Postdoctoral Researcher in Analyzing Intermediates of Reactions and Isomers in Catalysis Engineering

University of Oulu Faculty of Science


Postdoctoral Researcher (3 years) for Analyzing Intermediates of Reactions and Isomers in Catalysis Engineering with Advanced Ion Mass-Spectrometry

We, at the University of Oulu, work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions.

The transition of the energy and chemical industries to renewable feedstocks is a challenge faced by scientists and engineers of today and it will determine the trajectory of human civilization for decades to come. Catalysis is a crucial enabling technology for transforming raw materials into fuels and chemicals, positioning catalysts at a focal point of multidisciplinary research in many areas of physical sciences and engineering.

We are now looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with experience in ion mass spectrometry for an interdisciplinary project combining advanced chemical engineering with state-of-the-art physical chemistry methods. The project focuses on zeolites – key catalysts for emerging sustainable processes such as biomass valorisation and CO2 conversion into valuable products – and their use in conversion of hydrocarbons.

You will apply and develop advanced methods in mass-spectrometry to study highly-reactive molecules in zeolite catalysis, and together with a team of physicists and chemical engineers help develop more detailed models of their complex chemical behaviour. You are not afraid to tackle challenges related to novel instrumentation and have a drive for developing methods for advanced characterization of materials and processes. During your work you get to publish the results in leading international scientific journals, assist in supervision of PhD students, and participate in educational activities and writing of funding applications.

The project is carried in international and interdisciplinary collaboration with researchers from University of Oulu, University of Oslo, Norway and the synchrotron radiation facility MAX IV Laboratory (Lund, Sweden). The Universities of Oulu and Oslo offer access to a wide range of modern, state-of-the-art research infrastructures that are available for the project. Part of the experiments will be carried out at MAX IV Laboratory. Secondment periods to both to Oslo and MAX IV Laboratory may apply.

Description of the research environment

The position is hosted in the Nano and Molecular Systems Research Unit (NANOMO, at University of Oulu. The NANOMO research unit focuses on molecular scale materials physics and novel applications of spectroscopic and imaging techniques. The research topics include electronic structure research in nanomaterials, functional materials, biomedical research, mesoscopic quantum structures in materials, and physics didactics. The main external funding sources are the European Union ERC, Horizon2020 programs, EU EIT-RawMaterials, European Regional Development Fund, and Academy of Finland. The unit coordinates the Finnish national participation in the MAX IV Laboratory, participates in the operation of the FinEstBeAMS beamline, and contributes to the European Free Electron Laser Eu-XFEL project.

The collaborative site, Catalysis section at University of Oslo Centre for Materials Science and Nanotechnology (Department of Chemistry), has approximately 30 members (five permanent faculty members) who synthesize and characterize a diverse set of catalysts, ranging from zeolites and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) materials to homogenous metal-organic complexes. The section focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms of industrially relevant reactions, such as methanol conversion to hydrocarbons on zeolites, CO2 hydrogenation to methanol on MOFs, and selective CH4 activation on biomimetic catalysts. The section is widely recognized for expertise in catalytic kinetics and reaction mechanisms in heterogeneous catalysis.  

University of Oulu is an international scientific community, with 15,000 students and 3,000 employees. The wide multidisciplinarity is a strength of the University both in education and research interests. The modern environment, world-class research infrastructures and extensive cooperation with international research institutes and private sector organizations provide excellent possibilities for research and innovation. More information

Requirements for the post

  • PhD in physics, chemistry, chemical engineering, or other relevant field, obtained less than 10 years ago
  • Demonstrated experience in ion mass spectrometry
  • Strong interest in instrumentation and method development
  • Very good proficiency in the English language (both written and spoken)
  • Good communication skills and the ability to work as a part of team and in

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