Post Doctoral Research Associate

Laramie, Wyoming
Up to $60,000 per year + benefits eg pension and health care
Nov 05, 2020
Nov 30, 2020
Job Type
Full time


A one-year position, extendable by negotiation and subject to satisfactory performance, the position is sponsored by the University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (UW SER), focusing on supporting the development of asphalt products derived from Wyoming coal resources.

This position will be centered on the chemistry and analyses of various coal derived materials and their modification for use in the asphalt market. Modification of oxygen rich, often phenolic based, coal extracted molecules to produce asphalt grade materials and asphalt compatible additives through simple organic synthesis. At the highest level, it is necessary that the candidate be skilled in synthetic organic chemistry and analytical chemistry. Understanding material properties and material science with a focus on rheology are highly desired.


Organic Chemistry.

Perform organic synthesis, prepare solutions, work with flammable and toxic solvents, perform atmospheric and vacuum distillations, use Dean Stark methods, work with high temperatures and pressures, Schlenk line and high vacuum line techniques, perform sublimation, separations of material based on solubility, purification through column chromatography and precipitation, rotary evaporation, and other standard wet chemistry operations.

An understanding of phenolic chemistry is required. This can be from the standpoint of coal, simple phenols, lignin, or other bio-based materials. Preference will be given to candidates with experience in esterification, amidification and etherification.

Analytical Chemistry/Characterization.

Use HPCL equipment, GC/MS, thermogravimetric analysis, differential scanning calorimetry, FTIR, NMR, fluorescence and UV-visible spectroscopy, MALDI-TOF MS to characterize starting materials, products and impurities.

Asphalt Characterization.

A basic understanding of petroleum or coal liquid chemistry and characterization is desired. It is useful, although not necessary, that the candidate have experience with the fundamentals of viscoelastic materials. In particular it would beneficial to have experience working with asphalts or polymers and the characterization of their physical properties using a dynamic shear rheometer or other methods.


Additional Requirements and Expectations: Work within the Asphalt and Petroleum Technology team at the Western Research Institute (WRI) to help further the goals of (UW SER) related to the State funded Carbon Engineering Initiative, which is a multi-million dollar investment seeking to develop new markets for Wyoming coal, .

Communicate in a professional and confidential manner between WRI, UW SER, commercial clients, and at technical meetings. Develop new characterization methods, chemical insights, reactivity, and other intellectual property. Keep a well-organized and maintained laboratory notebook. Write reports, peer-reviewed publications, contribute to patents, and construct PowerPoint presentations as necessary. Strong aptitude to work in a team and independently without apprehension to try new things. Ability to read and understand technical literature that may be unfamiliar and apply new ideas and concepts to the research program. Strong writing and oral communication skills in English are required. Exposure and experience with process engineering design would be desirable.     


A Doctoral Degree is required for this position; however, consideration will be given to applicants that are currently pursuing their Doctoral Degree and will complete the degree prior to starting work.

MSc in Process or synthetic chemistry or asphalt chemistry with 10 years minimum industry experience  


PhD in process or synthetic chemistry or asphalt chemistry with 2 to 5 years’ experience in an academic or industry environment


Complete the online application and upload the following for a complete application: cover letter, resume or C.V. and contact information for four work-related references.  

IMPORTANT: To be considered for this position, applications must be received via the University of Wyoming application system, which is accessible through the University of Wyoming web site under the job designation ' To be considered, applications must be received via the University of Wyoming application system, under the job position - Post Doc Res Assoc - (20003132)”. Access to the job application portal is provided through this link: To be considered for this position please apply for this position through the job application portal associated with the University of Wyoming web site:

Incomplete applications may not be considered. Please ensure that any applicable documents related to this application are marked RELEVANT in the application processes. 

 The closing date for applications for this position is November 30th 2020.


UW is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Educator and Employer. We are committed to a multicultural environment and strongly encourage applications from women, minorities, veterans and persons with disabilities.   

In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation to apply for a position, please include requests with your application.


The University of Wyoming is located in Laramie, a town of 30,000 in the heart of the Rocky Mountain West. The state of Wyoming continues to invest in its university, helping to make it a leader in academics, research and outreach. The university has state-of-the-art facilities in many areas and the community provides the advantages of a major university.

Located in a high mountain valley near the Colorado border, Laramie offers both outstanding recreational opportunities and close proximity to Colorado’s Front Range, a bustling group of metropolitan cities including Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins. This beautiful mountain landscape offers outdoor enjoyment in all seasons, with over 300 days of sunshine annually. 

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Posted Salary Range From: 45,000 to Posted Salary Range To: 60,000 

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