Research Associate in Environmental Engineering

Imperial College London

United Kingdom

Job summary

We are seeking a Research Associate to join the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as part of a five-year research project that strives to develop and optimise low carbon concretes produced through CO2 mineralisation. This project was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and is titled “Decarbonising cementitious materials through carbon capture and utilisation (CO24Cem)”. In the future, concrete will have a zero or negative CO2...

Job listing information

  • Reference ENG02717
  • Date posted 14 August 2023
  • Closing date 1 October 2023

Key information about the role

  • Location South Kensington Campus - On site only
  • Position type Full time, fixed term
  • Salary £45,593 – £53,630 plus benefits
  • Department Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Category Researcher / Non Clinical Researcher

Job description

Job summary

We are seeking a Research Associate to join the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as part of a five-year research project that strives to develop and optimise low carbon concretes produced through CO2 mineralisation. This project was awarded an ERC Starting Grant and is titled “Decarbonising cementitious materials through carbon capture and utilisation (CO24Cem)”.

In the future, concrete will have a zero or negative CO2 emissions footprint. It will be produced by mixing a novel cement made from future electric arc furnace slag (co-product of future low carbon steel production) and carbonated end-of-life cement paste (produced by carbonating end-of-life concrete using waste CO2), with water, sand, gravel, and waste CO2 in manufacturing facilities (precast slabs, blocks) and/or in concrete trucks (ready-mix). The chemistry of this future concrete will be significantly different to the chemistry of the concrete that we use today.

This role will collaborate with two PhD students working on complimentary topics in the CO24Cem project. You will have access to the suite of methods that are available in the Advanced Infrastructure Materials, Structures, and Environmental Laboratories at Imperial College London, which is a world-class facility for experimental concrete materials research. You will also have access to thermodynamic modelling, process modelling, and life cycle assessment software, databases, and expertise.

Duties and responsibilities

You will be responsible for optimising the production process conditions and mix designs of this future low carbon concrete. Example experimental tasks include (i) tuning carbonation reactor conditions to promote alternate calcium carbonate polymorph formation in carbonated end-of-life concrete, (ii) modifying the novel cement composition to optimise material property development, and (iii) enhancing batching (concrete/mortar mix designs, CO2 injection) to further increase CO2 uptake and improve material property development. This experimental work will be complemented by thermodynamic modelling. You may also perform process modelling and life cycle assessment to show the techno-economic-environmental performance of the technology at commercial scale. This role will involve both modelling and experimental materials characterisation.

This role will be an excellent opportunity for you as a high reaching and dedicated researcher with a background and/or interests in chemical engineering, material chemistry, and sustainability. It will require regular contributions to a variety of normal academic tasks, including positively interacting and communicating with internal and external collaborators, and demonstrating research excellence and leadership to more junior members of the Research Group. You will receive strong mentoring in a highly stimulating academic research environment, with access to internationally leading academics, industrial partners, research facilities, and networks.

Essential requirements

 


    • Hold a PhD in engineering (chemical, materials, etc.), science (chemistry, materials, physics, etc.), or equivalent experience,

    • Experimental experience in a research laboratory,

    • Experienced in typical experimental methods for materials characterisation,

    • Expert understanding of material properties,

    • Productive track record of publishing high-quality papers in peer-reviewed journals,

    • Willingness to work as part of a team and to be open-minded and cooperative.

Further information

As Imperial College staff, in addition to a competitive salary and package of attractive terms and conditions of service, we offer many more benefits to enjoy. This includes career development tailored to your ambitions, an attractive pension scheme, and generous family leave packages. We have a flexible, supportive work environment and encourage you to achieve and maintain a healthy work-life balance!

This vacancy has an anticipated start date from 1 February 2024, up to 1 April 2024. Different start dates in 2024 may be possible, depending on the circumstances of the candidate. This is a fixed term post for 24 months.

For informal enquiries about the post please contact Dr Rupert Myers at r.myers@imperial.ac.uk

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Briony Webb at b.webb@imperial.ac.uk.

Candidates who have not yet been officially awarded their PhD will be appointed as Research Assistant.

Further information is available within the job description.

We are an equal opportunity employer and welcome applications from all backgrounds and disabilities. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable adjustments to participate in the interview process and to perform crucial job functions, as well as other support including staff networks. Please contact us to request accommodation.

The College is a proud signatory to the San-Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment (DORA), which means that in hiring and promotion decisions, we evaluate applicants on the quality of their work, not the journal impact factor where it is published. For more information, see https://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-evaluation/

The College believes that the use of animals in research is vital to improve human and animal health and welfare. Animals may only be used in research programmes where their use is shown to be necessary for developing new treatments and making medical advances. Imperial is committed to ensuring that, in cases where this research is deemed essential, all animals in the College’s care are treated with full respect, and that all staff involved with this work show due consideration at every level.

http://www.imperial.ac.uk/research-and-innovation/about-imperial-research/research-integrity/animal-research

We are committed to equality of opportunity, to eliminating discrimination and to creating an inclusive working environment for all. We therefore encourage candidates to apply irrespective of age, disability, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy or maternity, race, religion and belief, gender identity, sex, or sexual orientation. We are an Athena SWAN Silver Award winner, a Disability Confident Leader and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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