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Postdoc in microplastics in urban waters, Aalborg University, Denmark

Postdoc in microplastics in urban waters
At the Faculty of Engineering and Science, a postdoc position in microplastics in urban waters is available at the Section of Water and Environment, Institute of Civil Engineering, Aalborg University for a period of 3 years. The position is open for appointment from 1st October 2016 or soon hereafter. The Section of Water and Environment conducts research and teaching in environmental engineering, polluted waters, hydrology and physical geography. The position is opened in the research group of Urban Waters, a group that today consists of 3 tenure staff, 1 postdoc, 5 PhD students, 1 technician and a handful of master students. Of these, 3 PhD students and 1 master student work on microplastic in wastewaters, stormwaters and soils.

Job description
The bulk of the research is on paint particles in the environment, for example in relation to shipyards where painted hulls are sandblasted or pressure washed. This work relates to a 3-year project called particle-borne biocides (because paints hold 0.1-0.5% of biocides). The first work package is on method development, here amongst the generation of reference particles, creation of IR-spectral libraries, sample preparation, and how the sample preparation affects the recovery of reference particles. The second work package is on generation of paint particles under controlled conditions, for example lab studies with sand blasting and pressure washing as well as pilot studies on outdoor test facades. Also the distribution and homogeneity of paints with relation to its different constituents is addressed in this work package. The third work packages addresses paint particles as vector for biocide dispersion and the last work package screens sites for paint particles at urban terrestrial and aquatic sites.

The project, particle-borne biocides, is designed to take up 2/3 of the postdoc’s time. The last third will be on various more traditional microplastic projects, most likely related to wastewaters, stormwaters and soils.

We have a modern and well-equipped chemical lab for various environmental studies. The equipment we use for microplastic analysis is Agilent’s flagship for microİ\FTIR imaging, a newly acquired 620 FTIR microscope combined with a Cary 670 FTIR spectrometer, equipped with a 128×128 pixel FPA and 4x, 15x, and 25x objectives. With this equipment, we get a pixel resolution on the FPA as low as 0.8 um in transmission mode and 0.7 um using the slide-inATR.

Qualification requirements:
The candidate must hold a relevant PhD-degree in Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science, Environmental Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related fields. The candidate should document knowledge on polymer chemistry and identification of materials using Infrared or Raman technologies. Previous experience with microplastic identification would be beneficial. The candidate is expected to have excellent analytical and technical skills.

The applicant must have good interpersonal and communication skills, as the project is carried out in a well-balanced work environment and in close collaboration with many different stakeholders.

For further information about the position please contact Professor Jes Vollertsen jv@civil.aau.dk.

Appointment as postdoc presupposes scientific qualifications at PhD–level or similar scientific qualifications. The research potential of each applicant will be emphasized in the overall assessment. Appointment as a Postdoc cannot exceed a period of four years in total at Aalborg University.

The application must contain the following: 
- A motivated text wherein the reasons for applying, qualifications in relation to the position, and intentions and visions for the position are stated.
- A current curriculum vitae. 
- Copies of relevant diplomas (Master of Science and PhD). On request you could be asked for an official English translation.
- Scientific qualifications. A complete list of publications must be attached with an indication of the works the applicant wishes to be considered. You may attach up to 5 publications.
- Dissemination qualifications, including participation on committees or boards, participation in organizations and the like. 
- Additional qualifications in relation to the position. 
- References/recommendations. 
- Personal data.
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