Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased dynamic networks (project TotallyNuts)

Post-doc candidate: synthesis and evaluation of biobased dynamic networks (project TotallyNuts)

Published Deadline Location
15 May 2 Jul 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 recyclable thermosets for coatings, adhesives/sealants and composites.

Job description

This project is part of the project Totally Nuts with 8 partners from both the public and the private sector.

Totally Nuts focuses on a number of specific parts, but ultimately covers the entire production chain that can be made from the cashew nut shell residue. Thus, the pyrolysis process will be optimized for the effective production of cashew nut shell liquid. The cardanol in the CNSL is then purified and modified to make the recyclable biobased thermosets.

Finally, the biocomposite of the biobased thermoset with the added biocarbon will be extensively tested. A technical-economic and sustainability analysis is made of this entire process, which provides insight into how to further optimize the process in the future.

The task of Maastricht University is to make cardanol based, recyclable thermosets (e.g. epoxy) for coatings, adhesives/sealants and composites. The role of the post-doc will be the synthesis and design of resins, as well as the chemical and physical polymer characterization. Recyclability of the thermosets will be obtained by the introduction of dynamic bonds and their dynamic behavior will be studied. The post-doc will work closely together with academic and industrial project partners in the consortium. Samples will be upscaled for the testing by the industrial partners. Based on their feedback, the synthesis work will be tuned.

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 Sustainable Polymer Synthesis 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)


  • holds a PhD degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related fields;
  • has skills in polymer synthesis and characterization. Experience with dynamic networks is a pro;
  • has a strong interest to investigate structure-property relationships of the synthesized thermosets for coating, adhesive/sealant and composite applications;
  • is open to scale up polymers for application tests by industrial project partners;
  • the candidate is expected to stay abreast of the recent literature (publications and patents) in the field of recyclable thermosets, develop research ideas and valorized the research in the form of patents and research papers;
  • 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

  • The full-time position is offered for 2 years.
  • The start of the post-doc is foreseen for September 1, 2023.
  • The salary will be set in post-doc salary scale 11 of the Collective Labour Agreement of the Dutch Universities (between €3,974 and €5,439 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 Labour Agreement of Dutch Universities (CAO). Furthermore, local UM provisions also apply. For more information look at the website > About UM > Working at UM.


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 22,000 students and about 5,000 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 developing 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 Ph.D. 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.
AMIBM is embedded in a lively, entrepreneurial, and creative working environment at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Geleen (the Netherlands), one of the largest chemical and materials communities in Europe.

More information:

Research group Sustainability of Chemicals and Materials.
The mission of the research team is to provide suitable instruments and sustainability impact assessments to guide the transition from a fossil-based and linear economy to a biobased and circular economy.

We are a young and growing international team of sustainability experts focusing on environmental impact assessment in connection with economic and social impacts.


  • Postdoc
  • Natural sciences
  • 30.4—38 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • AT2023.226


Maastricht University (UM)

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Urmonderbaan 22, 6167 RD, Geleen

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