University of Calgary
UofC Navigation
Share this Job:

Post Doctoral Fellowships, Materials and Geomaterials, Ionic Liquids, Canada Excellence Research Chair

This job posting is no longer active

Job ID: 13637

Updated: November 14, 2017

Location: Main Campus

Position Description

Materials and Geomaterials, Ionic Liquids, CERC

The transition to a climate-neutral energy system is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Even with continued aggressive deployment of renewables, energy derived from fossil fuels will still supply much of society’s demands through mid-century. Thus, we need to greatly reduce the environmental footprint of existing fossil fuel supply chains while seeking new, innovative low-carbon energy systems.

Advanced materials are new and exciting avenues for meeting this daunting challenge. The Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) program in Materials Engineering for Unconventional Oil Reservoirs at the University of Calgary is actively expanding these horizons with large and growing efforts in Complex Fluids, Functional Nanoparticles, and Interactions of Materials and Geomaterials.

Led by chair-holder Steven Bryant, the CERC program brings together a large group of collaborators from the disciplines of nanotechnology, materials science, chemical, petroleum and electrical engineering, geoscience, chemistry, and geomicrobiology. The CERC lab space was completed in Summer 2016 with custom-built equipment for cross-faculty use including equipment which are not commercially available and are one of a kind in North America. The CERC program enables a focused application of these capabilities to reduce the process footprint for current extraction platforms, and to develop new platforms for energy extraction that minimize environmental impact and maximize productivity.

The CERC Research Program invites applications for three Postdoctoral fellows to join a highly motivated team of researchers working on Interactions of Materials and Geomaterials, with a focus on ionic liquids. The program includes fundamental studies as well as research supporting commercialization of new processes and materials. The subject areas of immediate interest include:

•               Separation of multiphase mixtures

•               Flow or displacement of multiple fluid phases with interphase mass transfer

•               Phase behavior and transport properties in multiphase mixtures

For all areas, we are pursuing applications in which at least one of the phases is an ionic liquid.  Other phases of interest include crude oil, from light to heavy to bitumen; granular solids, from clays to sand to sedimentary rocks; water containing a wide range of dissolved solids, from natural salts to designer molecules and nanoparticles; and gases, from air to light alkanes to CO2.

Flow regimes of interest include cocurrent flow of two or more fluids and displacement of one fluid by another, either in a porous medium or in a fracture through a porous medium. Mass transfer arises between flowing phases and between flowing and stationary phases in both natural and engineered processes, and can help or hinder the latter. Understanding the phase behavior is essential for understanding and designing separation, flow and displacement processes.     

Mixtures of various combinations of these phases in various flow regimes occur in all stages of hydrocarbon production. By expanding our cross-disciplinary team in the three subject areas above, this research thrust seeks to exploit ionic liquids to achieve that production in innovative ways with substantially smaller environmental footprints.

The successful candidates will have a Ph.D. in Science or Engineering from one of the disciplines listed above, and will have demonstrated exceptional strength in laboratory research in (at least) one of the bulleted subject areas.

Enthusiastic candidates should assemble a single PDF file containing a cover letter, a statement of research and interest in the position, a CV, and a list of three references. In keeping with the CERC program’s approach toward innovation, an attention-grabbing statement of interest would articulate a specific line of interdisciplinary inquiry that you would be passionate about pursuing in close collaboration with likeminded researchers. The search will continue until the team is assembled.  

In assembling the CERC research team, aggressive diversity and equity targets are in place and so applications from under-represented groups are especially encouraged.

Postdoctoral positions offer a stipend of $55,000 CAD/year for 2 years, including benefits, travel and computer allowance, and operating budgets. Postdoctoral fellows will be expected to apply for major funding opportunities they are eligible for (e.g. NSERC, Killam, AITF, Banting).

To be eligible as a Postdoctoral scholar at the University of Calgary, the candidate must have been awarded a PhD or equivalent within the five (5) years immediately preceding the appointment. Please review the Eligibility page for more information prior to applying for this position.

The University of Calgary is located at the core of the Canada’s energy industry, benefiting from unparalleled access to corporations, decision-makers and technology receptors. This access gives rise to a unique opportunity and responsibility for our university to be the leader in Canada—and one of the few leaders in the world—in high-impact energy research. Our primary goal is to advance knowledge creation, applications, and translation that will address major energy system challenges.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority. In this connection, at the time of your application, please answer the following question: Are you a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident of Canada? (Yes/No)

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone.

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.


Need help?

View our Application FAQs for answers to common questions regarding the application and selection process.