Area of Research: Our research focuses on using electricity to power chemical transformations involving carbon. The goal is to reduce the carbon intensity of the production of chemicals and fuels that, today, mostly rely on fossil hydrocarbons. We seek especially to lower the intensity of large-scale commodity chemicals and fuels.

Our approach is to unite basic and applied science in order to pursue this mission-oriented goal. Our team seeks to attract experts in chemistry (electrochemistry, physical chemistry including operando spectroscopy and surface chemistry, computational chemistry) and engineering (especially materials synthesis/properties/processing, electrical engineering, chemical engineering), often with a significant role for AI/machine learning in seeking to accelerate discovery.

The specific programs we lead include:

  • Reactive capture: upgrading CO2 directly from the captured state [1].
  • CO2/CO upcycling, focusing especially on creating ever more valuable and complex molecules [2, 3].
  • CO2 capture and release, emphasizing reducing the energy cost of CO2 release, and electrifying the full process.
  • Green hydrogen, focusing on platinum-group-metals-free, durable and highly active oxygen evolution reaction catalysts for water electrolyzers.
  • Coupled electrolysis, wherein reductive chemistries (such as CO2-to-value) are paired with an economically valuable anodic reaction, an example of which is propylene to propylene oxide/propylene glycol [4, 5].

Description of Duties: Successful candidates will place their major focus on achieving original first-authored publications in interdisciplinary academic journals. They will work effectively in a team environment and will value the chance to reach across disciplines, and to work with partners in industry and at our partner U.S. Department of Energy national labs. Post-doctoral fellows will take advantage of the opportunity to increase their mentoring skills, helping doctoral students to develop as scientist-engineers.

Essential Qualifications:

  • Applicants must have received, or be close to receiving, their PhD degree in an area of science or engineering.
  • Applicants are sought who have backgrounds in a field of engineering or science relevant to CO2 chemistry and electrochemistry. We also seek candidates with expertise from relevant allied fields, such as transport phenomena, membrane engineering, membrane science, thermocatalysis, photocatalysis, fuel cells, batteries, water-splitting electrolyzers, and high-temperature/high-pressure reactors.
  • Applicants must possess at least one of the following, or transferable skills:
    • The design of materials for electrocatalysis and/or CO2 capture and release; mechanistic investigations of reactive pathways;
    • Materials chemistry/synthesis including of laminate/2D materials, metal oxides, metal hydroxides, high-entropy alloys and oxides, single-atom and other advanced catalysts;
    • Systems experts focused on the design, fabrication, and investigation of flow systems and reactors, such as electrochemical flow cells, membrane electrode assembly devices, membrane reactors, spiral-wound module, hollow fiber module and gas-liquid contactor;
    • Candidates with expertise in fundamental electrochemistry, such as studies of ion-intercalation mechanisms, charge transfer models, PCET mechanisms, field effects, and electrolyte engineering
  • Applicants with the following skills/experience will gain competitive advantage during evaluation
    • Multiphysics modelling such as COMSOL
    • Process modelling such as Aspen
    • Techno-economic assessment
    • Life-cycle assessment, such as using Greenhouse gases, Regulated Emissions, and Energy use in Technologies (GREET) model
    • Electrochemical reactor scale-up

Salary: $52,000 USD/year

Expected Start Date: Oct 1, 2023, or as soon as possible thereafter

Appointment: Term – (12 months) with the potential for renewal

How to apply:

Please include in your application package a cover letter; your full academic CV; information on 2 referees that are prepared to be consulted; your two most relevant publications. Please send as a single combined PDF whose file name includes your first and last names to Melissa Rosen ( with the subject line CO2 PDF Application by Aug 21, 2023. Evaluation of candidates will begin immediately and continue until filled.

Posting Date: July 12, 2023

Closing Date: Aug 21, 2023