Microbial Bioprocesses for Sustainable Nutrient Removal and Recovery

Monday, August 1, 2022
Job Type: 
Job Rank: 
Postdoctoral Scholar
Job Institution: 
Northwestern University
Job Description: 

Postdoctoral Scholar Positions: Sustainable Nitrogen Removal and Recovery from Wastewater

The Environmental Biotechnology and Microbial Ecology Lab at Northwestern University  (https://www.wells.northwestern.edu) has two immediate openings for motivated postdoctoral research fellows in the area of sustainable nitrogen removal and recovery coupled to greenhouse gas mitigation from wastewater. These projects are funded by the US DOE and NSF, and provide a unique opportunity to work with dynamic interdisciplinary teams bridging academia, water utilities, and national labs at the interface of process engineering for water resource recovery, microbiome science, advanced process controls, and data science. The projects will involve development of lab- and potentially pilot-scale microbial bioprocesses, integration with new process controls and data-driven modeling techniques, and characterization of N cycling microbiomes. Process testing will focus on nitrogen biotransformations via shortcut nitrogen removal coupled to phosphorus removal/ recovery, recovery of nitrogen rich biopolymers as value-added products, and monitoring and capture of nitrous oxide. In addition to independent research activities, the candidates will coordinate between project team members and communicate results via journal articles and presentations at national and international conferences.   

Qualifications: A recent Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Biological Engineering, Environmental Microbiology, or related fields is required.  Strong motivation and communication skills, self-initiative, a willingness to learn across fields, a collaborative team-based outlook, and enthusiasm for advanced water resource recovery technologies are essential.  The following skills are desirable but not required in the ideal candidate: 1) experience in the design and operation of microbial bioprocesses; 2) experience with process controls and/or machine learning; 3) knowledge of resource recovery approaches in the water sector; and/or 4) knowledge of advanced microbiome techniques, including metagenomic  and metatranscriptomic sequencing and allied bioinformatics.

The anticipated start date for the position is fall 2022, or as soon as a suitable candidate is identified. Applications will be reviewed as received with an interest in an early appointment.  The initial appointment will be for one year, with extension anticipated to 2+ years dependent on performance and availability of funds. The salary is negotiable, commensurate with experience and qualifications.  To apply, please email a cover letter describing research experience and interests, a curriculum vitae, the names and contact information of three references, and 2 representative peer-reviewed publications to George Wells (george.wells@northwestern.edu). Please send applications as a single pdf file. 

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women and underrepresented minorities are encouraged to apply.