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Phd - REFOPACK Reshaping of food packaging towards recyclability: the role of bioinspired nanocoatings

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme. The position is available from 1 September 2022 or later.

Title
REFOPACK Reshaping of food packaging towards recyclability: the role of bioinspired nanocoatings

Research area and project description
For a fully circular packaging system and carbon neutrality, plastic production from renewable resources and high level of recycling, remanufacturing and reuse is required. To achieve this, biodegradable polymers have gained considerable attention such as in food and medical packaging. Life Cycle Analyses has demonstrated that mechanical recycling should be preferred followed by biodegradation/composting for biodegradable plastics. However, for recycled biodegradable plastics functional properties and safety must be retained, evaluated and validated. Nanocoatings seem to improve the technological properties of plastics for food packaging, but their impact on recycling and composting process of biodegradable plastics remains to be outlined. Graphene, a very well characterized two dimensional (2D) nanoparticle, will be used as a model system to demonstrate that by fine tuning its properties in polymer-graphene systems. However, the interaction of graphene/polymer coating solution and impact of these coatings on recycling and biodegradation still need to be investigated and understood in-depth fundamental research. The surface properties of 2D nanomaterials plays an important role on its uniform distribution in the polymer matrix. The processing and study of complex microstructure of graphene/polymer multifunctional composite coatings need to be clearly addressed.

This PhD project is part of the new research project, REFOPACK, funded by the AUFF Novo and will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Rafael Auras from School of Packaging, Michigan State University in USA. REFOPACK project will focus on the use of graphene in coating matrix deposited on biodegradable plastic and serve as a proof of concept towards a green transition to zero waste society.

We are looking for a highly creative and motivated applicant, who will work on a multidisciplinary project at the intersection of polymer materials and food science.

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences
The candidate will need to demonstrate adaptability to the multi-disciplinary nature of the work, and the capacity to carry out experimental work safely, and with precision. The successful applicant should have:

  • A MSc degree or equivalent in polymer science, polymer chemistry, material science or engineering or a related field;
  • High motivation and strong passion and experience in polymer chemistry, production and functionalization of graphene related materials and advanced materials characterization techniques;
  • Deep curiosity driven interest in investigating the structure-property-end of life relationships of polymers in food packaging applications;
  • A prior knowledge and experience in polymer coating technologies, polymer processing, 2D nanostructures and analytical techniques for food contact materials which will be advantageous;
  • A high level of verbal and written communication in English as this is the language at work.
  • Practical abilities to work in a variety of labs, build new experimental setups and conduct research independently.
  • Good interpersonal skills, the ability to thrive in a diverse, multidisciplinary environment, and the ability to disseminate scientific results.

Training will be provided in certain techniques, depending on qualifications.

Place of employment and place of work
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Department of Food Science, Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

Contacts
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:
How to apply
Please follow this link to submit your application.

Application deadline is 05 June 2022 23:59 CEST.

Preferred starting date is 1 September 2022.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note
  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.

 

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Phd - REFOPACK Reshaping of food packaging towards recyclability: the role of bioinspired nanocoatings

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Technical Sciences, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme. The position is available from 1 September 2022 or later.

Title
REFOPACK Reshaping of food packaging towards recyclability: the role of bioinspired nanocoatings

Research area and project description
For a fully circular packaging system and carbon neutrality, plastic production from renewable resources and high level of recycling, remanufacturing and reuse is required. To achieve this, biodegradable polymers have gained considerable attention such as in food and medical packaging. Life Cycle Analyses has demonstrated that mechanical recycling should be preferred followed by biodegradation/composting for biodegradable plastics. However, for recycled biodegradable plastics functional properties and safety must be retained, evaluated and validated. Nanocoatings seem to improve the technological properties of plastics for food packaging, but their impact on recycling and composting process of biodegradable plastics remains to be outlined. Graphene, a very well characterized two dimensional (2D) nanoparticle, will be used as a model system to demonstrate that by fine tuning its properties in polymer-graphene systems. However, the interaction of graphene/polymer coating solution and impact of these coatings on recycling and biodegradation still need to be investigated and understood in-depth fundamental research. The surface properties of 2D nanomaterials plays an important role on its uniform distribution in the polymer matrix. The processing and study of complex microstructure of graphene/polymer multifunctional composite coatings need to be clearly addressed.

This PhD project is part of the new research project, REFOPACK, funded by the AUFF Novo and will be carried out in collaboration with Prof. Rafael Auras from School of Packaging, Michigan State University in USA. REFOPACK project will focus on the use of graphene in coating matrix deposited on biodegradable plastic and serve as a proof of concept towards a green transition to zero waste society.

We are looking for a highly creative and motivated applicant, who will work on a multidisciplinary project at the intersection of polymer materials and food science.

Project description. For technical reasons, you must upload a project description. Please simply copy the project description above, and upload it as a PDF in the application.

Qualifications and specific competences
The candidate will need to demonstrate adaptability to the multi-disciplinary nature of the work, and the capacity to carry out experimental work safely, and with precision. The successful applicant should have:

  • A MSc degree or equivalent in polymer science, polymer chemistry, material science or engineering or a related field;
  • High motivation and strong passion and experience in polymer chemistry, production and functionalization of graphene related materials and advanced materials characterization techniques;
  • Deep curiosity driven interest in investigating the structure-property-end of life relationships of polymers in food packaging applications;
  • A prior knowledge and experience in polymer coating technologies, polymer processing, 2D nanostructures and analytical techniques for food contact materials which will be advantageous;
  • A high level of verbal and written communication in English as this is the language at work.
  • Practical abilities to work in a variety of labs, build new experimental setups and conduct research independently.
  • Good interpersonal skills, the ability to thrive in a diverse, multidisciplinary environment, and the ability to disseminate scientific results.

Training will be provided in certain techniques, depending on qualifications.

Place of employment and place of work
The place of employment is Aarhus University, and the place of work is Department of Food Science, Agro Food Park 48, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark

Contacts
Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:
How to apply
Please follow this link to submit your application.

Application deadline is 05 June 2022 23:59 CEST.

Preferred starting date is 1 September 2022.

For information about application requirements and mandatory attachments, please see our application guide.

Please note
  • The programme committee may request further information or invite the applicant to attend an interview.
  • Shortlisting will be used, which means that the evaluation committee only will evaluate the most relevant applications.

Aarhus University’s ambition is to be an attractive and inspiring workplace for all and to foster a culture in which each individual has opportunities to thrive, achieve and develop. We view equality and diversity as assets, and we welcome all applicants. All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background. Salary and terms of employment are in accordance with applicable collective agreement.

 

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