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Postdoctoral Researcher – Process modeling and sustainability analysis for plastics upcycling

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, is the nation's primary laboratory for research, development, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies. The NREL mission is to develop renewable energy and energy efficient technologies and practices, advance related science and engineering, and transfer knowledge and innovation to address the nation’s energy and environmental goals. The National Bioenergy Center at NREL has an opening for a full time Postdoctoral Researcher within the Chemical and Material Process Development group. The initial appointment is for one year, with possible renewal up to three years.
The National Bioenergy Center is conducting research aimed at upcycling today’s plastics using chemical and biological catalysis and designing tomorrow’s plastics to be recyclable-by-design. This position will focus on rigorous techno-economic analysis and process modeling, life-cycle assessment, and use of the Material Flows through Industry Supply Chain modeling tool to baseline today’s manufacturing processes for plastics and to compare those to new chemical and biological recycling approaches. This position will specifically focus on the development of detailed process models to baseline the business-as-usual cases for commodity plastics manufacturing, and also to write high-impact publications for the chemistry and engineering communities against which to compare innovative concepts in plastics upcycling. Work with a dynamic, multi-disciplinary experimental and modeling team will be a critical component of this position, and analysis will be expected to guide experimental research efforts.

The successful candidate will be able to:
  • assimilate a wide variety of information into assessments
  • contribute to the planning and execution of research and experimental work
  • communicate scientific results effectively, both written and oral
  • author peer-reviewed publications, and
  • work effectively in a large, multidisciplinary team of engineers, chemists, and biologists.