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Post Doctoral position on the chemistry of self-healing concrete 948769

A Post Doc position is available from February 1st, 2018 or later at iNANO and the Department of Chemistry, the Faculty of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, focussing on the chemistry and characterization of self-healing concrete. The position is available for one year with the possibility of extension for another year.

Concrete is the world’s most durable, reliable and economical construction material with an annual consumption in volume by society only surpassed by water. Currently, no alternatives for concrete exist which can be supplied at a sufficient scale globally. The durability and lifetime of concrete structures depend mainly on their chemical environment, nano- and micro-sized pores in the materials and larger cracks formed with time by physical stress or heavy loadings.

The aim of the project is to develop microbial and chemical additives which can heal concrete structures by filling up the pores and cracks when these are formed in the material. The principal approach will be microbially-induced calcium carbonate precipitation, where bacterial endospores are encapsulated into the concrete. When cracks occur, water will penetrate and induce the endospores to germinate and grow, thereby producing CO2 which in the alkaline, Ca-rich environment of concrete will result in CaCO3 precipitation.

The actual Post Doc project is a part of a larger project, which also involves a PhD student and a Post Doc associated with the Section for Microbiology at Bioscience, Aarhus University, and the experimental work will be performed in collaboration with this section. The research will mainly be performed at the Department of Chemistry and iNANO and it will focus on laboratory-based experiments for detection of pores and cracks in concrete structures using microstructural characterization techniques such as low-field 1H NMR for probing pores, pore connectivities and cracks in concrete. The chemical environment in these pores and cracks will be explored and approaches to modify the pore-solution chemistry will be developed to create functional conditions for microbially-induced CaCO3 precipitation. In addition, the structural evolution and morphology of the formed calcium carbonate will be characterized to explore its impact on pore and crack connectivities in the concrete material.
Qualifications and specific competences:
The candidate should have a PhD in chemistry, nanoscience, geology, materials science or materials engineering. Knowledge about inorganic materials, cement chemistry, and microscale characterization tools (e.g. NMR spectroscopy) will be considered as a plus.

Place of work and area of employment:
The place of work is Langelandesgade 140, 8000 Aarhus C, and the area of employment is Aarhus University with related departments

Applicants seeking further information are invited to contact:  Assoc. Prof. Jørgen Skibsted, e-mail:, phone +45 2899 2029.

Application procedure
Shortlisting is used. This means that after the deadline for applications – and with the assistance from the assessment committee chairman, and the appointment committee if necessary, – the head of department selects the candidates to be evaluated. All applicants will be notified whether or not their applications have been sent to an expert assessment committee for evaluation. The selected applicants will be informed about the composition of the committee, and each applicant is given the opportunity to comment on the part of the assessment that concerns him/her self. Once the recruitment process is completed a final letter of rejection is sent to the deselected applicants, including the main considerations emphasized during the selection process.

Formalities and salary range

Science and Technology refers to the Ministerial Order on the Appointment of Academic Staff at Danish Universities under the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

The application must be in English and include a curriculum vitae, degree certificate, a complete list of publications, a statement of future research plans and information about research activities, teaching portfolio and verified information on previous teaching experience (if any). Guidelines for applicants can be found here.

Appointment shall be in accordance with the collective labour agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. Further information on qualification requirements and job content may be found in the Memorandum on Job Structure for Academic Staff at Danish Universities. Salary depends on seniority as agreed between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Confederation of Professional Associations.

All interested candidates are encouraged to apply, regardless of their personal background.

Aarhus University offers Relocation service to International researchers. You can read more about it here.


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