Post-doc position in computational catalysis

UCL Physics and Astronomy
Grade 7
Full Time
Salary (inclusive of London allowance) £34,635 - £37,551 per annum
Duties & responsibilities:
A postdoctoral position is available to work in a collaborative project with Prof. Angelos Michaelides ( in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and Dr Michail Stamatakis ( in the Department of Chemical Engineering.  The theoretical/simulation project involves to application of density functional theory and kinetic Monte Carlo approaches to better understand chemical reactions at the surfaces of catalytically relevant materials. 

The aim of the project is to explore the potential of highly dilute bimetallic alloys (so called “single atom alloys”) for novel reactions and processes in heterogeneous catalysis. In this particular project, the aim is to examine methane activation and carbon-carbon coupling on these materials with the hope of finding novel catalysts to convert methane into higher hydrocarbons.  The project will be done in collaboration with Prof. Charlie Sykes’ experimental group in Boston (, with whom we have worked closely with for a number of years (see e.g. Nature Chemistry 2018, 10: 325, ACS Catalysis 2018, 8: 5038). 

The Michaelides and Stamatakis groups will provide vibrant, thriving and friendly environments for this post-doctoral research associate post. The post-doc will benefit from the expertise in both groups, work closely with the other team members on the project and have plenty of opportunities for international travel to conferences and to collaborators. 

This position is funded for 3 years in the first instance.
Key requirements:
The successful candidates will have a PhD in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials or a related discipline that involved theoretical studies of complex materials or interfaces. They will also have an understanding of the state-of-the-art in materials simulation as well as experience of quantum mechanical calculations.   

Hands-on skills and experience in first principles and/or molecular dynamics simulations of surfaces and interfaces is needed. 

A proven ability for creative and original research, as demonstrated via scientific publications, is also required. 

Computer programming and HPC experience on a variety of computer architectures is also highly desirable.Candidates should also have excellent written and verbal communication. 

Appointment at Grade 7 is dependent upon having been awarded a PhD; if this is not the case, initial appointment will be at research assistant Grade 6B (salary £30,316-£31,967 per annum, inclusive of London Allowance) with payment at Grade 7 being backdated to the date of final submission of the PhD thesis.

If you have any queries regarding the application process, please contact James Gane, . 

Informal enquiries regarding the vacancy can be made to Angelos Michaelides, Tel: +44 (0)20 7679 0647) or Michail Stamatakis (, Tel: +44 (0)20 3108 1128)
UCL Taking Action for Equality
Closing Date 21 Sep 2018
Latest time for the submission of applications 23:59
Interview date TBC
Our department holds an Athena SWAN Silver award, in recognition of our commitment and demonstrable impact in advancing gender equality.
This appointment is subject to UCL Terms and Conditions of Service for Research and Support Staff.

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