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Research Associate (Postdoctoral researcher) - Reaction Engineering for Biomass Valorisation 100 %

Join our team that researches the sustainable production of high-added value chemicals from next-generation biomass resources, in a versatile role at the interface of academia and industry.

School: Life Sciences und Facility Management
Starting date: August 2022 or upon agreement

Your role

  • Research innovative thermochemical pretreatment methods for lignocellulosic biomass conversion to biochemicals and -materials, with a special emphasis on the valorisation of lignin

  • Lignin use in polymer applications for novel biobased materials; Lignin depolymerisation

  • Enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis, potentially including the fermentation to green platform and fine chemicals

  • Contribute to implementing the developed processes (e.g. transfer to pilot plant, industry collaborations)

  • Presentation of research findings in peer-reviewed journals, patents and conferences

  • Participate in proposal development and in networking with institutes and industrial partners

  • Supervision of students on BA, MA and potentially PhD level; supervision of practical laboratory courses

  • Setup of new instrumentation and maintenance of laboratory infrastructure (e.g. autoclave reactors, incubators, bioreactors); procurement of consumables and chemicals

  • Contribute to building-up the new Group for Biobased Resources in a growing, young and dynamic team

Your profile

  • PhD in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Material Sciences, Bioprocess Engineering or related fields

  • In-depth experience with lignin chemistry, lignin processing (chemical, thermal or enzymatic) and lignin analytical measurement techniques

  • Familiarity with lignocellulosic biomass pretreatment, enzymatic cellulose conversion and state-of-the-art methods for biomass and biopolymer analytics

  • Experience with reaction engineering, benchtop reactors or process design is a plus

  • Competence in experimental design and analytical method development (e.g. HPLC, GC-MS, SEC)

  • Demonstrated ability to disseminate research findings through quality peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations

  • Prior mentorship of junior researchers and/or industrial experience is a plus

  • Curiosity and passion for research, self-motivated and autonomous, communicative and team player

  • Fluent in English, knowledge of German is an asset

This is what we stand for

The Zurich University of Applied Sciehttps://www.zhaw.ch/en/hochschule/nces ZHAW is one of Switzerland's main multidisciplinary universities of applied sciences with over 14.000 students and 3.400 faculty and staff.

Life Sciences and Facility Management: Study and research in Wädenswil: practical, creative, passionate and reflective. Our expertise in life sciences and facility management in the areas of the environment, food and health enables us to make a vital contribution to solving social challenges and improving quality of life.

The Institute for Chemistry and Biotechnology (ICBT) is one of the scientific institutes at the ZHAW. It conducts applied research on cutting-edge topics relating to health, chemistry, biotechnology, and the environment - from antibiotic resistance and antiviral agents to microplastics and more sustainable chemical processes. The institute trains young people for the growing life sciences market in three bachelor's programmes and two master's courses.

We offer you a challenging task in an inspiring working environment with a motivated, multi-disciplinary teamconsisting of colleagues from Chemistry, Biology, Computation Life Sciences and others.

Please note that only applications via the online platform are considered.

Das dürfen Sie erwarten

Wir bieten hochschulgerechte Arbeits- und Anstellungsbedingungen und fördern aktiv die Personalentwicklung unserer Mitarbeitenden und Führungspersonen. Eine detaillierte Beschreibung der Vorteile finden Sie auf der Seite «Arbeiten an der ZHAW». Hier die wichtigsten Eckpunkte:


Dr. Thomas Pielhop
Head of Research Group for Biobased Resources

+41 (0) 58 934 51 75

Laura Hornung
Recruiting Manager


ZHAW Zürcher Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften
Wädenswil Region of Zurich 8820