Biogeochemistry in Hydrogen Storage

Job Type
Job Rank
Postdoctoral Scholar
Job Institution
Penn State University
Job Description

The Department of Energy and Mineral Engineering (EME) and Energy Institute in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State are hiring a Postdoctoral Scholar in the area of biogeochemistry in hydrogen storage, under the co-mentorship of Drs. Meng Wang, Anne Menefee, and Sanjay Srinivasan. The selected candidate will engage in a frontier research project investigating biogeochemical factors that would influence hydrogen storage in porous sedimentary reservoirs, which would support future hydrogen energy economies. This project will evaluate the influence of microbially-induced H2 contamination or souring and geochemical reactions on H2 retention and purity, based on sample analysis from a representative geologic storage formation. The successful candidate will characterize microbial communities in reservoir fluid samples, experimentally analyze abiotic geochemistry associated with H2 storage environments, and simulate biogeochemical reactions to evaluate microbial kinetics associated with H2 injection and enrichment in porous formations.

In addition to pursuing the interdisciplinary research project, the postdoc research will also obtain valuable career development opportunities, exposure to professional network with industrial partners and national labs, engage in grant writings and communicate research findings in high-quality journals and conferences. The successful candidate will also have opportunities to participate in a wide variety of career development seminars hosted by the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at Penn State.
The initial appointment is one year with the opportunity to renew, contingent on satisfactory performance and funding ability.

Ideal candidates should have a Ph.D. in civil/environmental engineering, environmental chemistry, environmental biotechnology energy engineering, geosciences, or related discipline by the time of hire, or have completed their Ph.D. program except for degree conferral (“All But Diploma” status).
A strong academic background with relevant laboratory experience in the realm of environmental microbiology and/or geochemistry, high-pressure gas experimental environment, reactor operations, metagenomic sequencing, qPCR, ICP-MS, and data analytics is highly preferred. The researcher is expected to have hands-on experimental ability, a willingness to learn across fields, and excellent writing and communication skills.

Review of postdoc applicants will begin immediately. The starting date is negotiable.
To apply, please submit the following materials to workday (REQ_0000046613) at…
• Cover letter, summarizing your relevant background and your interest in this project
• Curriculum vitae
• 2-3 examples of scholarly work, which can be manuscripts that are published or under review
• Applicants should also provide evidence, either woven through their application materials or as a separate document, of a commitment to fostering diversity, equity, inclusive excellence, and belonging in the classroom, research lab, and beyond. See the DEI section below for more information on Penn State’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging.
• Names and contact information for 3 references. Be sure to include their relationship to you (thesis advisor, collaborator, colleague, committee member, etc).

Please contact Meng Wang ( or Anne Menefee ( with any questions.


Penn State is committed to equal opportunity in all aspects of employment. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented, underserved, and diverse groups in STEM to apply.
Diversity, equity, and inclusion:
The Pennsylvania State University’s College of Earth and Mineral Sciences takes an active role in building a talented, inclusive, and culturally competent workforce. We understand that our shared future is guided by basic principles of fairness, mutual respect, and commitment to each other.
More information about our commitment to DEI can be found here:
Location and program:
The EME department is housed in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State, University Park. For additional resources:
• Information about the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences can be found here:
• Information about our department can be found here:
• Penn State (University Park) is a top-ranked research university, located in State College, PA. More information about the university can be found here:

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