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Post-Doctoral Research Associate - Center for Renewable Carbon (UTIA)

The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville, TN

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Post-Doctoral Research Associate – Center for Renewable Carbon (UTIA)

Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Research Group of Prof. Nicole Labbé

The Position: The position of a Postdoctoral Research Associate is open in the research group of Prof. Nicole Labbé in the Center for Renewable Carbon at the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture in Knoxville, TN. The researcher will work on the development and characterization of lignin-based coatings and additives for pulp and molded fiber products. All candidates must have successfully defended and submitted their dissertation before the employment date. The search starts immediately and continues until the position is filled. 

The research project will focus on the following:

1) Understanding the impact of production processes on the morphology and functionality of nanolignin.

2) Devising methods for incorporating nanolignin in paper and molded fiber products to impart water and oil/grease resistance.

This is a grant-funded position and is contingent on satisfactory performance and availability of funding.

Application Process: Please complete the on-line application ( for full consideration. Applicants should include the following with their application: cover letter, curriculum vitae, Ph.D. transcript, and a list of at least three professional references (with current e-mail address and phone number) in the application file. A review of all applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Primary Location:  Knoxville, TN, USA

Organization: Center for Renewable Carbon, The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture

Schedule: Regular, Full-time, exempt (monthly)

Salary: The salary for this position is commensurate with experience and other qualifications.  This is a regular, full-time, 12-month, non-tenure track staff position. The appointment is anticipated to begin August 15, 2023.

The Institute & Location:

The Center for Renewable Carbon (CRC) is an internationally recognized leader in the development of new and/or improved bioenergy sources, biorefinery processes, bioproducts, and biomaterials that coordinates the science, knowledge transfer, and trains the workforce required to develop a sustainable and economically viable bioeconomy. The CRC has 9 Faculty members, 16 post-doctoral fellows and administrative staff, and 7 GRAs. It also has state-of-the-art equipment for biomass fractionation, analytical characterization, organic chemistry, and material fabrication and characterization. Additional nanoscale and functional evaluation can be performed at the core facilities at the Institute for Advanced Materials and Manufacturing, in the University of Tennessee.

The University of Tennessee in Knoxville is the flagship educational institution in the State of Tennessee, and the Department of Chemistry is its oldest PhD granting Department.  We offer a long-standing tradition of excellence in chemical research and education, stretching from 1947, when the department granted the University’s first PhD degree, to the present.  We have people from diverse cultures providing an international business environment.  The city of Knoxville is a hidden gem with a beautiful and walkable downtown, a diverse music scene, active neighborhoods, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of outdoor and cultural activities. UTK is located within easy driving distance to Asheville, Nashville, Atlanta, and the Great Smoky Mountains; and a day’s drive to Memphis, Chicago and Washington D.C. Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a statistical area population of over 850,000 people. The Knoxville region houses many leading corporations, including Bush Brothers & Company, Discovery Inc., Tennessee Valley Authority, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • The postdoctoral research associate candidate must be knowledgeable and experienced in one or more of the following:
    • Plant biomass and lignin characterization (HPLC, GPC, NMR, etc.)
    • Nanolignin production (chemical and mechanical pathways)
    • Bio-product fabrication (Paper making, Spray coating, etc.)
    • Bio-product characterization (Ultimate tensile testing, DMA, DSC, TGA, XRD, etc.)
  • Responsible for presenting and reporting research results and publishing scientific results in peer reviewed journals in a timely manner.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.

Requirements: Must have successfully defended and submitted dissertation by hire date; a Ph.D. degree in Forestry, Natural Resources, Wood Science, Paper Science & Engineering, Agricultural and Biological Engineering, or related fields.

  • An excellent track record of productive and creative research demonstrated by publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • The postdoctoral candidate must have strong verbal and writing skills.
  • The candidate must be willing to work independently and collaboratively with group members, and with experimental collaborators. The candidate must also be willing to mentor graduate students in the group from time to time.
  • Motivated and safety conscious.
  • Ability to set priorities, multi-task and adapt to ever changing needs with the proven ability to function well in a fast-paced environment.

Job: Research Professional
Primary Location: US-Tennessee-knoxville
Organization: Center For Renewable Carbon
Schedule: Full-time
Job Posting: Jun 5, 2023, 1:16:38 PM


Working at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Founded in 1794, the University of Tennessee is one of the nation’s oldest and most storied public universities. Based in Knoxville, Tennessee’s flagship land-grant institution includes the statewide Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute in Tullahoma. The university embodies excellence in teaching, discovery, scholarship, research, creative activity, outreach, and engagement. Known as the Volunteers, we lead with a spirit of selflessness, empathy, and courage, and strive to be champions for diversity, equity, and inclusion

UT Knoxville is a Research 1 university with 11 academic colleges and more than 900 programs of study. With an enrollment of more than 30,000 students, our academic programs are repeatedly ranked top in their class. The university co-manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the country’s most prominent national lab, driving innovation in advanced manufacturing and materials, national security, and more. We are closely connected with our communities through outreach and extension efforts across Tennessee and through partnerships with non-profits, corporations, and industries—regionally, nationally, and around the globe.

The city of Knoxville is nestled in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. The modern, thriving community is surrounded by gorgeous lakes and hundreds of miles of walking, hiking, and biking trails. Situated along the banks of the Tennessee River, our beautiful features an eclectic music scene, internationally recognized festivals, unique restaurants, and a robust offering of diverse cultural activities. Knoxville is located within a day’s drive of Atlanta, Nashville, Asheville, Charlotte, Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, Chicago, and Washington D.C.

Knoxville and the surrounding counties have a population of more than 850,000 people. The region houses many leading corporations and organizations, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Pilot/Flying J, the Tennessee Valley Authority, and Regal Cinemas, along with HGTV, Food Network, and other networks owned by Discovery Inc.

As a member of the UT family, you will be surrounded by top-notch faculty, staff, and students from around the world. You will be part of a diverse campus community that is passionate about changing the world and cheering for the Vols on game day.

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