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Postdoctoral Researcher – Reduced-Order Kinetic Modelling of Hydrothermal Conversion of Low-Quality, High-Moisture Biomass (Ref. No: RES 221-21)

  • Application Deadline
    05 December 2021
    (application date has expired)
  • Contact Name
    Dr Rory Monaghan

Applications are invited from suitably qualified candidates for a full-time fixed term position as a Postdoctoral Researcher to be based in Mechanical Engineering at the National University of Ireland, Galway. This position is funded by F-CUBED (Future Feedstock Flexible Carbon Upgrading to Bio Energy Dispatch able carriers), an international collaborative project under the European Union (EU) Horizon 2020 programme (call H2020-LC-SC3-2018-2019-2020) and is available from February 1st, 2022 to contract end date of January 31st, 2023. F-CUBED has a budget of €4 million and comprises 14 partners across 6 countries (https://www.f-cubed.eu/). The project aims to develop an advanced process concept for the hydrothermal conversion of a broad range of biogenic residues to intermediate bioenergy carriers (IEC) with fuel characteristics suitable for balancing the power grid. NUI Galway has two aims in F-CUBED: (1) to develop reduced-order chemical kinetics and a reactor network model for hydrothermal conversion, and (2) to model optimised regional supply chains for the entire bio-waste-to-energy process proposed in F-CUBED.

Job Description:
The successful candidate will work to achieve aim (1) to develop reduced-order chemical kinetics and a reactor network model for hydrothermal conversion.

The successful candidate will conduct the following activities:
• Project management of NUI Galway’s participation in F-CUBED, including technical and financial reporting.
• Management of exchange of all information and data between NUI Galway and relevant partners for reactor network modelling.
• Experiments on F-CUBED partner laboratory apparatus, including TGA and DSC, to determine parameters for reduced-order kinetic models, similar in concept to, for example: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1385894717312366.
• Construction of a reactor model for the TORWASH hydrothermal conversion process that includes reduced-order chemical kinetics and heat transfer, similar in concept to, for example: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0016236111004121.
• Integration of the reactor model into an overall process model under development by F-CUBED partners.
• Use of the reactor model to explore system sensitivities and uncertainties

Additional Duties:
In addition to the tasks listed above, the successful candidate will:
• Prepare abstracts, manuscripts, and presentations for dissemination of the work in high-impact, peer-reviewed journals, and international conferences.
• Assist in the operation of Dr Monaghan’s research team by assisting in tasks that include the following: (i) PhD student supervision, (ii) day-to-day research team management and administration, and (iii) writing research funding applications.
• Develop their teaching skills by contributing to lectures and undergraduate project supervision.
• Work with very high degrees of independence and dedication to ensure the successful completion of the work and their development as an independent researcher.

Qualifications/Skills required:

Essential Requirements: the successful candidate should:
• Hold a PhD degree in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering or another relevant branch of engineering.
• Have a strong publication record as a first author in peer-reviewed journal papers relevant to the topic.
• Have demonstrable experience with relevant laboratory methods and apparatus, including TGA and DSC.
• Have demonstrable experience with relevant kinetic modelling methods and software, such as Cantera, Chemkin, DARS, and Aspen.
• Have demonstrable experience with general modelling software, such as Python, Matlab, and/or others.
• Have demonstrable experience with numerical approaches to model reduction, sensitivity analysis, uncertainty quantification.
• Have excellent written and spoken English communication skills.

Desirable Requirements: the successful candidate should:
• Have experience of teaching/lecturing and/or supervising undergraduate/postgraduate projects.
• Have experience of working with autonomy in research consortia with academic and industry partners.
• Have experience in technical and financial reporting duties for research projects.
• Have experience of writing successful research funding applications.

Salary: €38,632 per annum (public sector pay policy rules pertaining to new entrants will apply).

Start date: Position is available from February 1st, 2022.

Continuing Professional Development/Training
Researchers at NUI Galway are encouraged to avail of a range of training and development opportunities designed to support their personal career development plans.

Further Information
Further information on research and working at NUI Galway is available on Research at NUI Galway. For information on moving to Ireland please see www.euraxess.ie. Further information about the research partners is available at the links given above. Informal enquiries concerning the post may be made to Dr Rory Monaghan at NUI Galway ([email protected]).

To Apply:
Applications to include a covering letter, CV, and the contact details of three referees should be sent, via e-mail (in word or PDF only) to Dr Rory Monaghan ([email protected]).
Please put reference number RES 221-21 in subject line of e-mail application.

Closing date for receipt of applications is 5.00 pm Sunday 5th December 2021

NUI Galway reserve the right to re advertise or extend the closing date for this post.

National University of Ireland, Galway is an equal opportunities employer.

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