Sustainable Social Science at the Interface

A Research Associate position is available for an enthusiastic, early-career, interdisciplinary scholar with experience in investigating large scale infrastructure systems or new business models. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to be part of an EPSRC funded project exploring the circular economy of plastics and plastics waste with partners from academia (Materials Science, Business Systems, Sustainable Consumption Institute) and industry.

You will hold a PhD or equivalent with relevant research experience in investigating large scale infrastructure (e.g. waste, energy, transport), new business models, or waste management. Expertise in qualitative methods, particularly semi-structured interviewing, is a benefit, as is knowledge of polymer, materials or NIR science.

You will be working as part of a large interdisciplinary team, working alongside material scientists, social scientists, as well as business stakeholders, therefore you will need to be an enthusiastic team player with good communication skills and the ability to work flexibly.  Excellent written and oral communication skills are also essential.

The School is committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for promoting women’s careers in STEMM subjects (science, technology, engineering, mathematics and medicine) in higher education. The School holds a Bronze Award for their commitment to the representation of women in the workplace and we particularly welcome applications from women for this post. All appointments will be made on merit.

For further information, please visit: http://www.materials.manchester.ac.uk/about-us/athena-swan/

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:
Name: Professor Michael Shaver
Email: Michael.shaver@manchester.ac.uk

Seeking Post-doc in Sustainable Polymers!

We are hiring once again!

A Research Associate position is available for an outstanding and enthusiastic polymer chemist to undertake research in the field of synthetic polymer chemistry, particularly in the design and synthesis of degradable polymer architectures for application in formulations. The project will be based in the Green Materials Laboratory under the direction of Prof. Michael Shaver as part of a diverse team addressing academic and industry challenges in sustainable polymer science.

You should have, or be working towards, a PhD or equivalent in synthetic polymer chemistry or a closely related field. Expertise in synthesis and the characterisation of polymers is essential, including air-sensitive techniques, gel-permeation chromatography, biodegradation and/or formulation rheology. You should be capable of working under your own initiative and leading a small research team, so excellent communication and organisational skills are also required.

Apply at: https://www.jobs.manchester.ac.uk/displayjob.aspx?jobid=17323

Morpholino Polymer Hydrogels as miRNA Sensors

Check our Gerry Langford’s new paper in ACS Sensors: It details our work in developing hydrogels with morpholino-based crosslinks that serve as sensors for single stranded oligonucelotide sequences. They show a remarkable improvement in sensitivity, salt tolerance, and temperature stability compared to ssDNA analogues and have detection limits as low as 10 pM. They even work using a simple mobile phone camera!

Untitled

 

Work with the GML, work with industry leader!

As part of our new transition to the University of Manchester, we are seeking an enthusiastic person to work with us and an industry leader in glass fibre insulation on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) project. The ideal person will had a PhD in polymer synthesis or composites, with an expertise in sustainability a bonus. Above all, we are looking for an exceptional and independent learner, scientist and leader to undertake this 36-month project which has an overall aim of developing sustainable glass fibre insulation formulations.

The position will provide you with a unique opportunity to improve the sustainability of glass fibre insulation through their knowledge of polymer chemistry. Translating fundamental commodity polymer chemistry into the unique field of glass fibre composites will require a diverse knowledge of sustainability, composites, polymer chemistry, synthesis and characterisation. It will allow for the rapid development, pilot and scale-up of solutions to reduce the environmental footprint of a major construction product, making the process as “green” as possible whilst retaining or improving material performance. Understanding the applicability of potential solutions to fit with existing company infrastructure will provide ideal training as a transition to a career in the chemicals or polymers industries in the UK, but also extensive experiential learning in communication and leadership. This collaborative project will be directly connected to the training and development aspect of the KTP, with integration of both composites and sustainability training into the Associate’s role.

Based at the University of Manchester School of Materials and extensive travel to company premises, You will work directly with supervisors from both the University and the company and will use the facilities and resources of both organisations.

For more details check out:

https://www.jobs.manchester.ac.uk/

Or send Mike an email with any enquiries.

 

Topological Control from a Synthetic Polymer

Congrats to Mohammed Alkattan and our University of Glasgow collaborator Joelle Prunet who have just had a really cool paper accepted as a VIP article in Angewandte Chemie:

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ange.201805113

TOC Angw

The paper details our work on creating stereoregular cyclopolyethers. Ring-closing metathesis from an isotactic polyether affords the target cyclopolyether. Stereoselective cis-dihydroxylation gives a PEGose framework that mimics the helical ladder structure of amylose. This topological control of synthetic polymer frameworks is a really tough challenge in polymer science in the quest for biopolymer mimics. Great work!

Joseph Black Stars

Big congratulations to Meng Wang (2nd Place Talk Prize – Materials Chemistry) and Joanne Dunne (2nd Place Poster Prize – Synthesis and Catalysis) for their award winning work at the 4th annual Joseph Black Conference on 31 May.

Big congratulations to the rest of the group as well – Gerry gave a great talk in the Chem/Bio section on his sensor work; Dan and Mo both gave great talks in the Syn/Cat section (although Dan needs to get his face onto Titanium Man’s body, too…); and both Vishal and Yas had really attractive posters presenting their work on new polymers.

Great work!

One Last Lecture in Japan…

In my last week here in Japan, I presented a lecture to the local section of the Society of Polymer Science Japan, which has been promoting polymer science in industry and academia since 1951. Hosted by Prof. Masami Kamigaito, this was a fun lecture with lots of good questions from the students and staff attending, and an enjoyable meal of eel, a Nagoya specialty. I’m hopeful that Assistant Prof. Mineto Uchiyama keeps in touch – he just wouldn’t stop talking the entire night! Thanks very much for the hospitality – and hopefully we can collaborate in the future.IMG_4775.JPG

Science Adventures in Japan

My two months in Japan hosted by Nagoya University’s Research Center for Materials Science are almost at an end. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and have learned a lot, both about Japanese culture and the remarkable science going on here in Nagoya and the rest of Japan.

My principal host on this adventure is Prof. Kunio Awaga, whose work sits at the interface between coordination chemistry and materials science, has been an exceptional guide. Our many lunches and “tea-times” have been a welcome tether during my stay. I have also appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the rest of the exceptional science going on in Nagoya, including emerging collaborations with the groups of Prof. Susumu Saito and Prof. Shigehiro Yamaguchi which seem super interesting and impactful.

I’ve also had the opportunity to explore beyond Nagoya, with excellent experiences talking science with Prof. Mitsuo Sawamoto at Chubu University, Prof. Makoto Ouchi (and his excellent – and humorous – colleagues!) at Kyoto University and Assistant Prof. Yasuhiro Kohsaka at Shinshu University. Hopefully some super collaborations to come out of those trips as well, especially with Yasuhiro’s interesting monomer collection!

Thanks to everyone who has been an exceptional host during my time here in Japan – I’m very appreciative of the hospitality and looking forward to my next visit!

UK Government Clamping Down on Plastic Waste (Eventually)

It was great to see that Theresa May and the UK government are taking the issue of plastic waste seriously. While it will be impossible to break our addition to plastic completely, replacing non-degradable petroleum-derived plastics with sustainable alternatives is the best route forward to saving our world from this plastic threat.

While 2042 is a long way off, it is great to see a clear indication of the importance of this as a target, including funding for research into sustainable plastics innovation. Check out the link below for the original story:

http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-42639359