Keegstra Postdoctoral Researcher – Identification of Promising Replacement Bioproducts

Position Type

We seek to fill a Research Associate (Postdoc) position with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). The Keegstra Postdoc will interact with the group of Professor Maravelias at Princeton University, and the groups of Professors Noguera and Thomas at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

A significant challenge for conversion researchers is the identification of economically viable target chemicals for bioproduction. Much of the previous and current work has focused on the bioproduction of existing commodity chemicals to replace petroleum-based production methods for these chemicals. In many cases, the cost comparison of producing these chemicals through a biological process is unfavorable compared to the petroleum-based process. This economic challenge suggests that an alternative avenue of investigation would be the identification of promising replacement chemicals and the biological means to produce these replacement chemicals.

Accordingly, we seek to develop methods that will integrate computational and chemical analyses of molecules to assess possible applications, computational and biological analyses to assess the biosynthetic routes for generating the replacement chemicals, and process models to assess the economic viability as well as identify the key areas of research to reduce production costs. We envision the postdoc would lead the integration of these goals while interacting closely with researchers from bioproduct producing groups and economic modeling.

The successful applicant will be independent, motivated, capable of working as part of a collaborative team. The position will be located at UW–Madison or Princeton University. The postdoc will be jointly supervised by Professors Maravelias, Noguera, and Thomas.

The position is for up to two years, appointed yearly based on funding and performance, with an initial salary of $60,000/year, standard UW–Madison or Princeton University benefits, and funds for research expenses and travel. Candidates must have received their PhD degree within three years of the start of this position and must not have been previously associated with GLBRC. The postdoc is expected to take an active role in the GLBRC community by facilitating integrative work and leading Center activities.

Applicants must hold a PhD in a field related to chemical engineering, environmental engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, or similar fields. The successful applicant will have strong writing and communication skills. Strong computational skills, including experience in process modeling (process synthesis and simulation, optimization), de novo metabolic pathway design, will be viewed favorably.

Required Application Materials and Application Instructions:
Candidates should provide:

  1. A letter summarizing research experience and interests;
  2. A current CV; and
  3. Contact information for three references.

Please direct completed applications to Christos Maravelias (

Deadline to Apply