Life Cycle Analyses, advanced biopolymer materials, and biopolymer biodegradation

Tuesday, April 12, 2022
Job Type: 
Job Rank: 
PhD students
Job Institution: 
South Dakota Mines
Job Description: 

Life Cycle Analyses, advanced biopolymer materials, and biopolymer biodegradation  

Seeking:               Doctoral Students in Environmental, Biochemical, and Materials Engineering

Topic:                    Conducting Life Cycle Analyses, developing advanced biopolymer materials, and engineering microbial biochemical biodegradation of biopolymers

Start Date:          Summer/Fall 2022  

The Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Nanoscience and Nanoengineering, and Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Composite and Nanocomposite Advanced Manufacturing – Biomaterials (CNAM Bio) Center invite applications for three doctoral graduate research assistant positions to work on recently funded NSF project entitled BioWRAP (Bioplastics with regenerative agricultural properties). South Dakota Mines is a small engineering and science focused university which is well known for its academic quality, high student retention and outcome, and affordability.  South Dakota Mines is in Rapid City, which is in western South Dakota between the scenic Black Hills and Badlands.  Rapid City is one of the fastest growing regions in the western United States.

These graduate students will be working with an interdisciplinary team at South Dakota Mines, Kansas State University, and University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Research focus areas will be 1) engineering fully biodegradable, sprayable biopolymers, 2) engineering microbes and microbial interactions to control biopolymer properties, and 3) analyzing life cycle impacts of biopolymer manufacturing and use within field crop production. 

Ideal candidates should possess a Master or Bachelor’s degree in materials engineering, environmental engineering, biopolymer engineering, chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, agricultural engineering, or related degree with a minimum field related GPA of 3.0.  For international students, TOFEL score is of 20 or greater for Listening, Writing, Speaking, and Reading subsections or IELTS of 6.5 or above.

Interested students are encouraged to provide their curriculum vita, GPA, TOFEL/IELTS scores, references, and any relevant past publications directly to research topic leads.  Please include “BioWRAP Position Application” as your email subject.

  • Chris Shearer ( in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for sustainable materials engineering research,
  • David Salem ( in the Nanoscience and Nanoengineering Department for biopolymers engineering research,
  • Rajesh Sani ( in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department for microbial engineering research, and
  • Heidi Sieverding ( in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department for life cycle analysis or environmental engineering.