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Vacancy Type/Job categoryResearch OnlyDepartmentSchool of EngineeringSalary£30,942 – £40,322 per annumLocationUniversity of Adelaide, Australia Vacancy OverviewIf you have previously applied for this post you do not need to apply again. Full time, fixed term contract for 30 months. This full-time post is available for up to thirty months to undertake research on process development and optimisation for chemical conversion using non-thermal plasma energy. This post is based in Australia at the University of Adelaide. Only candidates with eligibility to work in Australia, or with a reasonable prospect of obtaining eligibility to work in Australia, should apply. Some travel to the UK may be required. You will work with the Principal Investigators to develop a new, technically sound reactor design for symbiotic plasma-catalysis N-fixation. You will assist the Principal Investigators of the SCOPE project and, where appropriate, project collaborators in the successful execution of the project. The work will be conducted under the supervision of the Project Coordinator Professor Volker Hessel. You will undertake independent and collaborative research and will be expected to write up your research for publication. You will be expected to deal with any management/administration problems that may arise from the project and produce and present regular project reports ensuring that the project objectives and deadlines are met. This is a unique opportunity for an ambitious chemical engineer or physical chemist or to perform cutting edge research within the framework of an ERC Synergy project SCOPE. You will have (or be about to be awarded) a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry or a related discipline, and will have proven ability to undertake high quality research. You will have a working knowledge of advanced chemical process development and using in-situ and online analytical spectroscopy such as FTIR, and will have excellent communication skills, time management and IT skills. Ideally, you are aware of the opportunities of modern chemical process concepts such as process miniaturisation and intensification (e.g. by microfluidics) as well as instationary (periodic) process operation. Experience in the areas of non-thermal plasma and/or microtechnology/process intensification/catalysis will be a distinct advantage. The University aims to promote work life balance for all employees and the School of Engineering will consider a range of possible flexible working arrangements in order to recruit the best candidate. Applications from candidates in groups under-represented in the Engineering sector are particularly welcome. If you have not yet been awarded your PhD but are near submission or have recently submitted your PhD, any offers of employment will be made as Research Assistant on level 5 of the University grade structure (£30,046). Upon successful award of your PhD and evidence of this fact, you will be promoted to Research Fellow on the first point of level 6 of the University grade structure (£30,942 pa).Job DescriptionJOB PURPOSE: To undertake research to support the work of the School and assist the Principal Investigators and, where appropriate, project collaborators in the successful execution of the project. DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Help establish a sound research base within the department in order to assist the development of research objectives and proposals for own or joint research.
  • Conduct individual and collaborative research projects. Plan own day-to-day activity within framework of the agreed research program.
  • Write up research work for publication.
  • Translate knowledge of advances in the subject area into research activity.
  • Coordinate and liaise with other members of the research group over work progress.
  • May contribute to preparing proposals and applications to external bodies.
  • May present information on research progress and outcomes to bodies supervising research, e.g. steering groups.
  • May contribute to the preparation of papers for steering groups and other bodies.
  • Communicate complex information (orally and in writing) and material of a specialist or highly technical nature.
  • Continually update own knowledge and understanding in field or specialism.
  • Assist in the supervision of student projects and the development of student research skills.
  • May be involved in the assessment of student knowledge and supervision of projects.
  • May be required to attend departmental meetings and to participate (where necessary) in other committees and working groups within the department, the faculty and the University.
  • Ensure compliance with health and safety. And other University regulations and good working practices in all aspects of work.
  • Work within budget constraints. Ensure research resources are used in an effective and efficient manner.
