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Research Assistant/Associate (Fixed Term) - Pro-Flow

A position is open for a jointly funded Postdoctoral Research Assistant/Associate, that is partly funded by InnovateUK funded ProFlow Research Project at the University of Cambridge, in the Acoustic Wave Physics group of Dr. Adrian Stevenson, & complemented part-time by industrial partner LabXero Ltd. The successful candidate will have a strong interdisciplinary background in acoustic wave transducers, biochemistry/microbiology & electrical engineering methods, including a PhD in a relevant area, but also be capable of working in a fast-paced environment with SMEs & startups. Experience with handling microalgae & working with microfluidic systems & sensors will be advantageous.

ProFlow is a Innovate UK funded project to develop a novel in-line process exploiting acoustic concentration technology, leveraged from cross-sector advances in health/agri-tech industries to manipulate cells, particles and compounds for biomanufacturing processes. This pioneering industrial R&D project brings together the multidisciplinary expertise of LabXero (innovative sample processing SME), University of Cambridge (expertise in world-leading downstream bioprocessing (CEB), experimental and computational fluid dynamics (Dept. of Physics) & advanced manufacturing (Institute for Manufacturing)), 42 Technology (manufacturing scale-up experts), Unilever (global consumer goods business) and AlgaeCytes (producer of high value compounds from microalgae) to develop an energy efficient, chemical free biomass harvesting and cellular- product extraction system for large-scale biomanufacture to create a high flow through-put device. This innovative process will provide a step- change improvement in downstream process efficiency & cost reduction, increasing the commercial viability of biomanufacturing processes in the UK, especially the micro-algal products biomanufacturing sector, which can accelerate the production of high value products from microalgae.

The key results sought from this project are; a commercial scale final-stage prototype micro-algal cell harvester incorporating acoustic focusing technology. This will be designed from 3D profile modelling in conjunction with fluid dynamic simulations, validated by experimental work. It will include processes for extraction of compounds from wet micro-algal biomass, to reduce traditional chemical solvent extraction processes, and a supply chain and business model review of this innovative biomanufacturing process.

The ability to work both as part of an interdisciplinary team, coupled with excellent communication and organisational skills are required. A self-starter, with a proactive approach to problem solving & ability to work under pressure to stringent external deadlines within a fast-paced environment is desired. The duties/responsibilities of this post include developing and driving research objectives, ensuring delivery to meet the collaboration objectives & timelines, writing up work for presentation and publication, new IP generation, collaborating with and regular reporting to industrial partners (including supply of design specifications, 3D technical drawings, component assembly, experimental test data) , assisting in the supervision of student research projects, & delivering seminars and occasional talks as outlined on the Further Information Document.

For further information contact Dr Adrian Stevenson (

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 29 months in the first instance.

Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment.

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.

Applicants should ensure their application is complete and submitted by Midnight on the closing date.

Please quote reference NQ12342 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online