Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased copolymers for gas separation membranes

Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased copolymers for gas separation membranes

Published Deadline Location
4 Oct 29 Nov Geleen

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You are a highly motivated researcher with a PhD degree in chemistry, holding skills in polymer synthesis. You are willing to collaborate closely with both public and private partners on the development of biobased copolymers for membranes for gas separations.

Job description

This project is part of a European BBI (Bio-based industries) consortium with 8 partners from both the public and the private sector. The project team works on “Bio-based copolymers for membrane end products for gas separations (BIOCOMEM)”.

Currently, chemical separations play a major part in energy use in process industry. The processes involved, such as distillation, account for 10–15% of the world's energy consumption. Membrane based separations can be one order of magnitude more energy efficient than heat-driven separations that use distillation but their wider implementation demands materials that have specific functional qualities (permeance and selectivity) for given application. Also, membrane materials are required to have high resistance to contaminants (CO2, H2S, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), O2, NH4, and alkanes) and to process conditions (high pressure 10-80 bar, temperature variations) and to be able to operate for long term (>10 years) with stable performance. In the BIOCOMEM project we will develop biobased gas separation membranes using polyether-block-amide copolymer type chemistry.

The role of the post-doc will be the synthesis and design of biobased copolymer precursors that can be processed into membranes with improved mechanical, thermal and permeation properties. Recycling of the membrane polymers via chemical and enzymatic ways will also be studied.

The candidate will collaborate with researchers at both public and private partners, and based on their feedback, the synthesis work will be tuned. The candidate will also transfer its knowledge to partners responsible for upscaling of the polymers.

The post-doc will be appointed at the Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials of Maastricht University, which is part of the Faculty of Science and Engineering. You will work in the group of Associate Professor Katrien Bernaerts, which focusses on the synthesis and design of polymer materials with tunable properties and recyclability exploiting the functionality of biobased building blocks. You will operate from the Brightlands-Chemelot Campus in Geleen (Nl), where the labs are located.


Maastricht University (UM)


The post-doc

  • holds a PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related fields;
  • has skills in polymer synthesis and characterization. Experience with polycondensation is a pro;
  • has a strong interest to investigate structure-property relationships of the synthesized copolymers in membrane applications;
  • is open to scale up polymers for membrane processing and application tests by project partners;
  • aims at helping to create ready-to-market products from the insights gained during the post-doc study – in balance with profound scientific publishing in peer review journals;
  • likes to interact with academic and industrial partners;
  • is result driven, inventive, creative, counts with potential impact, works ‘accountable’ and works with ownership; 
  • masters scientific English for speaking, reading, and writing. Knowledge of Dutch is not required.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: one year fixed-term employment contract.

The full-time position is offered for one year. The salary will be set in post-doc salary scale of the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (between €3.807,00 and €5.211,00 gross per month depending on the level of experience). On top of this, there is an 8% holiday and an 8.3% year-end allowance. The terms of employment of Maastricht University are set out in the Collective Labor Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO), supplemented with local UM provisions. For more information look at the website > Support > UM employees.


Maastricht University

Maastricht University is renowned for its unique, innovative, problem-based learning system, which is characterized by a small-scale and student-oriented approach. Research at UM is characterized by a multidisciplinary and thematic approach, and is concentrated in research institutes and schools. Maastricht University has around 20,000 students and 4,700 employees. Reflecting the university's strong international profile, a fair amount of both students and staff are from abroad. The university hosts 6 faculties: Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Faculty of Law, School of Business and Economics, Faculty of Science and Engineering, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, Faculty of Psychology and Neuroscience. For more information, visit

Faculty of Science and Engineering

The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is home to several outstanding departments and institutions covering education and research in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as well as the liberal arts and sciences.



The Aachen-Maastricht Institute for Biobased Materials (AMIBM) is a department of the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) at Maastricht University, located on the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen. AMIBM is a European cross-border research institute established by Maastricht University and RWTH Aachen University (Germany) focusing on the development of advanced biobased materials. The mission of AMIBM is “ground-breaking conversion of biomass to biobased materials and into product applications”. AMIBM promotes excellent multidisciplinary research in the field of biobased materials, by training PhD students with the multiple skills needed to be future leaders in the field, and creating the research breakthroughs that will enable the utilization of sustainable and renewable materials for advanced materials applications. The multidisciplinary team draws together scientists with expertise in molecular and applied biotechnology, organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, polymer physics, polymer engineering, biomedical materials, and sustainability assessment. You can find more information via


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €3807—€5211 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT2021.390


Maastricht University (UM)

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Urmonderbaan 22, 6167 RD, Geleen

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