University of Bath: Research Associate position – closing date 2nd of May

Research Associate (SIMPAFY) -Fixed Term Contract

Mechanical Engineering

Salary:  Starting from £31,656, rising to £37,768
Placed On:  Wednesday 13 April 2016
Closing Date:  Monday 02 May 2016
Interview Date:  To be confirmed
Reference:  CT3682R

Life Cycle Assessment and Systems Analysis Yeast Derived Alternative to Palm Oil

We are looking for a Research Associate to be part of the newly awarded IB Catalyst project. The SIMPAFY project (Sustainable Integrated Microwave Processing And Fermentative Yeast) is a large academic and industrial partnership aimed at producing a palm oil substitute from a yeast cultured on lignocellulosic residue. Previous work in the consortia has demonstrated that the yeast Metschnikowia pulcherrima can be cultured inexpensively under non-sterile conditions, producing a range of products including a viscous triglyceride oil. We have further demonstrated that M pulcherrima can be cultured on lignocellulose hydrolysate produced using a novel low-energy, one-step microwave process. In this project the microwave processing of biomass will be further developed, genetic transformation of the unique strain of yeast will be undertaken to increase the efficiency of the process, we will develop a tailored bioreactor design for the fermentation and aim to demonstrate the process on the industrial pilot scale.

Within this team the suitable candidate will undertake LCA and technoeconomic systems analysis of the production process, including the microwave processing and fermentation. In addition to joining the SIMPAFY team, the successful candidate will join a vibrant research group, the Sustainable Energy Research Team (SERT). The research will be expected to help develop a truly sustainable process by identifying key bottlenecks in the production process while contributing to the wider research community both nationally and internationally.

Applicants should hold a relevant degree and PhD and have a full and working knowledge of life cycle assessment, preferably within the bioenergy research area.  The ability to assess systems from a wide sustainability perspective, including technical, economic and environmental is essential. A working knowledge of the LCA tool SimaPro would be an advantage.

This project has been jointly funded by BBSRC, EPSRC and Innovate UK as part of the IB Catalyst Programme and is a collaboration between the Universities of Bath and York and industry partners Croda, C-TECH and AB Agri.

The post is full time (36.5 hours per week) and is being offered on a fixed term contract basis of up to 4 years.

The post holder will be required to start as soon as practicable.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr. Marcelle McManus (

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