Job DescriptionPosting Text
South Dakota Mines is seeking a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering for the NSF BioWRAP project. The long-term vision of BioWRAP is to create locally sourced, customizable, spray-on biopolymer-based films to serve as soil cover that can be synchronized to crop growth cycles under differing climatic conditions and applied using precision agricultural equipment. This spray-on biopolymer mulch must be engineered to make them ‘locally tunable’ to serve as nutrient cover while supporting contrasting material properties such as permeable to air and water while controlling soil moisture, conducive to crop growth but limiting to weed growth; and durable but fully decomposable. The NSF BioWRAP Postdoctoral Fellow will apply fermentation and biochemical engineering to enhance the yields of microbial polymers. The Postdoctoral Fellow is also expected to use skills in polymer chemistry to create other sets of tunable bio-based polymers that can be used in agricultural fields.
The Postdoctoral Fellow will design and execute experiments to (a) explore polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHA)-and exopolysaccharides-based biopolymers for the creation of sprayable or film-forming slurries/suspensions that provide water permeability, weed suppression, and biodegrade over the crop growth cycle; (b) study the functionalization of signaling molecules in the created slurries or suspensions, with the goal of attracting and concentrating nitrogen-fixing bacteria in the soil and improve crop yield; and © set-up the biodegradation and ecotoxicity of the developed materials.
A Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering, Agriculture, Microbiology, Biomaterials science, or a related field is required. We seek a highly motivated Postdoctoral Fellow candidate with strong experimental skills and a solid background in polymer chemistry, applied microbiology, and agricultural and environmental chemistry. The successful applicant should have an excellent publication record in relevant fields. Preference will be given to those candidates who have sufficient experience in writing high-level scientific reports and manuscripts. The successful candidates will be asked to train students.
South Dakota Mines is a best-in-class STEM university that offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees located in Rapid City, the state’s second largest city with a MSA population of 148,933. With 226 days of sunshine, 1.2 million acres of breathtaking scenery of the Black Hills National Forest, 700 miles of motorized trails and nearly 500 miles of hiking trails, there is a lot to see and do. People from around the world come here each year to see top attractions like Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Crazy Horse Memorial, Badlands National Park, Terry Peak Ski Area, and Reptile Gardens. There’s something for everybody!
At Mines, our vision is to develop world-class leaders in science and engineering to benefit society through education, innovation, and engagement. Nearly 2,500 students from every state and 43 countries are represented on our campus. Mines is an affordable option with a great return on investment.
Known for our academic rigor, we maintain an average class size of 24 and our students benefit from immersive learning experiences including undergraduate research, co-ops/internships, and nationally competitive engineering teams. These experiences make graduates highly sought after by industry and attributes to high starting salaries and 97% placement rate in the field of study.
Research at Mines encompasses four main areas: energy and environment; materials and manufacturing; STEM education; and underground science and engineering. Entrepreneurship is highly-valued and programming assists students and faculty to engage in entrepreneurial activities and transition scientific and technological innovations into viable products and business startups
South Dakota Mines is committed to recruiting and retaining a talented workforce and offers an excellent comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, vision, and life coverage options for employees, spouses and dependents; retirement plans; paid holidays; and a generous vacation and sick day allowance. Individuals interested in this position must apply online at https://www.sdsmt.edu/employment/. Human Resources can provide accommodation to the online application process and may be reached at (605) 394-1203. Review of applications will begin July 07, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. Employment is contingent upon completion of a satisfactory background investigation.
Please attach a cover letter, resume, and list of three professional references (include name, mailing and email address for each reference).