Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Fellow - Starch-based materials development

University of Queensland

Australia

October 16, 2022

Description

  • School of Chemical Engineering

  • Academic level A or B

  • Full-time, Fixed-term position for up to 3 years

  • Closing date 16 October 2022 at 11.00pm AEST (R-17223)

  • About This Opportunity

    The primary role of the selected candidate will be to engage as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow/Research Fellow within the School of Chemical Engineering to support Director Associate Professor Steven Pratt, as well as Theme Leaders Professor Bronwyn Laycock, Professor Paul Lant, and Professor Peter Halley in their ARC Industrial Transformation and Training Centre on Bioplastics and Biocomposites.

    There are three different roles on offer, all related to biopolymer and biocomposite processing and modification with a view to product development. In all projects the selected candidate will be involved in all facets of the project and take a pivotal role in undertaking experimental work both in the laboratory and in the field where relevant, assembling and managing datasets, and coordinating work with the various CIs. They will be tasked with evaluating data quality and reporting and integrating outcomes to generate operational strategies for the project. Excellent communication and writing skills are necessary and the successful candidates will also be expected to show leadership and time management skills. Please also see job advertisements R-17220 and R-17224 to view the other positions you may wish to apply for.

    This project seeks to develop novel materials from starch using a range of processing strategies that build on our long history of materials development and commercialisation of starch barrier film products. The aim is to produce and understand barrier performance of novel starch-based film products to advanced material properties and performance. This project will require innovation in starch materials processing and modification and is suitable for someone with a polymer chemistry, polymer engineering, and film barrier modelling. Experience in film processing and barrier performance would be beneficial. Strong characterisation and fundamental film performance skills are required.

    We are a collaboration between industry, The University of Queensland (UQ) and Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Our vision is to perform leading edge research and to develop industry-ready specialists to underpin Australia's transition to a globally significant bioplastic and biocomposites industry. The 18 chief investigators and six industry partner investigators are recognised as national and global leaders in bioresource development, bioplastic and biocomposite manufacture and processing, sustainability in supply chain management, environmental and behavioural economics, and environmental impact assessment.

    Key responsibilities include:

    For Appointment at Level A

    Research

  • Review and draw upon best practice research methodologies.

  • Undertake starch-based barrier films research and product development.

  • Develop reactive extrusion techniques for starch modification.

  • Gain improved state of the art understanding of barrier film performance via methods including materials characterisation, film properties, multilayer barrier modelling and film product performance.

  • Produce quality research outputs consistent with discipline norms by publishing or exhibiting in high quality outlets.

  • Work with colleagues in the development of joint research projects and applications for competitive research funding support.

  • Contribute to progressing towards transfer of knowledge, technology, and practices to research end users through translation, including commercialisation of UQ intellectual property.

  • Develop a coherent research program and an emerging research profile.

  • Report to team leader and project stakeholders on a regular basis, and effectively summarise findings and progress.

  • Supervision and Researcher Development

  • Contribute to the effective supervision of Honours and Higher Degree by Research students (as appropriate).

  • Demonstrate personal effectiveness in supervision and the management of researcher development.

  • Effectively lead and develop supervisee performance and conduct by providing feedback, coaching, and professional development.

  • As appropriate, manage research support staff effectively throughout the employee lifecycle in accordance with University policy and procedures.

  • Work to promptly resolve conflict and grievances when they arise in accordance with University policy and procedures.

  • Citizenship and Service

  • Demonstrate citizenship behaviours that align to the UQ values.

  • Shows leadership of self through collaboration and active participation in priority activities for the unit.

  • Provide support to other academic positions and unit operations as needed during other team members absences.

  • Contribute to internal service roles and administrative processes as required, including participation in decision-making and service on relevant committees.

  • Collaborate in service activities external to the immediate organisation unit.

  • Begin to develop external links and partnerships by cultivating relationships with industry, government departments, professional bodies and the wider community.

  • Any other duties as reasonably directed by your supervisor.

  • For Appointment at Level B - d uties as listed above, in addition to the following

    Research

  • Develop an independent and/or team research program to achieve national recognition and impact in the research area.

  • Participate in or contribute as chief investigator role (often in conjunction with more experienced researchers) in applications for competitive research funding to support projects and activities, which includes actively seeking, obtaining and managing research funding.

