Chemical Engineer

£30,056 - £32,670
23 Oct 2017
30 Nov 2017
Contract Type
Full Time

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is one of Europe's largest research organisations. We're trusted to support, enable and undertake pioneering projects in an amazing diversity of fields. Through world-class facilities and people, we're driving ground-breaking advances in science and technology.

STFC's Central Laser Facility (CLF) provides scientists with an unparalleled range of state-of-the-art laser technology to carry out a broad range of experiments in physics, chemistry and biology.

About The Role

We now have an exceptional opportunity for a commercially focused individual with a background in chemical engineering to join our team on a pioneering Waste-to-Energy project on an initial 24-month fixed term basis, providing engineering and research input to develop a novel 2kW demonstrator system for converting waste plastics into energy.

STFC have developed an innovative proprietary Vacuum Ultra Violet (VUV) light source for generating energy from waste materials. This source efficiently (>50% energy conversion) creates VUV which can be used to degrade municipal solid waste (MSW) producing a syngas. Other potential applications include oxidative technologies for purification, environmental non-abrasive polishing for materials cleaning, and disinfection. It has been known for some time that exposure of materials (i.e. polymers, organics and plastics) to UV leads to generation of CO/H2. Studies suggests that a very efficient and intense VUV source could produce syngas or usable hydrocarbons on its own. However, the real potential of this process is not known because of lack of powerful VUV sources. While at a low maturity level, STFCs technology has demonstrated initial potential to produce efficient VUV source for photolytic energy conversion.

In this new role, you will work across STFC's CLF and Business and Innovation Directorate (BID), which applies knowledge from STFC's facilities, research and technology programmes to the wider economy, delivering UK economic growth through spin-out companies, inward investment and collaborative industrial R&D.

This project is aiming to build a core expert team, in themselves a potential future spin-out organisation, who will take this research forward to the system-demonstrator stage. In the short-term the target markets include mixed waste plastic remediation, with long-term potential in a complete Energy from Waste process. You will manage develop models, manage research experiments, design reaction chambers and analyse results.

About You

You should hold a PhD in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Chemistry or related industry experience.

You should have a proven record in design and scale-up of Waste-to-Energy systems (i.e., pyrolysis, gasification, liquefaction). You will demonstrate knowledge of gas analysis and characterisation, of areas including process reactor design; scale-up and gas analysis; chemical reaction engineering, as well as knowledge of pro-active HSE systems to deliver a safe working environment.

Further experience or knowledge in the following areas is desirable but not essential:

- core chemical engineering operations in the field of combustion or other high-temperature processes
- chemical engineering process design and modelling (e.g. OpenFOAM, Aspen HYSYS etc.)

- process safety experience (Hazard Studies, SIL determination, etc.)
- process feasibility studies, both a theoretical/modelling and practical perspectives
- background in the following areas: physical transport phenomena (heat and mass transfer), (analytical) chemistry and thermodynamics
- Patents and other related intellectual property.

You will be proactive and entrepreneurial in outlook, with excellent inter-personal, communication, presentation and negotiation skills.


An exceptional index linked pension scheme, 30 days leave allowance and flexible working are offered, as well as an onsite nursery, subsidised restaurant, a gym and sports facilities.

To Apply

Applicants are required to include a cover letter outlining their suitability for this role. Please also state where you saw this role advertised.

Applications are received by UK SBS; to apply please visit our job board via the 'Apply Now' button Applicants who are unable to apply online should contact us by telephone.

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