PhD on Synthesis of closed-loop recyclable polymers

Eindhoven University of Technology
August 31, 2024
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PhD on Synthesis of closed-loop recyclable polymers

Within the research group Polymer Performance Materials at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) we have a vacancy for a PhD position.

Position

PhD-student

Irène Curie Fellowship

No

Department(s)

Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

FTE

1,0

Date off

31/08/2024

Reference number

V37.7572

Job description

In polymeric materials, a fundamental transition is required from synthesis out of fossil-based and one time use to continuous reuse of polymeric products. Coatings, being mainly composed of fossil-fuel based synthetic thermoset polymers are also under high pressure for such a transition. Thermosetting polymers and resins, such as polyurethanes and epoxy systems, cannot be easily chemically or mechanically recycled. Chemical recycling for instance requires much energy and harsh reaction conditions, and creates an inseparable mixture of oligomers.

In this project, the focus of the research will be on synthesis of novel thermosetting polymers for coatings more amenable to recycling, including smart new monomers that can switch between polymerized and depolymerized states, using energy efficient processes. The key is incorporation of suitable degradable functional groups or smart monomers into the polymers in their design stage (”design for recycling'' approach). The research will include the design and synthesis of new monomers including the use of bio-based raw materials, preparation of thermosets and elucidation of structure-property relationships, chemical depolymerization, separation and recovery of building blocks and proof of concept for “closed-loop” recycling. The research effort will be directed towards the synthesis of coatings with desired surface energy which can be recycled via depolymerization mechanisms. The research activities will include understanding of performance profile of new materials and elucidation of structure property relationships by means of various chemical, structural, rheological, mechanical and surface characterization techniques.

The PhD research will be carried out under the supervision of Prof. Željko Tomović in the Polymer Performance Materials group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at the TU/e, which is also the part of the interdisciplinary Institute for Complex Molecular Systems (ICMS), in which all polymer-related research groups at the TU/e participate. A description of the group can be found here.

Partnership

The PhD project will be executed within the SusInkCoat project. The following universities and companies are part of this project: NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Polymer Technology Netherlands, University of Groningen, Eindhoven University of Technology, Maastricht University, University of Twente, Akzo Nobel Decorative Coatings B.V., Canon Production Printing B.V., Evonik, GFB Europe B.V., Polymer Technology Group Eindhoven - PTG/e B.V., RUG Ventures.

Job requirements
  • We seek highly talented, motivated, and enthusiastic candidates with an MSc degree in polymer chemistry, organic chemistry, or a related discipline.
  • The successful candidate has a solid background in polymer and organic chemistry.
  • Experience with the synthesis and characterization of polymers or organic molecules is essential.
  • Analytical skills, initiative and creativity are highly desired.
  • Ability to work in an interdisciplinary team and interested in collaborating with industrial partners.
  • Motivated to develop your teaching skills and coach students.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English (C1 level).
  • You are a naturally curious person, eager to learn more and with a strong interest in science and research.
  • You should have a scientific attitude combined with a hands-on mentality and interest for fundamental and application-oriented research.
  • We prefer candidates with a good team spirit, who like to work in an internationally oriented, social environment.
  • Conditions of employment

    A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self- aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.
  • Information and application

    About us

    Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands- on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

    Information

    Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact the hiring manager , Prof. Željko Tomović, [email protected].

    Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact Mr. Kevin Caris, HR-Advisor, [email protected] or +31 40 247 8835.

    Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.

    Application

    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of two references.
  • List of BSc and MSc courses and grades.
  • Interviews, a scientific presentation and a small writing assignment will be part of the selection procedure.

    We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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