|CCL 21.08.27 Ph.D. Positions in Computational Modeling of Soft Materials|
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To: jobs at ccl.net
Date: Fri Aug 27 11:24:23 2021
Subject: 21.08.27 Ph.D. Positions in Computational Modeling of Soft Materials
The Turner Lab at The University of Alabama (Tuscaloosa, AL, USA) is seeking multiple Ph.D. students to work on modeling projects related to molecular simulation and multi-scale modeling. The projects involve molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, Monte Carlo (MC) methods, density-functional theory (DFT), and the development of advanced kinetic Monte Carlo (KMC) simulation tools, so strong programming skills and previous computational experience are desired. Ph.D. students are provided a competitive stipend, as well as free tuition and health insurance. Several different research projects are currently available for students to pursue, and each of the projects is sponsored by a federal agency (National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Energy, etc.) or by private industry. Furthermore, each project involves close interaction with experimental collaborators. Current topics include: 1. Molecular Design of Solvents for Directional Solvent Extraction of High-Salinity Brines. The energy efficiency and selectivity of directional solvent extraction can surpass typical distillation or membrane systems, leading to realistic and environmentally-friendly approaches for water purification. Molecular simulations are being used to guide the design of high-performance solvents that also have very low toxicity and low cost, leading to practical implementation in many different situations. 2. Structural and Performance Behavior of Ionenes. Ionenes (i.e., cationic polymers formed from condensation reactions) are an emerging class of polymers that can be used in polymeric membrane applications. Furthermore, composite membrane materials can be formed by combining ionenes with ionic liquids, providing a highly-tunable platform for performing molecular separations. Simulation are being used to guide the development of ionene composition and structure, as well as suggest ideal pairings with different ionic liquids, in order to generate highly selective membrane materials. 3. Upcycling End-of-Life Plastic Waste. Once in the environment, plastic wastes are prone to form smaller particles known as microplastics, release toxic plasticizers and additives, and affect plant and animal life at all levels. Polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), poly(vinyl chloride) (PVC), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) make up the large majority of this waste, and are thus the primary plastics polluting the environment. We are developing routes to upcycle (rather than recycle) these wastes into value-added products by performing molecular-level simulations of solvent design and molecular-based separation strategies. 4. Designing Thin Films for Barrier and Lubrication Applications. As mechanical devices shrink, and design requirement evolve, there is a growing need to develop molecular-level strategies for growing atomically precise thin films. These films can act as gas permeation barriers to protect against oxidation or as mechanical barriers for tribological and lubrication applications. Multi-scale modeling tools are being developed to connect atomistic models to the experimental synthesis, in order to create rational design strategies.
Interested candidates should contact Prof. C. Heath Turner (hturner-$-eng.ua.edu) with their CV and a statement of interest and motivation in a combined PDF document. Applicants will be reviewed on a rolling basis (deadline: Nov. 15, 2021). Strong candidates will be provided with a waiver for free application to our graduate program (http://graduate.ua.edu).NOTE THAT E-MAIL ADDRESSES HAVE BEEN MODIFIED!!!
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