Post-doc: Catalytic Control over Molecular & Polymer Materials

Department/faculty: Applied Sciences
Level: PhD degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 3 years
Salary: €3068 to €4028

Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences is the largest faculty of TU Delft, with around 550 scientists, a support staff of 250 and 1,800 students. The faculty conducts fundamental, application-oriented research and offers scientific education at the bachelor, master and doctoral levels. The faculty is active in the fields of Life and Health Science & Technology, Nanoscience, Chemical Engineering, Radiation Science & Technology, and Applied Physics.

The Department of Chemical Engineering promotes the pursuit and dissemination of knowledge in chemistry and chemical engineering, with a focus on materials for energy and health applications. We aspire to improve the quality of life in a sustainable society through discovery and innovation, the quality of life of our graduates through inspiration and teaching, and the quality of life of our peers through collaboration and exchange. With a proud heritage in chemical engineering, the department seeks to break new ground in areas where molecular understanding and engineering design meet.

The Advanced Soft Matter (ASM) research group is focused on the development and characterisation of new, functional, soft molecular and polymer materials, as well as the design and synthesis of new functional molecules and polymers. Examples include dynamic gels and surfactants, self-healing materials and out-of-equilibrium systems, often formed by self-assembly or directed self-assembly of molecular building blocks. Materials of interest may range from bio-organic to opto-electronic, nanostructured materials.

Job description

We seek a talented and ambitious post-doctoral researcher for a challenging research project on the border between synthetic organic chemistry, polymer chemistry, catalysis and responsive materials. The project aims at use of responsive catalysts as a way to introduce signal transduction in organic materials. The post-doctoral position is concerned with the design and synthesis of new responsive catalysts, and incorporation in molecular and polymer materials, mostly in the gel phase. A major part of the project will be concerned with material synthesis and characterisation.
The project is part of an ERC Consolidator project supervised by Dr. Rienk Eelkema. The post-doctoral fellow will be part of a larger team of up to six PhDs and post-docs working on the ERC project. Most of the work will be performed in the Advanced Soft Matter section at the Department of Chemical Engineering of Delft University of Technology. Some aspects will be carried out in collaborations both within and outside the Department or the University.


The successful candidate will have a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry and/or polymer chemistry. You must have practical skills in multi-step organic synthesis, the ability to analyse and optimise reaction processes, and the ability to select and execute appropriate purification techniques for isolating compounds on a 50 mg to 50 g scale. Desirable experience includes (a) NMR, HPLC, GPC, MS (b) UV-VIS, fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy (light, confocal, AFM, SEM, TEM) (c) kinetics (d) rheology. It is essential that you are able to demonstrate competence in these areas, as judged by publications (or papers in press) in high quality, peer-reviewed journals. Very good spoken and written English is mandatory.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers child care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. R. Eelkema, phone: +31 (0)15-2781035, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, list of references and letter of application by 1 July 2017 to Dr. R. Eelkema,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number TNWCE17-023.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Applied Sciences
PhD degree
Working hours
3 years
€3068 to €4028

Closing date
July 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact R. Eelkema, Associate Professor.

T +31 (0)15-2781035

For more information about the application procedure, please contact R. Eelkema/Chemical Engineering.