JBEI Postdoctoral Appointee - Lignin Conversion Chemistry

Livermore, California
Dec 12, 2018
Jan 10, 2019
Job Type

This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. You qualify for application if you received your PhD within a five-year timeframe prior to employment.

As a Sandian, in your postdoctoral position, you may bid on regular Sandia positions as an internal applicant. In some cases, a possibility could exist for you to be converted to regular career positions during your term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.

Are you looking to do innovative and creative research? Lignin valorization is key to making lignocellulosic biomass economically feasible as a feedstock. In addition to biological methods for lignin depolymerization, we are passionate about developing chemical methods for lignin breakdown. We seek highly motivated individuals to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team of experts to develop chemical methods for lignin deconstruction and subsequent valorization.

On any given day, you may be called on to:

  • Work at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (www.jbei.org);
  • Develop chemical means for deconstruction of lignin to produce aromatic products in high-yield;
  • Upgrade the lignin degradation products into high-value functional materials (adhesives, plastics etc.);
  • Develop chemical probes for the rapid characterization of enzyme activities;
  • Analyze and integrate results as part of a cross-disciplinary team of experts;
  • Publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and present findings at seminars and conferences.

Department Description:

Biotechnology and Bioengineering Department, located in Livermore, California and Emeryville, CA, performs biological and bioengineering research with applications in national security, healthcare and alternative energy. We are a diverse research group with a focus on both basic and applied biological research. We seek to address problems with strong ties to national security, such as biodefense and health security, through new research approaches and advanced technology development including microfluidics and nanofluidics. We also seek to develop the science base required by industry to produce clean, efficient, and cost-effective biofuels and other bioproducts on a commercial scale. This work is carried out in partnership with the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). Our department is highly multidisciplinary, comprised of researchers with expertise in many disciplines of biology (molecular biology, microbiology, virology, immunology and biochemistry), chemistry (analytical, organic and physical) and engineering (chemical, mechanical and biomedical).

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nation’s premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

  • Challenging work with amazing impact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
  • Extraordinary co-workers
  • Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
  • Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
  • Flexible schedules, generous vacations, strong medical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers. Learn more about Sandia at: http://www.sandia.gov

*These benefits vary by job classification.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status.


  • Recent PhD in Chemistry (e.g. organic, natural product, polymer), Material Science or related discipline with a strong chemistry emphasis during thesis work;
  • Strong analytical techniques like HPLC, GC-MS, NMR, fluorescent spectroscopy;
  • Strong record of high technical achievement as evidenced by publication in high-impact scientific journals and the proven ability to conduct creative, independent research within a team environment.


  • Experience with 2D-NMR;
  • Experience with organic synthesis;
  • Experience with homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts.

Security Clearance:

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE)-granted security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug testing, and a pre-employment background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record checks, and employment and education verifications. Further, employees in New Mexico must pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to the work site. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, rendering the inability to perform the duties assigned and resulting in termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance, and one subsequently becomes required or you bid on positions that require a DOE-granted security clearance, a pre-processing background review that includes personal reference checks, law enforcement record and credit checks, and employment and education verifications may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for DOE-granted security clearances must be U.S. citizens and be able to obtain and maintain the appropriate DOE security clearance as required for the position.

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