Job description

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Post-doctoral research associate (5702)

Undertake cutting edge research to reduce the cost of green hydrogen

Clean and sustainable hydrogen will have a major impact in the future of several sectors of our economy – from industrial processes, domestic and industrial heating, to the transportation sector. However, to enable hydrogen to fulfil its potential, it must be produced by renewable power, without carbon-emissions. Indeed, today hydrogen production is responsible for more than 900 Mt of CO2 emissions.  As an alternative, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with electricity (electrolysis) is one of the most promising technologies to meet this challenge. In particular, low-temperature proton exchange membrane electrolysers (PEM-Els) are widely anticipated to provide the base capacity in the short and medium term.

Ambitious and talented individuals with a background in electrochemistry or materials chemistry are invited to apply to join our multidisciplinary research team.  Through an EPSRC funded award, we will develop synthetic methods and utilise advanced materials characterisations to design reduced iridium-content catalysts for the oxygen evolution reaction (OER).  Our synthetic methods will be diverse in approach utilising magnetron sputtering as well as wet chemical methods with the goal of preparing “model system” thin films as well as nanostructured catalysts.  Throughout the project, we will leverage an array of advanced materials characterisation techniques to correlate structural and chemical properties to the catalyst performance, mimicking the operating conditions within a working electrolyser. 

You will collaborate with our industrial partner, Johnson Matthey.  This is an excellent opportunity to accelerate the development of cost-effect catalysts for sustainable hydrogen production and a Net Zero future. 

The Role:

You will work alongside a PhD student within our research group to develop electrocatalysts with reduced precious metal content for water electrolysis.  Research activities will include the synthesis of catalysts, materials characterisations and electrochemical testing (half-cell as well as membrane electrolyte assembly).  Communicating research findings through group meetings, project meetings with collaborators and industrial partners, scientific publications and conferences will also be critical.  We encourage applications from those who have a relevant background and a strong motivation to apply their knowhow to this research topic. 

The position is available from 1st April 2023 for 30 months duration.  The successful candidate will work within the Manchester Fuel Cell Innovation Centre (MFCIC) at MMU and the research will be undertaken under the guidance of Dr Laurie King. At the recent REF2021 exercise over 85% of our research outputs and 100% of our impact was rated as internationally leading or internationally excellent. As an institute, Manchester Met is now the highest ranked ‘new' university in terms of research quality.

Ideal Candidate skills and attributes:

  • A recent PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or related discipline.
  • Relevant research experience (e.g. expertise in electrochemistry, materials synthesis, materials characterisation)
  • The ability to plan and prioritise research, identify research objectives, work collaboratively.
  • Be willing to mentor research students (PhD/MSc) working in our research group.
  • Highly motivated and excited by materials science and electrochemical technology development.
  • Be available by 1st April 2023.

To Apply:

To apply, please upload a CV and cover letter.  Use your cover letter to describe why you are motivated to applying to this position and how you think your research experiences could contribute to the project.  Your cover letter should also include a supporting statement explaining how you meet the “skills and attributes” listed above. 


 
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Location
Manchester All Saints Campus
Oxford Road, Manchester, UK, M15 6BH
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  • Location:
    Manchester All Saints Campus
  • Faculty / Function:
    Science and Engineering
  • Salary:
    Grade 7 (£32,348 to £36,386) until 31/07/23 an additional 2% will be paid (£32,995 to £37,114)
  • Closing Date:
    3 January 2023
  • Contract Type:
    fixed term
  • Contracted Hours per week:
    35
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