Postdoctoral Candidate – Experimental/Analytical Combustion Chemistry

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Postdoctoral Candidate – Experimental/Analytical Combustion Chemistry


Postdoctoral Candidate – Experimental/Analytical Combustion Chemistry

The KAUST Clean Combustion Research Center (CCRC) is seeking a postdoctoral candidate for a research position to work with leading scientists in the development of experimental facilities elucidating fuel combustion and pyrolysis chemistry.  The candidate will work closely with staff members and students to design, construct, and operate combustion experiments including non-premixed flames, stirred reactors, and flow reactors. A primary goal will be to apply state-of-art analytical chemistry tools to the aforementioned combustion systems, including laser diagnostics and molecular beam mass spectrometry. The data obtained by the candidate will be used to develop and validate chemical kinetic models for novel transportation fuels such as alcohols, ketones, and branched hydrocarbons. The candidate will write technical papers and present his/her work at program reviews and technical conferences.  The candidate must be able to work independently as well as in a research team.  Depending on the candidate’s expertise, he/she may be expected to spend up to 30% traveling to technical conferences and visiting collaborators in the North America, Europe, and Asia. Following is a specific list of duties and essential skills being desired. However, lack in a certain area will not negatively impact a candidate’s application as long as he/she has the willingness to learn from the current experts at KAUST CCRC.

• Aid in the design and development of bench-top scale stirred reactors and flow reactors for studying combustion and pyrolysis chemistry.
• Installation and operation of a molecular beam mass spectrometry system. This system will enable groundbreaking research in ion chemistry of flames and plasmas by the study of negative ions.
• Application of laser-based photoionization with time-of-flight mass spectrometry.
• Development of novel laser-based absorption techniques to study flame chemistry.
• Leverage the KAUST core lab Analytical Chemistry facility to use cutting edge liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry systems to study condensed phase pyrolysis products.
• Work effectively with members of a research team, supporting staff and collaborators outside of KAUST, including colleagues at leading international combustion research groups.
• Present work at working group meetings and conferences.

• Recent PhD in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or related field.
• Intrusive and/or non-intrusive sampling of flames and static reactors.
• Gas-phase and liquid phase analytical chemistry methods.
• Gas Chromatography (GC) with Mass Spectrometry (MS), Flame Ionization Detection (FID), and Thermal Conductivity Detection (TCD).
• Laser based absorption and ionization experience is considered an asset.
• Application of mass spectrometry methods to studying gas phase chemistry.
• High Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) .
• Non-dispersive Infrared Spectroscopy (NDIR) and Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy.
• Sampling of gas phase compounds using adsorption cartridges or sampling bags.
• Thermal desorption for sampling for polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
• Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) for studying fuel molecular structure.
• Research experience in the area of combustion.
• Demonstrated interpersonal skills necessary to interact with a diverse set of scientists, engineers, and other technical and administrative staff.
• Demonstrated written and verbal communication skills, as evidenced by publication and presentation record.

Salary: Highly competitive salary depending on qualification and seniority. No income tax is paid in Saudi Arabia.

Other benefits: Free furnished housing, free health care (medical and dental), 30 days annual vacation, air transportation to KAUST and return after the end of contract.

Interested applicants should send (i) a detailed CV, (ii) contacts of three references, and (iii) authored research articles and apply on the KAUST website,

NOTE: This is a guaranteed two-year term appointment with the possibility of extension to a maximum of three years. The position will remain open until filled, but the candidate is expected to join the team as soon as possible.

The Clean Combustion Research Center conducts basic and applied research in the field of combustion. Topics of interest include: fuel formulation, oxy-fuel combustion, chemical kinetics, carbon capture, turbulent combustion, laser diagnostics, soot formation, sprays, flame-based nanoparticle synthesis, turbulent aerosols, and novel combustion concepts. The CCRC research program synergistically combines experimental and computational approaches.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is an international, graduate-level research university located on the Red Sea in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dedicated to inspiring a new age of scientific achievement that will benefit the region and the world, KAUST aims to contribute to the very best of future research. Read more at

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