  • Any other duties as directed by the Principal Investigator of the project. Duties and responsibilities outlined above are not intended to be an exhaustive list, but provide guidance on the main aspects of the post. The post holder will be required to be flexible in their duties and to carry out any other duties as directed by the line manager. Person SpecificationThe Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation. Essential Criteria 1Good honours degree (2.1 minimum) or master degree in a relevant subject (a)Essential Criteria 2A PhD in Chemical Engineering, Physical Chemistry, or related subject (a)Essential Criteria 3Proven ability in research and evidence of quality research output in relevant field (a), (c), (d)Essential Criteria 4A developing research profile with the ability to publish and/or produce high quality research output (a), (c)Essential Criteria 5Working knowledge of advanced chemical process development, with advanced denoting modern technologies such as green chemistry or microfluidics (a), (c), (d)Essential Criteria 6Working knowledge of analytical spectroscopy such as FTIR, for example (a), (c), (d)Essential Criteria 7Strong communication and interpersonal skills with experience of working independently and as part of a team (a), (c), (d)Essential Criteria 8Able to evidence strong time management and organisational skills (a), (c)Essential Criteria 9Excellent standard of spoken and written English with the ability to communicate clearly and concisely (a), (c), (d)Desirable Criteria 1Relevant experience in non-thermal plasma (a), (c), (d)Desirable Criteria 2Relevant experience in in-situ and online analytical spectroscopy such as FTIR, for example (a), (c), (d)Desirable Criteria 3Relevant experience in modern chemical process concepts such as process miniaturisation and intensification (e.g. microfluidics) as well as instationary (periodic) process operation (a), (c), (d)Desirable Criteria 4Relevant experience in microtechnology/catalysis (a), (c), (d)Desirable Criteria 5Relevant experience in (co)supervising of PhD and undergraduate students (a), (c), (d)Further ParticularsFor further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars. For further information about the department, please visit the departmental website. For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars. For further information about the department, please visit the departmental website. The Project The project will introduce a ground-breaking approach to use renewable energy for N2 fixation. We will use non-thermal plasma, which has large potential to convert these low reactive molecules under near ambient temperature and pressure, particularly for distributed processes based on renewable energy. The project will introduce a brand new idea for catalyst-plasma symbiosis. We have developed a fully new concept of micro-plasma array through a novel electrode design, to generate the plasma at the catalyst surface, thereby overcoming long distance transport and intensifying electric field. That shall leverage gas-phase based plasma, yet may also extend to gas-liquid plasma (e.g. using microfluidics). In addition, our novelty comes from inducing excited states in solid catalysts to work in synergy with the excited short-lived plasma species. Our previous studies have shown that non-thermal plasma can be applied to N fixation. An efficient reactor design is essential to improve key performance parameters of the process, which are, first of all, energy efficiency and yield. Yet, literature studies with the existing types of plasma reactors (gliding arc, DBD), including our own ones, show that those reactors have intrinsic shortcomings, which probably set a severe limit for further optimisation. Thus, a new reactor concept is needed, which actually enables a new process, as we suppose that transport processes and selectivity in creating active species as well as their concentration make major points. Thus, our SCOPE project (ERC Synergy Grant, EU) proposes a new kind of microplasma, with much reduced electrode-to-electrode dimensions, microstructured reaction environment, and temperature modulations at the catalyst: Surface-COnfined fast-modulated Plasma for process and Energy intensification in small molecules conversion (https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/810182). This shall enable specific catalysts able to work in symbiosis with the radicals and photo- or vibrationally excited species generated by plasma are necessary. The candidate will have to develop a technically sound reactor design for symbiotic plasma-catalysis N-fixation. Athena SWAN The School of Engineering is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises work undertaken to address gender equality, representation and progression for all staff working in an academic environment. The School currently holds the Athena SWAN Silver award and the University holds an Institutional Silver award. Further information about the work of the School in relation to Athena SWAN can be found at the following link; https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/eng/about/athenaswan/ Recruitment of Ex-Offenders PolicyAs an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. More information is available on the University’s Vacancy pages and applicants may request a copy of the DBS Code of Practice. Other InformationThe University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 20
  • Right to work in the UK If you do not yet have the right to work in the UK and/ or are seeking sponsorship under Tier 2 of the UK points-based immigration system please click on this link which contains further information about obtaining right to work in the UK and details about eligibility for sponsorship under Tier

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