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PhD candidate: "Bio-based polyamides and polyamines by living anionic polymerization of enantiomerically

Job description

A PhD position is available at the University of Twente (the Netherlands) within the MESA+ institute for nanotechnology, and it aims at synthesizing novel bio-based polyamides and polyamines by precise polymerization techniques for chelating agents, gene transfection or self-assembly.

The research goal of the Sustainable Polymer Chemistry (SPC) group is to prepare polymeric materials, additives, and nanocarriers based on renewable resources or with defined end-of-life options (e.g. biodegradation). Our research relies on the designed synthesis of novel monomer and polymer building blocks or utilizes chemically-modified biopolymers. To address the scientific questions we use a combination of experimental techniques including organic synthesis, living polymerization techniques or emulsion formulations. We also use state-of-the-art characterization techniques for polymers and study their polymerization kinetics in detail to control macromolecular function and assembly. Biodegradation or interaction with biological media is also studied for selected materials.

The SPC group is part of the MESA+ Institute for Nanotechnology, which offers advanced characterization and fabrication tools on the nanoscale, as well as a stimulating environment with more than 250 PhD students working on various aspects of nanoscience and technology.

Currently, we are looking for a PhD candidate:

"Bio-based polyamides and polyamines by living anionic polymerization of enantiomerically pure activated aziridines"

Tacticity is one of the most important features of synthetic polymers. The properties of polypropylene, today’s second most-produced polymer, rely on the chirality in the monomer sequence and made it to a commodity. However, it is mainly used as a commodity and not for advanced applications due to several limitations: it carries no additional functional groups, which would control hierarchical self-assembly in solution or be suitable to catalyze organic reactions.

This project will develop a new synthetic platform towards enantiopure polysulfonamides and polyamines, which could not be synthesized before.

i)          The living polymerization of activated aziridines leads to well-defined polymers with a variety of functional groups, solubility, and allows combination with other commodity building blocks to prepare complex macromolecular architectures

ii)         the starting materials are bio-based amino acids

iv)        no limit to certain applications: in the course of this project, several key topics will be studied: self-assembly, asymmetric catalysis, and gene transfection.

Your profile

For this position we are searching for an ambitious candidate with a Master’s Degree in Chemistry or Materials Science. A solid background in Polymer Chemistry and previous experience in organic synthesis and polymerization are essential. Considering the strongly collaborative nature of the project within the program, we are looking for a team player with good communication skills. Further information can be found on our website: www.utwente.nl/tnw/spc  

Our offer

We offer a very challenging fulltime position in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

·       The gross monthly salary starts with € 2395,- in the first year and increases to € 3061,- in the fourth year of your employment;

·       A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;

·       A solid pension scheme;

·       Minimum of 29 holidays in case of full-time employment;

·       Professional and personal development programs;

Information and application

Applications are welcome before October 31, 2020 and should include a specific motivation letter reflecting on the goal and challenges of the advertised project in relation to the interests and skills of the candidate as well as a detailed CV (CV, copies of Master and Bachelor degree certificates including supplements as well as copies of other relevant documents (e.g. publications).).

About the department

About the organization

TNW Faculty (Faculty of Science & Technology)

The Faculty of Science & Technology (Technische Natuurwetenschappen, TNW) engages some 700 staff members and 2000 students in education and research on the cutting edge of chemical technology, applied physics and biomedical technology. Our fields of application include sustainable energy, process technology and materials science, nanotechnology and technical medicine. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally and is strengthened by the many young researchers working on innovative projects with as doctoral candidates and post-docs. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the TNW Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD candidate: "Bio-based polyamides and polyamines by living anionic polymerization of enantiomerically
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