New Zealand

Research Fellow – The School of Chemical Science


The School of Chemical Science at The University of Auckland teaches and performs research in chemistry, medicinal chemistry, green chemical science, food science and nutrition, forensic science, and wine science, which makes for a remarkably stimulating intellectual environment.

We are very active in research, with over 30 academics involved in fundamental or applied research programmes, many in collaboration with other disciplines within the University including Biological Sciences, Physics, Engineering, and Medicine. We also collaborate with numerous national and international research centres and industries. Our postgraduate programme currently involves over 200 students who participate in this research effort and are at the forefront of advancing scientific knowledge.

Te Whiwhinga mahi | The opportunity

We aim to recruit a highly motivated Research Fellow to develop novel catalysts for photothermal CO2 reduction to C2+ hydrocarbons. This position is jointly funded by the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence) and the Energy Education Trust of New Zealand (a New Zealand Charitable Trust).

This project seeks to develop supported metal nanoparticle catalysts capable of driving CO2 hydrogenation to valuable hydrocarbons (ethylene and longer chain olefins or alkanes) under concentrated sunlight via light-driven Fischer-Tropsch processes. These catalysts will absorb strongly at UV-Vis-NIR wavelengths under concentrated sunlight, resulting in catalyst heating to several hundred degrees (i.e. into the temperature range where thermal Fischer-Tropsch reactions become possible). The project supports global decarbonization efforts and seek the valorize CO2 as part of New Zealand’s emerging circular economy.

The successful candidate will be responsible for the screening of photothermal catalysts using DFT calculations, development of new photothermal catalytic materials, building new capability around testing of catalysts, testing catalyst performance, and writing manuscripts for publication.

The successful candidate will report to A/Prof. Geoffrey Waterhouse and Dr. Ziyun Wang. The successful candidate would be expected to start between Nov 1, 2022 and Feb 1, 2023, subject to meeting all visa requirements for working in New Zealand.

Qualifications

Nga Pūkenga Motuhake | Important Skills

  • PhD in chemistry, engineering, materials science
  • A strong track record of high impact research in thermal/photothermal catalysis/photocatalysis, and ideally Fischer-Tropsch catalysis. This track record should be demonstrated, in the main, by high impact journal articles as the first or corresponding author.
  • Candidates should have strong written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Expertise in the synthesis of catalysts/photocatalysts and the techniques relevant to catalyst or photocatalyst characterization, including SEM, TEM, HRTEM, XRD, XPS, and X-ray absorption techniques (XANES, EXAFS).
  • Competence in the performance testing of thermal/photothermal catalysts and product characterization by GC/GC-MS and HPLC/HPLC-MS.
  • Prior experience in performing DFT calculations would be an advantage.

Additional Information

How to apply | Me pēhea te tuku tono

Applications should be submitted online, before the closing date of Wednesday, 31st August 2022. Please include your CV and cover letter outlining your suitability for this role.

The University is committed to meeting its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and achieving equity outcomes for staff and students in a safe, inclusive and equitable environment. For further information on services for Māori, Pacific, women, LGBTQITakatāpui+, people with disabilities, parenting support, flexible work and other equity issues go to www.equity.auckland.ac.nz

Overseas Applicants

In response to COVID-19 the New Zealand Government imposed travel restrictions but have recently announced a five-step plan for a phased border re-opening. This phased re-opening will take some time and this may alter the nature of the standard interview process for offshore candidates, particularly at the on-site interview stage. To see how this might affect your application and for more information and updates on the border restrictions and phased re-opening, please visit the Immigration New Zealand website or the New Zealand Government’s official Covid-19 website.

Equity

The University is committed to meeting its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi and achieving equity outcomes for staff and students in a safe, inclusive and equitable environment.  For further information on services for Māori, Pacific, women, LGBTQITakatāpui+, people with disabilities, parenting support, flexible work and other equity issues go to www.equity.auckland.ac.nz



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