Research Assistant/Associate in Chemical Engineering

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK


  • Posted on: 28th Apr 2021
  • REF: 7381
  • Closes: 01st January 1970
  • Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
  • Hours: Full Time

We are a world class research-intensive university. We deliver teaching and learning of the highest quality. We play a leading role in economic, social and cultural development of the North East of England. Attracting and retaining high-calibre people is fundamental to our continued success.


Research Assistant : £28,331 – £30,046 per annum

Research Associate : £30,942 – £35,845.00 per annum

Closing Date: 9 June 2021

The Role

We are seeking you to join our team as a dynamic researcher as part of the UK’s prominent Chemical Engineering groups headed by Professor Ian Metcalfe, FREng.

Based in the School of Engineering, our group are experts in supported molten-salt membranes for gas separation, as well as advanced catalysis preparation methodologies, e.g. exsolution. You will work in the areas of heterogenous catalysis and gas separation membranes, applied to CO2 capture and conversion.

In this project, supported by the EPSRC UK Catalysis Hub, you will work with Dr Evangelos I. Papaioannou (Lecturer) and Dr Greg A. Mutch (RAEng Research Fellow) to develop metal/metal oxide catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation and new supported molten-salt membranes. Your role will include catalyst synthesis, membrane preparation, characterisation and kinetic measurements, gas analysis and dissemination of results. A key deliverable of the project is to prepare novel membranes and catalysts for XAFS interrogation at Diamond Light Source with project partners.

To fulfil all the deliverables of the project you will work closely with team members as well as external stakeholders (University of Aberdeen, University of Glasgow, and Diamond Light Source). You should therefore be enthusiastic in the discipline, committed, and motivated with an aptitude for independent working as well as working as part of a diverse, interdisciplinary team.

We particularly welcome applications from a range of groups that are currently underrepresented in chemical engineering such as members of the LGBTQ+ and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

For more information about the School of Engineering, please click here.

This position is available immediately on a full-time, fixed-term basis for 12-months with the possibility of extension beyond this date. We will consider applications to work flexibly wherever possible.

For any informal enquiries, please contact Dr Evangelos Papaioannou via email : or Dr Greg A. Mutch

Key Accountabilities

Reporting to Dr Evangelos I. Papaioannou and Dr Greg A. Mutch
Responsible for:

  • Synthesis of metal/metal oxide catalysts for CO2 hydrogenation
  • Fabrication of ceramic membranes
  • Carrying out kinetic catalysis and/or membrane expeirments
  • Characterisation of the developed catalysts and membranes
  • Assist with the day-to-day running of the lab
  • Write peer-reviewed publications
  • Present research findings at national and international meetings and conferences
  • Delivery of project goals against a workplan, working with external stakeholders

The Person (Essential)

Knowledge, Skills and Experience

  • Experience in at least one of the following: catalyst synthesis (e.g. deposition, impregnation, exsolution etc), ceramic membrane fabrication (e.g. hollow fibres, tubular, pellet etc), CO2 hydrogenation catalysis, molten salts, kinetic measurements, gas analysis
  • Experience of materials characterisation (e.g. XRD, BET, SEM-EDX, XPS, XAFS etc)
  • Demonstrable ability to lead a research project, prioritise and deliver project goals against a workplan and publish results in peer-reviewed journals (commensurate with experience)

Attributes and Behaviour

  • Ability to work independently and under supervision, in a collaborative manner with colleagues at various levels, and to make decisions within the remit of the role, taking responsibility for the outcomes
  • Demonstrable experience of working in, and contributing to, a diverse, collaborative, interdisciplinary team, and willingness to co-supervise UG and PGR student projects
  • Committed to embedding the Universities values of equality and diversity in all aspects of your work
  • Excellent time management ability, organisational skills, and initiative in planning research and balancing competing priorities
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to communicate complex information clearly with local, national, and international stakeholders (project partners, industry, public) as a representative of the School


  • A minimum 2:1 Honours degree or equivalent in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science or closely-related subject
  • PhD awarded (or near completion) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science or closely-related subject

Newcastle University is committed to being a fully inclusive Global University which actively recruits, supports and retains staff from all sectors of society. We value diversity as well as celebrate, support and thrive on the contributions of all our employees and the communities they represent. We are proud to be an equal opportunities employer and encourage applications from everybody, regardless of race, sex, ethnicity, religion, nationality, sexual orientation, age, disability, gender identity, marital status/civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, as well as being open to flexible working practices.

Requisition ID: 7381

The School holds a bronze Athena SWAN award in addition to the University’s silver award in recognition of our good employment practices for the advancement of gender equality. The University also holds the HR Excellence in Research award for our work to support the career development of our researchers, and is a member of the Euraxess initiative supporting researchers in Europe.

Employer Achievements:

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