Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Computational Chemistry

  • Kelburn
  • Contract
  • Tue Oct 6 04:04:39 2020
  • 10229

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Computational Chemistry
  • Conducting research on environmentally sustainable zinc-batteries
  • Within the Hunt Research Group in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Kelburn Campus, Victoria University of Wellington
  • One year fixed term with possible extension to 2 years

Using computational chemistry to investigate and develop environmentally sustainable zinc batteries

This project is oriented towards creating environmentally sustainable zinc(Zn)-batteries. Single use Zn-batteries are widely used in NZ, however there is no satisfactory method for recycling; most Zn-batteries are stockpiled, some are sent to landfill. Zn-batteries are literally piling up and are a growing problem world-wide. A reduction in Zn-batteries can be achieved by developing rechargeable Zn-batteries and formulating new Zn-recycling processes. Ionic liquids (ILs) and Deep Eutectic Solvents (DESs) are novel liquids capable of providing a transformative breakthrough. DES offer significant advantages as battery electrolytes, allowing the development of environmentally sustainable re-chargeable Zn-batteries. Underlying the stagnant development of Zn-based technologies is a lack of understanding of the underpinning chemistry. This project will employ modern quantum chemical techniques to deliver a molecular level understanding of Zn-DES chemistry with the aim of developing novel DES for Zn-batteries/recycling.

You will carry out quantum chemical calculations investigating novel electrolytes based on ILs and DES for use in Zn batteries. We will explore Zn speciation identifying stable Zn-complexes, evaluating structures, chemical bonding and electrochemistry. The knowledge obtained will be used to design and computationally model novel DES which have the potential to deliver significantly improved performance. You will engage with our experimental/engineering collaborators and initiate engagement with NZ-industry as well as presenting your research through a range of multi-media. You will also be involved in Hunt Research Group life, mentoring and training UG/PG students and contributing to the smooth running of the group.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Computational Chemistry, Physics, Materials, Chemical Engineering or a related discipline. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication skills in English. It will be an advantage to have experience in any one of the following: computational chemistry, inorganic coordination or organometallic chemistry, ionic liquids or deep eutectic solvents, working in a Unix/Linux environment and/or programming/scripting skills. The ideal candidate will be able to start working with us, on-site at Victoria University of Wellington, as soon as possible.

For more information on the Hunt Research Group see:

Role Description

Applications close: 30 October 2020

Contact details for vacancy: For enquiries, please contact Professor Patricia Hunt at

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