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Postdoctoral Fellow, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering
University of Texas at Austin in Austin, Texas
Date Posted 11/08/2021
Admin-Other Administrative Positions
Employment Type FullTime
Application Deadline Open until filled

Job Posting Title:

Postdoctoral Fellow, McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering


Hiring Department:

Department of Chemical Engineering


Position Open To:

All Applicants


Weekly Scheduled Hours:



FLSA Status:



Earliest Start Date:

Jan 01, 2022


Position Duration:

Expected to Continue Until Dec 31, 2022





Job Description:

This postdoctoral fellow position will focus on studying advanced recycling of poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC) and related chemical substances, including vinyl chloride and phthalate plasticizers, as part of a broader effort to help create a circular economy for PVC, one of the most widely used plastics. The research will focus on understanding the mechanisms by which PVC can be either depolymerized or otherwise converted to other materials that can be recycled or reused. In addition to literature studies to understand the state-of-the-art in this area, the project will focus extensively on experimental studies to verify existing depolymerization/conversion mechanisms and explore novel, possibly catalytic, routes to achieve the project goal, so laboratory experience in polymer science, particularly chemical reactions involving polymers, and depolymerization of polymers, would be helpful. The project will be conducted in collaboration with scientists at the Australian national laboratory, CSIRO, so experience working in and managing multidisciplinary, multi-institutional collaborations would be valuable.


Job Details:

As a top-10 engineering school with the No. 1 program in Texas, the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin has been a global leader in technology innovation and engineering education for over a century. With 11 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs, over 20 research centers and a faculty community that boasts one of the highest number of National Academy of Engineering members among U.S. universities, Texas Engineering has launched some of the nation’s most accomplished leaders and pioneered world-changing solutions in virtually every industry, from space exploration to energy to health care. Situated in the heart of Austin — named “America’s Coolest City” by Expedia and “The Best Place to Live in the U.S.” by U.S. News and World Report — the Cockrell School embodies the city’s innovative spirit. Major companies with Austin campuses, such as Dell, National Instruments, Apple, IBM, Samsung, Google and many others, continue to recruit Cockrell School students at a remarkable rate, launching thousands of successful careers and developing Texas Engineers into industry leaders.

The Cockrell School is committed to building an inclusive environment, free from all forms of hate, racism and injustice, where students, faculty and staff feel safe and supported.  We are proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcome all qualified applicants regardless of race, ethnicity, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender and gender expression, or socioeconomic background.


  • Conducting literature studies relevant to the project

  • Designing and conducting experimental studies to achieve project goals

  • Working effectively as part of teams, both locally at UT Austin and internationally, to reach the goals of the project

  • Communicating clearly and effectively in writing and orally to meet project reporting obligations within the team and to sponsors,

  • Publishing peer-reviewed scientific literature articles

  • Presenting research at scientific meetings

  • Conducting experimental research in a safe and efficient manner

Required Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, or a related field earned within the last three years

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ph.D. in Chemistry specializing in the fields of polymer chemistry and membrane science and technology.

  • Knowledge in AI based initiators for polyether-based polymer synthesis for anion exchange membranes for CO2 along with other electrochemical applications is preferred.

  • Industrial experience as an electrochemist and experience with instrumental tools (FT-IR, NMR, TGA, DSC, GPC, DMA, XRD, SEM, TEM, spectrophotometer, Ultrasonic Analyzer, and Refractometer) are also preferred.


$51,900 + depending on qualifications

Working Conditions

  • May work around chemical fumes 

  • May work around standard office conditions 

  • May work around biohazards 

  • May work around chemicals 

  • May work around electrical and mechanical hazards

Physical Tasks

  • Repetitive use of a keyboard at a workstation 

  • Use of manual dexterity 

  • Climbing of stairs 

  • Lifting and moving 

Important for applicants who are NOT current university employees or contingent workers: You will be prompted to submit your resume the first time you apply, then you will be provided an option to upload a new Resume for subsequent applications. Any additional Required Materials (letter of interest, references, etc.) will be uploaded in the Application Questions section; you will be able to multi-select additional files. Before submitting your online job application, ensure that ALL Required Materials have been uploaded.  Once your job application has been submitted, you cannot make changes.

Important for Current university employees and contingent workers: As a current university employee or contingent worker, you MUST apply within Workday by searching for Find UT Jobs. If you are a current University employee, log-in to Workday, navigate to your Worker Profile, click the Career link in the left hand navigation menu and then update the sections in your Professional Profile before you apply. This information will be pulled in to your application. The application is one page and you will be prompted to upload your resume. In addition, you must respond to the application questions presented to upload any additional Required Materials (letter of interest, references, etc.) that were noted above.


Employment Eligibility:

Please make sure you meet all the required qualifications and you can perform all of the essential functions with or without a reasonable accommodation.


Retirement Plan Eligibility:

The retirement plan for this position is Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS), subject to the position being at least 20 hours per week and at least 135 days in length. This position has the option to elect the Optional Retirement Program (ORP) instead of TRS, subject to the position being 40 hours per week and at least 135 days in length.


Background Checks:

A criminal history background check will be required for finalist(s) under consideration for this position.


Equal Opportunity Employer:

The University of Texas at Austin, as an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer , complies with all applicable federal and state laws regarding nondiscrimination and affirmative action. The University is committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all persons and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, disability, religion, or veteran status in employment, educational programs and activities, and admissions.


Pay Transparency:

The University of Texas at Austin will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.


Employment Eligibility Verification:

If hired, you will be required to complete the federal Employment Eligibility Verification I-9 form.  You will be required to present acceptable and original documents to prove your identity and authorization to work in the United States.  Documents need to be presented no later than the third day of employment.  Failure to do so will result in loss of employment at the university.



The University of Texas at Austin use E-Verify to check the work authorization of all new hires effective May 2015. The university’s company ID number for purposes of E-Verify is 854197. For more information about E-Verify, please see the following:

  • E-Verify Poster (English) [PDF]
  • E-Verify Poster (Spanish) [PDF]
  • Right To Work Poster (English) [PDF]
  • Right To Work Poster (Spanish) [PDF]



Employees may be required to report violations of law under Title IX and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Crime Statistics Act (Clery Act). If this position is identified a Campus Security Authority (Clery Act), you will be notified and provided resources for reporting. Responsible employees under Title IX are defined and outlined in HOP-3031 .

The Clery Act requires all prospective employees be notified of the availability of the Annual Security and Fire Safety report. You may access the 2021 report here or obtain a copy at University Compliance Services, 1616 Guadalupe, Suite UTA 2.206, Austin, TX 78701.

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