College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
Camborne School of Mines

Postdoctoral Research Associate / Postdoctoral
Research Fellow - P64756

Mineralogy and geochemistry of environmentally friendly marine concrete materials

This post is available immediately until 10 January 2022 to support the work of Dr Jens C. Andersen on the EU project MARINEFF.

Based at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, the aim of the project is to develop new types of concrete (for marine construction projects) that facilitate bio-colonisation and encourage biodiversity in the English Channel.

The main tasks of the post will be to determine how the materials evolve during immersion in the sea. The monitoring will include mineralogical, petrological and geochemical studies to ascertain how the materials change in response to immersion and bio-colonisation, and to assess how these changes influence the durability, strength and failure mechanisms of the materials.

You will be responsible for the collection of samples; microscopic investigations of mineralogical and microtextural relationships between the concrete constituents using a combination of optical polarising microscopy, cathodoluminescence and electron microscopy; analysis of minerals by QEMSCAN, X-ray diffraction and electron-probe microanalysis; and geochemical studies using X-ray fluorescence and ICP-MS.

You must have:

  • A good understanding of mineralogy and chemistry of the marine environment
  • Prior experience with concrete petrography, mineral-microbe interactions and geotechnical engineering
  • A working knowledge of French will be an advantage
  • A PhD in geoscience, marine science, or a related field
  • Be able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of mineralogy and geochemistry

The position will require travel to project meetings in Northern France and Southern England. Attendance at international research conferences (such as the EGU, Vienna; or alternative relevant meetings) is also expected.

Appointments will be at PDRA (Grade E) or PDRF (Grade F) depending on the skills and experience the individual can bring to the role. Please demonstrate your achievements against the relevant criteria in the Job Description and Person Specification document.

The starting salary will be £29,515-£34,189 on Grade E (PDRA level) or £35,211-£37,345 on Grade F (PDRF level) depending on qualifications and experience.

Before submitting an application you may wish to discuss the post further by contacting Dr Jens C Andersen, Director of Research 01326 371 836 or

The University offers some fantastic benefits including 41 days leave per year, sector leading policies around maternity, adoption and shared parental leave (up to 26 weeks full pay), paternity leave (up to 6 weeks full pay), and a new Fertility Treatment Policy.

The University of Exeter is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities. We combine world-class teaching with world-class research, and have achieved a Gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework Award 2017. The University of Exeter has over 22,000 students and 4600 staff from 180 different countries and has been rated the WhatUni2017 International Student Choice. Our research focuses on some of the most fundamental issues facing humankind today, with 98% of our research rated as being of international quality in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework. We encourage proactive engagement with industry, business and community partners to enhance the impact of research and education and improve the employability of our students.

The department is proud to have a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of their commitment and impact to providing equality of opportunity and advancing the representation of women in STEM/M subjects. All of the University of Exeter's STEM/M departments hold an Athena SWAN award.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer. We are officially recognised as a Disability Confident employer and an Athena Swan accredited institution. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

Closing date is 8 January 2019

posted: 23 November 2018     Please mention EARTHWORKS when responding to this advertisement.