Research Assistant / Associate in Anion Exchange Membrane Development for Electrolysers

Requisition ID:  26658
Location: 

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  12 Feb 2024

 

Salary:

Research Assistant: £31,396 to £32,982 per annum

Research Associate: £33,966 to £44,263 per annum

 

Newcastle University is a great place to work, with excellent benefits. We have a generous holiday package; plus the opportunity to buy more, great pension schemes and a number of health and wellbeing initiatives to support you.

 

Closing Date: 25 March 2024

 

 

The Role

 

We are seeking to appoint a talented and enthusiastic individual with experience in ion exchange or solvating membrane development and characterisation to join our group in developing membranes for water electrolysers. The project will focus on identifying next generation anion-exchange membranes (AEM) with improved chemical and mechanical stability to use in water electrolysers for hydrogen production.

 
Your responsibilities will centre around designing and synthesising potential membranes, fabricating membranes, reinforcing them, and conducting tests in devices. You will collaborate closely with academic and industry partners within the consortium, specifically those involved in other components such as electrocatalysts, flow fields, and stacks. The goal is to contribute to the development of cost-effective and efficient electrolyser technology.


Newcastle University is a world class research-intensive university. We play a leading role in economic, social, and cultural development of the Northeast of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.
The project provides a close collaboration between the School of Engineering and the School of Natural and Environmental Science at Newcastle University. The Electrochemical Engineering group at the School of Engineering is recognised as world leading with expertise focusing on electrochemical energy conversion and storage. Prof. Mohamed Mamlouk has long track record and international standing in hydrogen research. Dr Simon Doherty is a Senior Lecturer in Organometallic Chemistry and Catalysis with strong experience in polymer synthesis and functionalisation.


You will join a dynamic, multinational team spanning the USA, Australia, Canada, and the UK as we collectively tackle the exciting challenges of hydrogen production. Your journey will involve immersive research visits and stays at partner institutes, providing you with unparalleled access to cutting-edge facilities. You will be working with a team of researchers at Newcastle University on other AEM electrolysis projects.

 
Flexibility in local and international travel is essential. We are in search of a candidate capable of effectively representing and promoting our research group while disseminating our findings. Strong interpersonal skills are a must, coupled with the ability to design and deliver research findings to audiences at various levels.


This position is available on a fixed-term contract basis for a duration of 36 months from the commencement date. We are committed to building and maintaining a fair and inclusive working environment and we would be happy to discuss arrangements for flexible and/or blended working.


To apply, please complete an online application and upload a CV and a cover letter. Your cover letter is a supporting statement, and you should outline how you meet the essential criteria of the role and evidence this with examples.

 
Informal enquiries and requests for more detailed project information should be directed to Prof. M Mamlouk via email: mohamed.mamlouk@newcastle.ac.uk.

 

Hypt Hydrogen Hub: 

Home - Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre (asu.edu)
Net Zero hydrogen production - Press Office - Newcastle University (ncl.ac.uk)

Global Hydrogen Production Technologies (HyPT) Centre (cranfield.ac.uk)


For more information on Prof Mohamed Mamlouk and his research, please click here.

For more information on Dr Simon Doherty and his research, please click here.

 

Key Accountabilities

  • Synthesis, fabrication, characterisation and testing of anion exchange and ion solvating membranes for water electrolyser. This includes the design and synthesis of monomers, polymers and functional groups physical-chemical characterisation to confirm chemical structure, chemical stability, ion conductivity and mechanical stability and the use of computational studies to support the results of stability tests
  • Assemble electrolyser to validate and test the developed membranes and ionomer
  • Work closely and collaborate with other researchers on the project within the group and in the international consortium e.g. with electrode and catalyst development, carry out joint tests, share information and data to obtain, tune, optimise and validate the parameters of the produced membranes and ionomers for improved electrolyser performance and stability
  • Contribute to grant applications submitted by others and in time develop own research objectives and proposals for funding
  • Support PhD and Master students during their research projects. Supervise and provide advice to junior staff and researchers on laboratory practice and safety
  • Manage the local laboratory environment, monitor and enforce laboratory safety procedure and regulations
  • Produce regular reports and presentations on progress to the research project academic supervisors
  • Interact efficiently with technical staff in workshops and laboratories. Liaise with technical staff in on-campus and off-campus analytical facilities
  • Interacting with academic members and industrial members of the project partners, providing suitable paper, electronic and oral reporting

 

The Person

 

Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience in synthesis including monomers, methods of polymerisation and functionalisation
  • Experience in synthesis, fabrication and chemical-physical characterisation of ion exchange or ion solvating membranes and study of their degradation
  • knowledge of electrochemical analysis techniques to test performance and stability of ion exchange membranes in electrolysers and how they impact cell performance and stability
  • High level of analytical and problem solving capacity
  • Ability to communicate complex information (verbally and written) with clarity and to encourage the commitment of others
  • Ability to design and prepare professional reports and manuscripts and present findings to industrial and academic project partners at conferences and project meetings and write high quality scientific publications
  • Ability and experience of supervision of junior staff, postgraduate and undergraduate research projects
  • Willingness to travel abroad for short research visits at international project partners

Desirable

  • Experience with anion exchange membranes
  • Experience in anion exchange water electrolysers
  • Experience in electrochemical devices fabrication and testing

 

Attributes and Behaviours

  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Professional approach with a demonstrable commitment to dignity and respect in the workplace
  • Demonstrated interpersonal skills with the general public and external stakeholders and the ability to interact with people from different disciplines
  • Good project organizational skills and the ability to work to strict deadlines
  • Monitor and, where appropriate, manage research resources (e.g. time, materials, finance, laboratory space, equipment) effectively
  • Ability to work in a diverse team but also independently. Contributing to the development of effective and mutually supportive working relationships and practices
  • Play a major part in the dissemination of individual or team based research outputs
  • Ensure intellectual rigour and adherence to ethical standards in the research for which they are responsible
  • Assist colleagues in interpretation of their data, to manage competing priorities, and to develop their research skills
  • Ensure that knowledge and methodological/technical skills in their own, and related, areas of scholarship are extended and inform research activities

 

Qualifications

  • PhD awarded (or nearing completion) in chemical science, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, polymer science and engineering, materials science or a closely related discipline

 

 

 Newcastle University is a global University where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.  As a University of Sanctuary, we aim to provide a welcoming place of safety for all, offering opportunities to people fleeing violence and persecution.

 

We are committed to being a fully inclusive university which actively recruits, supports and retains colleagues from all sectors of society.  We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all of our employees and the communities they represent.  We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from individuals who can complement our existing teams, we believe that success is built on having teams whose backgrounds and experiences reflect the diversity of our university and student population.

 

At Newcastle University we hold a silver Athena Swan award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.  We also hold a Race Equality Charter Bronze award in recognition of our work towards tackling race inequality in higher education REC.  We are a Disability Confident employer and will offer an interview to disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the role as part of the offer and interview scheme.

 

In addition, we are a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe. 

Requisition ID: 26658