Research Assistant/Associate in Chemical Engineering (Membranes)

Requisition ID:  25457

Newcastle, GB

Contract Type:  Fixed Term
Working Pattern:  Full Time
Posted Date:  9 May 2023



Research Assistant: £30,619 to £32,411 per annum

Research Associate: £33,348 to £35,308 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: 07 June 2023



The Role


This position is available in one of the UK’s prominent chemical engineering research groups with Prof. Ian Metcalfe, FREng and Dr Greg A. Mutch. We are looking for a talented individual to work in the area of supported molten-salt membranes and their application to carbon dioxide separation and reaction engineering (e.g., Energy Environ. Sci., 2020, 13, 1766-1775 and J. Mater. Chem. A, 2019, 7, 12951-12973).

Supported molten-salt membranes offer the opportunity to bypass traditional limitations of membrane separation processes by providing both high permeability and high selectivity in a single membrane. Their potential applications range from flue gas carbon dioxide capture to water-gas shift reaction engineering.

Your role will be to fabricate and characterise supported molten-salt membranes, using our synthesis and fabrication laboratory, automated membrane gas permeation measurement facilities, and (typically via collaboration) cutting-edge characterisation techniques (diffraction, tomography, microscopy, spectroscopy, surface area and porosity analysis etc). Thus, to fulfil the deliverables of the project, you will work closely with internal and external stakeholders in the EPSRC Programme Grant, SynHiSel.

You should be enthusiastic in the discipline, committed and motivated, and have an aptitude for independent working as well as working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team.

For more information about the School of Engineering, please click here.


The position is available on a full time, fixed term basis. Available immediately with a 1-year initial appointment and possibility of extension up to late 2026. 

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. 

For an informal chat regarding the role, please contact Prof. Ian Metcalfe, Professor of Chemical Engineering via email: or Dr Greg Mutch, Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow via email: 

Key Accountabilities

  • Reporting to Professor Ian Metcalfe and Dr Greg A. Mutch, as well as other members of the Materials, Concepts & Reaction Engineering Group [1]
  • Responsible for developing supported molten-salt membranes for carbon dioxide separation and delivering the key goals of the projects you will be funded by


The Person 


Knowledge, Skills and Experience 

  • Experience in laboratory experiments with ion-conducting ceramic membranes or molten salts, and, in addition, experience in one of the following: carbon dioxide separation processes; experimental study of gas-solid and/or gas-liquid reactions; experimental study of ion transport processes. A track record of authoring journal publications appropriate for your career stage and consistent with a high-achieving individual
  • An understanding of the research conducted by the Materials, Concepts & Reaction Engineering Group [1], and a clear explanation of how your skills and experience will complement this


  • Experience in inorganic materials synthesis and characterisation (e.g., diffraction, tomography, microscopy, spectroscopy, surface area and porosity analysis etc)
  • Experience in supervising research students


Attributes and Behaviour

  • Communication: Evidence of an ability to communicate complex information clearly, both orally and through the written word, and evidence of good inter-personal skills with the ability to communicate with local and international stakeholders. (e.g., conference presentations, journal publications, a well-written cover letter and CV, working with international project partners, speaking at public or industry engagement events etc)
  • Organisational: Evidence of an ability to prioritise, plan, and execute tasks within a larger project. Demonstrated ability with time management, organisation, and balancing competing objectives. (e.g., previous experience of working in collaborative research teams/consortia, taking responsibility to outline (some of) the goals of your PhD, evidence of delivering complex projects on schedule, examples of overcoming barriers to progress etc)
  • Teamwork: Demonstrable experience of working in a collaborative manner with team colleagues at all levels, as part of a diverse, inter-disciplinary team. An understanding of, and commitment to, embedding the values of equality, diversity, and inclusion in all aspects of your work. A willingness to supervise research students (e.g., previous experience of working in an inter-disciplinary research group or project, evidence of teamwork leading to research outputs such as collaborative journal publications, a demonstrated understanding of ED&I principles or activities leading to improved workplace culture etc)
  • Adaptability: Demonstrated ability to work independently under leadership, taking responsibility for making decisions within the remit of the role and their outcomes. Demonstrated willingness to travel locally and internationally, and a readiness to work flexibly by mutual agreement (e.g., authorship of research articles, experience in roles with devolved responsibility, pride in past achievements, previous experience of travelling to meet the deliverables of a project etc)



  • PhD awarded (Associate) or nearing completion (Assistant) or equivalent in chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, or a closely related subject
  • Minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in in chemical engineering, materials science, chemistry, or a closely related subject

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.


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

Requisition ID: 25457