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Postdoctoral Research Associate - Plastics Engineering

Apply now Job no: 523824
Position type: Staff Full Time
Benefit Status: Benefited-Union
Campus: UMass Lowell
Department: Plastics Engineering
Salary: Anticipated salary of $65,000 annualized
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General Summary of Position:

 The successful applicant will conduct experimental and analytical research in the areas of Plastics Engineering, Materials Science, and Mechanical Engineering with an emphasis on the material formulation, processing, manufacturing, and characterization of polymers, composites, and foams. Participate in submitting reports, scholarly articles, and proposals.

The initial appointment will be for approximately one-year with a possibility of renewal based on productivity, performance and the availability of funding.

Essential Job Duties:

1. Conduct analytical and experimental research under the supervision of the Principal Investigator (PI). This specifically involves:

  • Identify and formulate polymers, composites, and foams, including the utilization of recycled plastics.
  • Compound polymers and blends using lab-scale and pilot-scale extrusion processes.
  • Optimize foaming processes and foam materials using traditional and advanced foam fabrication processes including additive manufacturing
  • Evaluate the material properties and performance of the developed materials.
  • Ensure all project-related activities are conducted in a timely manner and to the highest standard.
  • Prepare status reports and deliverables in collaboration with and under the direction of the PI.
  • Collaborate actively and closely with the internal research team as well as research partners from external organizations.
  • Ensure all deliverables are delivered in a timely manner and to the highest standard.

2. Assist supervisor in writing scholarly articles and proposals for grant funding:

  • The successful candidate will be expected to initiate and assist in the formulation and writing of externally funded research proposals. This effort will include finding appropriate opportunities, finding collaborative partners, generating preliminary data, and proposal writing.
  • The successful candidate will also be expected to publish at least two articles per year in peer-reviewed scientific journals based on the research conducted. Papers and presentations at scientific conferences will also be required.
  • Development of patentable technologies over the course of the project may also be expected. 

3. Attend meetings related to the research projects:

  • Conduct weekly group meeting for the internal research team including PI, Co-PI, and students.
  • Actively participate and present in the cross-institutional research meetings.

4. Supervision of Undergraduate and Graduate Students:

  • Meet weekly with each student to review their research project, progress, papers and develop path forward.

Promote the University’s commitment to customer service:

  • Build effective partnerships with co-workers throughout the University.
  • Ensure optimum service to all internal and external partners in response to all requests for service and information.
  • Maintain an environment that is welcoming to persons of all backgrounds, nationalities, and roles.

Other Job Duties:

  • Performs other related duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications (Required):


  • PhD in Plastics Engineering, Polymers Engineering, Materials Science/Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, or related field.


  • Minimum five years of experience (including MS and PhD research experience) in research related to polymers engineering.


  • Ability to work as a team player
  • Strong technical report writing and communication skills
  • Knowledge of polymer materials, blends, and composites
  • Experience in the processing and manufacturing of polymers
  • Experience (or Familiarity) with various testing and characterization of polymeric materials

Additional Considerations:

  • Publications in the field
  • Ability to work independently, with limited direction, as well as within a team environment
  • Ability to mentor and inspire students with limited research experience

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Only current UML Employees within the Grants & Contracts (MTA/GRACE) bargaining unit will be considered during the first 10 business days of the posting. All other candidates will be considered after that period.

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled; however, the posting may close when an adequate number of qualified applications is received.

This position is contingent upon funding. The initial appointment will be for one-year with a possibility of renewal based on productivity, successful performance and the availability of funding.

Please include a resume, cover letter and research statement with your application.  Names and contact information of three references will be required during the application process.  Submission of a publication list is optional. 

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