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Research Assistant in The Synthesis and Mechanics of Liquid Crystal Elastomers and Glasses

Applications are invited for a postdoctoral associate position in organic chemistry to join University of Cambridge. This fellowship is last for 36 months and posible to extend. Applications are welcome before July 17, 2019.

A position exists, for a Research Assistant/Associate in the Department of Engineering, to work on the synthesis and mechanics of liquid crystal elastomers and glasses.

Dr John Biggins is establishing a new experimental and theoretical research activity in the area of liquid crystalline elastomers and glasses (LCE/Gs). These remarkable soft-solids can undergo large reversible and programmed shape changes upon heating or illumination, and the group will target novel mechanics and “artificial-muscle” applications in shape-changing devices. This research assistant/associate will be the group’s founding experimentalist with responsibility for establishing fabrication/synthesis.

The key responsibilities and duties are to establish and sustain fabrication of patterned LCE/Gs (similar to https://science.sciencemag.org/content/347/6225/982) including photo-active systems and layer-substrate systems. Fabrication requires organic chemistry, and will initially be based in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, supported by Prof Oren Scherman. However, the post holder will ultimately establish fabrication within the Engineering Department, and also engage in mechanical testing, shape-change quantification and incorporation of LCEs/LCGs into devices. The post holder will also engage effectively and productively with a growing mechano-centric research team, acting as a bridge between the complexities of LCE/G polymer chemistry and the mechanical requirements of soft devices.

The skills, qualifications and experience required to perform the role will include a good working knowledge of organic chemistry, including experience with polymers/gels/liquid-crystals/LCEs/click-chemistry and/or photo-initiation. Applicants must also have an interest in mechanics and have (or be close to obtaining) a PhD in Science or Engineering.

Appointment at Research Associate level is dependent on having a PhD. Those who have submitted but not yet received their PhD will be appointed at Research Assistant level, which will be amended to Research Associate once the PhD has been awarded.

The post holder will be located in Central Cambridge Cambridgeshire, UK.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 36 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

Click the ‘Apply’ button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online.

Please ensure that you upload your Curriculum Vitae (CV), a covering letter, and a list of publications in the Upload section of the online application. If you upload any additional documents which have not been requested, we will not be able to consider these as part of your application. Please submit your application by midnight on the closing date.

If you have any questions about this vacancy or the application process, please contact: Ms Hilde Hambro email hh463@eng.cam.ac.uk (Tel +44 01223 748243).

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.


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