  • Supervision and Researcher Development

  • Demonstrate a track record of the effective supervision of Honours and Higher Degree by Research students.

  • Facilitate engagement opportunities for Higher Degree by Research supervisees

  • Effectively lead and develop supervisee performance and conduct by providing feedback, coaching, and professional development.

  • Citizenship and Service

  • Actively pursue and develop external links and partnerships by cultivating relationships with industry, government departments, professional bodies and the wider community.
  • This role is subject to The University's Code of Conduct.

    About You

    For Appointment at Level A

  • Completion or near completion of a PhD in the area of Polymer Chemistry or Chemical Engineering (or similar).

  • Experience in the manufacture and modelling of controlled release products based on biopolymers.

  • Demonstrated experience in polymer processing, including polymer extrusion, melt pressing, injection molding and/or solvent casting – and including the requisite laboratory procedures and safe work practices for polymer processing.

  • Evidence of publications in reputed refereed journals and presenting at conferences.

  • Demonstrated supervision skills at undergraduate or postgraduate levels.

  • Ability to work effectively both independently and as a member of a team.

  • Ability to develop industry liaisons and professional contacts.

  • Experience in working in the research and development of new process and products

  • Skills in the development of process engineering models through the use of Matlab, Python or similar.

  • Experience in process engineering, including undertaking techno-economic models of chemical production processes and process design.

  • For Appointment at Level B - Selection criteria as listed above, in addition to the following

  • Completion of a PhD in the area of Polymer Chemistry or Chemical Engineering (or similar), with a focus on polymer engineering.

  • Evidence of a contribution to research & development, including publication in high-quality peer-reviewed journals/conferences, technology innovation, technology commercialisation, or pilot or industrial scale research and development.

  • A demonstrated ability to present project updates and outcomes (technical and economic) to key stakeholders (in academia and / or industry).

  • A developing reputation and track record of publications in reputed refereed journals and presenting at conferences.

  • Experience in meaningful internal service roles in conjunction with active contributions to external activities.

  • What We Can Offer

    These are full-time (36:15 hours per week) continuing positions at an Academic Level A or B.

    The full-time equivalent base salary at Academic Level A will be in the range $72,144.35 - $96,530.67 plus superannuation of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be in the range $84,408.89 - $112,940.88 per annum.

    The full-time equivalent base salary at Academic Level B will be in the range $101,533,66 to $120,570.86 plus super of up to 17%. The total FTE package will be in the range $118,794.38 to $141,067.91 per annum.

    The following flexible employment options may be available for this role: ​Part time/job share; some working from home; variable start or finish times; compressed hours.

    For further information about UQ's benefits, please visit Why Work at UQ and review The University of Queensland's Enterprise Bargaining Agreement 2018 - 2021.

    Questions?

    To discuss this role please contact Professor Peter Halley via p.halley@uq.edu.au.

    For application queries, please contact recruitment@uq.edu.au stating the job reference number in the subject line.

    Want to Apply?

    All applicants must upload the following documents in order for your application to be considered:

  • Cover letter addressing the ‘About You' section

  • Resume

  • Please note that you will be asked to add all documents into the one upload box labelled ‘resume', which is step one of the application form.

    About the Selection Process

    To satisfy pre-requisite questions and ensure your application can be considered in full, all candidates must apply via the UQ Careers portal by the job closing deadline or will not be accepted.

    Other Information

    Sponsorship: Visa sponsorship may be available for this appointment.

    Background Checks : All final applicants for this position may be asked to consent to a criminal record check. Please note that people with criminal records are not automatically barred from applying for this position. Each application will be considered on its merits.

    We value diversity and inclusion, and actively encourage applications from those who bring diversity to the University. Our Diversity and Inclusion webpage contains further information if you require additional support. Accessibility requirements and/or adjustments can be directed to recruitment@uq.edu.au.

    If you are a current employee of the University, or hold an unpaid or affiliate appointment with the University, please login to your staff Workday account and visit the internal careers board to apply for this opportunity. Please do NOT apply via the external job board.

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    The University of Queensland (UQ) is one of Australia’s leading research and teaching institutions. UQ strive for excellence through the creation, preservation, transfer and application of knowledge. For more than a century, this university has educated and worked with outstanding...