Research Associate: Development of Concrete Biotreatments for Nuclear Decommissioning (109384)
 

Salary range:  £31,604 - £38,833
FTE:  1.0
Term:  Fixed (2 years)  
Closing Date: 18 March 2018

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering seeks to recruit a Research Associate for an initial two-year fixed term position to work on concrete biotreatment for nuclear decommissioning. The project is funded by a combination of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and by industry partners. The Department has over two million pounds of current research projects in the Nuclear sector and leads the Decommissioning and Waste Management theme in the Advanced Nuclear Research Centre (ANRC) at the University of Strathclyde.

The overarching aim of this research project is to develop a novel microbially-treated ‘decommissionable’ concrete that minimises the need for mechanical scabbling during decommissioning, by containing radionuclides within a thin removable layer. Traditionally, concrete structures such as ponds and silos must be surface decontaminated to minimise the requirements for waste disposal. This process involves removal of highly contaminated surface material and is both expensive and hazardous, often resulting in the spread of contaminated particulates over large areas. This research will develop a new technology for treatment of concrete structures to produce a thin concrete surface, tailored for rapid, safe decommissioning and waste minimisation. The project will involve development of a technology that deploys biomineralisation of apatites onto, and slightly within, a concrete surface. Initial research will optimise creation of apatite using bacterial biofilms. Batch experiments will be conducted to optimise conditions for microbially-mediated HAP deposition. Biomineral layers deposited will be examined using ESEM, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray Diffraction Radionuclide uptake will be quantified by use of ICPOES. A number of techniques will be trialled to facilitate rapid, efficient removal of the HAP layer prior to concrete decommissioning.

The successful candidate will (1) investigate the efficacy of selected microorganisms to facilitate precipitation of microbially-mediated hydroxyapatite on concrete surfaces (2) characterise the biominerals formed (3) develop technologies for rapid removal of the biomineral layer. The Research Associate will also liaise with ANRC industry partners who will provide input to the project.

To be considered for the role, you will be educated to a minimum of PhD level in a relevant field (e.g. Materials, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Chemical, Civil or Environmental Engineering) or you will have significant relevant experience in addition to a relevant Degree (e.g. Microbiology/Biotechnology, Materials, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Chemical Engineering). You will have sufficient breadth or depth of knowledge of microorganisms and a developing ability to conduct individual research work, to disseminate results and to prepare research proposals. You will have an ability to plan and organise your own workload effectively and an ability to work within a team environment. You will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to listen, engage and persuade, and to present complex information in an accessible way to a range of audiences.

For informal enquries, please contact Dr Joanna Renshaw, Senior Lecturer joanna.renshaw@strath.ac.uk
+44 (0)141 548 4865

Click here for full details.
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
Department/School
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Staff Category
Research
Type of Employment
Fixed-term
Working Hours
Full-time
 
Salary range:  £31,604 - £38,833
FTE:  1.0
Term:  Fixed (2 years)  
Closing Date: 18 March 2018

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering seeks to recruit a Research Associate for an initial two-year fixed term position to work on concrete biotreatment for nuclear decommissioning. The project is funded by a combination of the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and by industry partners. The Department has over two million pounds of current research projects in the Nuclear sector and leads the Decommissioning and Waste Management theme in the Advanced Nuclear Research Centre (ANRC) at the University of Strathclyde.

The overarching aim of this research project is to develop a novel microbially-treated ‘decommissionable’ concrete that minimises the need for mechanical scabbling during decommissioning, by containing radionuclides within a thin removable layer. Traditionally, concrete structures such as ponds and silos must be surface decontaminated to minimise the requirements for waste disposal. This process involves removal of highly contaminated surface material and is both expensive and hazardous, often resulting in the spread of contaminated particulates over large areas. This research will develop a new technology for treatment of concrete structures to produce a thin concrete surface, tailored for rapid, safe decommissioning and waste minimisation. The project will involve development of a technology that deploys biomineralisation of apatites onto, and slightly within, a concrete surface. Initial research will optimise creation of apatite using bacterial biofilms. Batch experiments will be conducted to optimise conditions for microbially-mediated HAP deposition. Biomineral layers deposited will be examined using ESEM, energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS) and X-ray Diffraction Radionuclide uptake will be quantified by use of ICPOES. A number of techniques will be trialled to facilitate rapid, efficient removal of the HAP layer prior to concrete decommissioning.

The successful candidate will (1) investigate the efficacy of selected microorganisms to facilitate precipitation of microbially-mediated hydroxyapatite on concrete surfaces (2) characterise the biominerals formed (3) develop technologies for rapid removal of the biomineral layer. The Research Associate will also liaise with ANRC industry partners who will provide input to the project.

To be considered for the role, you will be educated to a minimum of PhD level in a relevant field (e.g. Materials, Environmental Microbiology, Environmental Analytical Chemistry, Chemical, Civil or Environmental Engineering) or you will have significant relevant experience in addition to a relevant Degree (e.g. Microbiology/Biotechnology, Materials, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences, Chemical Engineering). You will have sufficient breadth or depth of knowledge of microorganisms and a developing ability to conduct individual research work, to disseminate results and to prepare research proposals. You will have an ability to plan and organise your own workload effectively and an ability to work within a team environment. You will have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to listen, engage and persuade, and to present complex information in an accessible way to a range of audiences.

For informal enquries, please contact Dr Joanna Renshaw, Senior Lecturer joanna.renshaw@strath.ac.uk
+44 (0)141 548 4865

Click here for full details.