Netherlands: Post-doc Position in Computational Chemistry on Mechanism of Humin Formation at Eindhoven University of Technology

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Job description


Lignocellulosic biomass is one of the most promising renewable feedstock for the production of bulk chemical and fuels. The carbohydrate fraction of biomass can be converted to platform chemicals with a wide range of downstream applications via acid-catalyzed dehydration. However, the yield of the desired products is usually rather low due to the extensive formation of insoluble polymeric compounds, humins, resulting from condensation of partially dehydrated sugars. To rationally design a catalytic system that will allow to suppress the formation of such by-products, a deep molecular understanding of the mechanism of humin formation and the structure of the resulting polymeric species is necessary.

In this project, the reaction networks for condensation of different intermediates of carbohydrate dehydration will be investigated by state-of-the-art computational chemistry methods with the goal to identify the preferred mechanism of humin formation, shed light onto the structure of the resulting polymeric species and identify the fundamental factors that control the formation of the humin by-products in catalytic carbohydrate conversions. The theoretical research will be performed in a collaboration with the experimental partners within the national biomass conversion consortium.



We seek highly talented, motivated and enthusiastic candidates who recently finished their PhD or will obtain their PhD degree soon in Computational Chemistry or Computational Catalysis. Hands-on experience with quantum chemistry methodologies and good knowledge of physical organic chemistry is a must. Experience in computational mechanistic studies and programming skills are highly appreciated. The abilities of the candidates should be evident from her/his CV and publication list. Outstanding technical and analytical skills, initiative and creativity are expected. A successful candidate should demonstrate good communication skills, fluency in English and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary and multinational team.

Conditions of employment

Employment conditions:

We offer a challenging job for 1 years in a dynamic and ambitious interdisciplinary team at the Department of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at Eindhoven University of Technology within the national CatchBio program aiming at developing new processes for catalytic valorization of biomass.

The gross monthly salary of postdoctoral fellows is in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement of the Dutch Universities (CAO NU) and starts with € 2919,=. Besides this the TU/e has holiday- and end-of the year allowance, an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees, a child-care facility, and a modern sports complex. Assistance for finding accommodation can also be provided.

Additional information

Additional Information:

For more information about this vacancy please contact Dr. Evgeny Pidko (
For information concerning employment conditions you can contact Ms. A.D. Boekema (Arianne), HR-advisor +31 (0)40 247 4960,

Application procedure:

To be considered for this position please send your application online. Selection will start immediately and continue until the position has been filled. The application should include the following documents:
An application letter that outlines your qualification, ambitions, interests and motivation for this position
A detailed CV including information about education, employment, research experience and skills, publication list and contact information of at least two references.

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