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Postdoctoral Appointee in Biomass Pretreatment

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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. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment.

Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.


Are you looking for an opportunity to do important and creative research? Sandia/Californias Biomass Science and Conversion Technology Department is seeking a dedicated and hardworking Postdoctoral Scientist with expertise in chemistry and chemical engineering to join the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) Biomass Pretreatment and Process Development team to develop novel technologies for the efficient feedstock agnostic deconstruction of lignocellulosic biomass. We are currently developing ionic liquids and deep eutectic solvents based pretreatment technologies capable of efficiently reducing the recalcitrance of lignocellulose. The selected candidate will develop and optimize pretreatment processes, solvent recycling and cost effective separation strategies. This will be a multi-disciplinary effort, with opportunities to work with a wide range of national labs and industry experts to conduct state-of-the-art R&D in lignocellulosic biofuels.

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

+ Design, screen and synthesize ionic liquids, deep eutectic solvents or molecular solvents;
+ Develop efficient lignocellulosic pretreatment processes that minimize separation;
+ Develop and compare recycle approaches;
+ Participate in laboratory management and mentoring student interns;
+ Present results at project meetings and conferences.


+ PhD in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or a closely related field;
+ The ability to conduct and communicate creative, independent research as proven through a record of high technical accomplishment (e.g. publication in high-impact scientific journals, presentations at national/international conferences.


+ Proven experience with synthesis of IL and DES or related solvents;
+ Experience in the phase behavior, extraction and separation of sugars and lignin from IL and DES solutions;
+ Working knowledge of vacuum distillation, liquid-liquid and membrane based extraction, and pervaporation technologies.
+ Experience with designing and set-up of batch and continuous processes;
+ Strong analytical background related to biomass processing and characterization (such as MS, HPLC, NMR, FTIR).

Department Description:

The Biomass Science and Conversion Technology department, located in Livermore, California, performs biological and bioengineering research with applications in advanced biofuels, renewable energy, nanobiology, nanotoxicology, and biofuels. The Biomass Science and Conversion Technology Department at Sandia National Laboratories also plays an essential role in the recently funded DOE Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), one of four Bioenergy Research Centers in the Nation. JBEI is a multi-organizational research center comprising world-class resources and expertise located in one facility at Emeryville, California. The goal of JBEI is to use rapidly advancing scientific techniques, such as systems and synthetic biology, to accelerate development of the nation's biofuels industry.

The department contains a multidisciplinary team of approximately 30 staff, postdocs and technologists with expertise in chemical engineering, biochemical engineering, biophysics, analytical chemistry, advanced spectroscopy, microbiology, computational biology, and molecular biology. The basic research activities in the department are focused on developing a basic understanding of the fundamental chemical, biochemical, and thermochemical reactions and interactions that occur at interfaces. The department is also developing a focus on systems and synthetic biology as they relate to biofuel production. Applied research activities are focused on enzyme and microbial engineering for biofuel production, advanced biomass pretreatment, metabolic engineering of algae, and advanced imaging techniques. Key sponsors include the DOE Office of Science, DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Sandia LDRD Program.

About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nations 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 withamazingimpact 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,strongmedical 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.

Security Clearance:

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

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. 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, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.



  • Engineering
Posted: 2020-07-10 Expires: 2020-08-10

 World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers.

National security is our business. We apply science to help detect, repel, defeat, or mitigate threats.

For more than 60 years, Sandia has delivered essential science and technology to resolve the nation's most challenging security issues.

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Postdoctoral Appointee in Biomass Pretreatment

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