturing, and also to write high-impact publications for the chemistry and engineering communities against which to compare innovative concepts in plastics upcycling. Work with a dynamic, multi-disciplinary experimental and modeling team will be a critical component of this position, and analysis will be expected to guide experimental research efforts.
The successful candidate will be able to:
assimilate a wide variety of information into assessments
contribute to the planning and execution of research and experimental work
communicate scientific results effectively, both written and oral
author peer-reviewed publications, and
work effectively in a large, multidisciplinary team of engineers, chemists, and biologists.
Must be a recent, related PhD graduate within the last three years.
Additional Required Qualifications
Research experience with an emphasis on chemical process development, including biomass conversion and/or plastics manufacturing
Demonstrated experience with process modeling with tools such as Aspen Plus
Demonstrated experience with life-cycle assessment tools such as SimaPro
PhD degree in chemical engineering or related field
Understanding of current (petroleum) refinery processes
Understanding of biomass conversion research and processes
Experience in polymer synthesis or use
Relevant experience with sustainable materials and practices
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The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is a leader in the U.S. Department of Energy’s effort to secure an environmentally and economically sustainable energy future. With locations in Golden and Boulder, Colorado, and a satellite office in Washington, D.C., NREL is the primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the United States.
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