A five-year Research Programme Grant will bring together scientists, engineers, and architects to develop new natural materials capable of providing a renewable and energyefficient alternative to traditional manufactured materials.

As the global population grows and becomes increasingly urban, traditional approaches to the construction of the built environment are unsustainable. Architecture and civil and structural engineering are among the most resource-intensive fields of human endeavour. Concrete and steel, energy intensive in production and significant contributors to global carbon dioxide, are used in most built infrastructure. Our vision is to establish new sustainable applications for renewable, energy-efficient and plant-based natural materials in the built environment, in order to improve building quality and mitigate the human impact on climate change.

This programme brings together people and research in plant sciences, biochemistry, chemistry, fluid dynamics, engineering and architecture in a groundbreaking manner. It aims to fundamentally transform the way we build, and we will develop and extend research to enable the substitution of traditional manufactured materials with new naturally-based materials. A significant goal will be to ensure new materials are less energy intensive and more sustainable than those they replace. Applicants should have a strong PhD in either Architecture (technology related), Biochemistry, Chemistry, Civil, Structural or Materials Engineering, Fluid Mechanics, Materials Science, Plant Science, or similarly appropriate background. You should be self-motivated and able to organise, perform and analyse experiments with minimal instruction. You will have previous laboratory experience (or equivalent practical experience) and be capable of working efficiently and productively without direct supervision. Careful observation and accurate computer- based record keeping and presentation are essential. The positions may be held in any of the associated departments as appropriate.

Candidates with previous practical or post-doctoral experience in architecture or structural engineering (especially timber or bamboo and structural testing), biochemistry (especially plant cell wall or polysaccharide biochemistry), chemistry (with particularly emphasis on polymer, supramolecular and/or synthetic chemistry), or fluid mechanics (related to convection or the built environment), problem solving, or materials fabrication, and good command of oral and written English are strongly encouraged. Candidates should have an ability and interest to work in a multidisciplinary team across many length scales and domains.

Further details of the research programme and investigators involved are available here:

Please upload a CV with publications and cover letter outlining how you would be able to contribute to the project in light of your research interests via the web at:


* Limit of tenure will normally be 24 months in the first instance

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the ‘Apply’ button below. This will route you to the University’s Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form. Informal enquiries concerning the position may be made to the research group via email (natmat@aha.cam.ac.uk).

Interview dates will be arranged as appropriate; interviews may be held via Skype or similar.
Please quote reference GC03223 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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