Postdoctoral Appointee in Waste Plastics Conversion

Sandia National Laboratories

Albuquerque, NM

Job posting number: #7086040 (Ref:678617)

Posted: September 24, 2021

Job Description

This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment. Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance. Employees must remain in their current position for one year before applying for a new position, with the exception of student interns. Application of this requirement will not supersede collective bargaining agreements. See collective bargaining labor agreements for represented bidder eligibility requirements for represented employees. : This posting will be open for application submissions for a minimum of seven (7) calendar days, including the ‘posting date’. Sandia reserves the right to extend the posting date at any time. : Sandia demonstrates its commitment to public safety in the national interest by requiring that all new hires attest to their vaccination status before commencing employment. The requirement also applies to those who are telecommuting and working virtually. Any concerns about the ability to meet this requirement should be directed to HR Solutions at (505) 284-4700. : We are seeking a dedicated and hardworking Postdoctoral Appointee to join an interdisciplinary team on a project to break down waste polyolefin plastics for biological conversion to fuels and chemicals. The multidisciplinary team will explore a combination of chemical, enzymatic, and biological approaches to break down waste polyolefin plastics to compounds that can be taken up and assimilated by bacterial or fungal conversion hosts. The selected candidate will utilize expertise in polymer chemistry, mechanisms of polymer degradation, and polymer structure/property relationships. The researcher will focus on strategies for breaking down waste plastics for recycling or upcycling. One specific area of focus will be oxidizing polyolefins and characterizing the changes in chemical structure and molecular weight. Working closely with team members characterizing the bioavailability of the breakdown products is vital in this role. On any given day, you may be called on to: + Participate in the national response to the global problem of waste plastics + Perform oxidative reactions with polyolefins and analyze the breakdown products + Help develop improved analytical assays to characterize reaction products + Mentor technologists and interns + Work to execute, monitor and refine project plans with an integrated multidisciplinary team that will include chemists, chemical engineers, biologists, and computer scientists performing physical modeling and technoeconomic analysis from national labs, universities, and industry + Maintain safe laboratory operations + Publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and present findings at seminars and conferences

Required:
+ PhD in chemistry, chemical engineering, biochemistry, or biochemical engineering. + Proven record of publishing in peer-reviewed scientific literature and strong verbal communication and data presentation skills

Desired:
+ Strong interest in the problem of waste plastics in the environment + Previous research experience with oxidative chemistry + Previous research experience with oxidative polymer degradation + Previous research experience with polymer characterization methods including NMR, FTIR, Raman, UV, XRD, chromatography, and mass spectrometry .

Department Description:

The scope of the CBRN Defense and Energy Technologies Center includes biological and bioengineering research with applications in advanced biofuels and renewable energy and plastics recycling/upcycling. This topic area is addressed by a multidisciplinary team of approximately 30 people, including staff scientists, postdocs and technologists with expertise in chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, biophysics, analytical chemistry, advanced spectroscopy, microbiology, computational biology, and molecular biology. The basic research activities are focused on developing a fundamental understanding of chemical and biological conversion of biomass and waste plastics to fuels and chemicals. The team is also developing a focus on systems and synthetic biology as they relate to biological conversion of biomass and plastics to fuels and chemicals. Applied research activities are focused on enzyme and microbial engineering for production of fuels and chemicals, advanced pretreatment of biomass and waste plastics, synthetic biology, algal biofuels, and advanced imaging techniques. Key sponsors include the DOE Office of Science, DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Sandia LDRD Program. This team also plays an essential role at the DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-organizational research center comprising world-class resources and expertise located at a facility in Emeryville, California. The goal of JBEI is to use rapidly advancing scientific techniques, such as systems and synthetic biology, to accelerate development of the nation's biofuels industry.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:• Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide• Extraordinary co-workers• Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world• Career advancement and enrichment opportunities• Flexible work arrangements for many positions include 9/80 (work 80 hours every two weeks, with every other Friday off) and 4/10 (work 4 ten-hour days each week) compressed workweeks, part-time work, and telecommuting (a mix of onsite work and working from home)• Generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance* World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at: http://www.sandia.gov*These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

Sandia is required by DOE to conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Applicants for employment need to be able to obtain and maintain a DOE L-level security clearance, which requires U.S. citizenship. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted. Applicants offered employment with Sandia are subject to a federal background investigation to meet the requirements for access to classified information or matter if the duties of the position require a DOE security clearance. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause a clearance to be denied or terminated by the DOE, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.


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