Postdoc in enzymatic polymerization technology

Country: Sweden;

City: Stockholm

Vacancy added: 21.05.2019

Employer: KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Resumes due: 30.06.2019


KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm has grown to become one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities, as well as a key centre of intellectual talent and innovation. We are Sweden’s largest technical research and learning institution and home to students, researchers and faculty from around the world. Our research and education covers a wide area including natural sciences and all branches of engineering, as well as architecture, industrial management, urban planning, history and philosophy.


Syrén’s research group ( in collaboration with the group of Prof. Hakkarainen is currently recruiting a postdoc in “enzymatic polymerization technology with a focus on recycling of synthetic materials”. The successful candidate will develop enzyme technologies for polymer recycling applications within this multidisciplinary project, together with groups in synthetic biology (Assoc. Prof. Per-Olof Syrén) and polymer technology (Prof. Minna Hakkarainen) at the forefront of sustainability science at KTH. Close interactions with the Department of Fibre and Polymer Technology at KTH and the Science for Life Laboratory will enable the project’s transdisciplinary approach.

Job description

The aim of the project is to develop biotechnological methods for enzyme-assisted recycling of synthetic polymers through mild hydrolysis. The research area of the postdoc is centered on biocatalysis and the utilization of hydrolytic enzymes, such as cutinases, for de-polymerization of man-made materials into monomers. Chemoenzymatic recycling methods as well as development of green methods for enzyme-assisted polymerization of generated monomers back into materials is also of interest.

The successful candidate will perform work at the interface of biotechnology and polymer technology, including:

  • Evaluation of biocatalytic potential of enzymes in degradation of synthetic polymers to monomers.
  • Application of designer enzymes in materials applications.
  • Analysis of polymers and released monomers/oligomers by analytical tools.
  • Optimization of reaction conditions for mild enzymatic depolymerization/polymerization.
  • Actively participate in the overall activity of the research group.

The postdoc will closely interact with researchers performing computational and experimental protein engineering, to gain access to small libraries of designer enzymes. The starting date is open for discussion, though ideally we would like the successful candidate to start as soon as possible. This postdoctoral position is a full-time employed position for one year with a possible one-year extension.


Candidates should have good/excellent knowledge in English and a good/excellent ability to express themselves in both speech and writing. The ideal candidate has the following qualifications:

  • Scientific excellence with relevant PhD degree, i,e. within polymer chemistry and/or biocatalysis and related fields.
  • Knowledge and experience of relevant characterization techniques of polymeric materials and their building blocks, e.g. SEM, FTIR, GC-MS, NMR, MALDI-TOF. 
  • Experience of enzyme catalysis applied to polymer technology.
  • Experience of molecular biology and/or polymer chemistry laboratory work.

Besides fundamental knowledge in chemistry, polymer science and biotechnology is experience of interdisciplinary science, competence within protein design, protein engineering, biocatalysis and bioinformatics a merit. Deep knowledge in molecular biology, analytic chemistry, material characterization and mass spectrometry and organic chemistry is a plus. A doctoral degree must have been obtained within three years when applying for this position.

As a person you have personal and professional maturity, you are self-going and responsible. You are collaborative, and have great communicative skills. Further, you have great analytical and problem solving skills. Great emphasis will be placed on personal competence and suitability.

Trade union representatives

You will find contact information to trade union representatives at KTH's webbpage.


Log into KTH's recruitment system in order to apply to this position. You are the main responsible to ensure that your application is complete according to the ad.

Your complete application must be received at KTH no later than the last day of application, midnight CET/CEST (Central European Time/Central European Summer Time).

The application must include the following documents:

  • Curriculum vitae.
  • List of publications.
  • Brief research statement with description of your research so far and future research goals and interests (max 2 pages).
  • Official record of transcripts and copy of degree certificate.
  • Names and addresses of two or more individuals who will provide letters of recommendation.


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Disclaimer: In case of discrepancy between the Swedish original and the English translation of the job announcement, the Swedish version takes precedence.

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