1+ months

Postdoctoral Researcher (Emeryville) - Lignin Biochemist

Livermore, CA 94550

This postdoctoral position is a temporary position for up to one year, which may be renewed at Sandia's discretion up to five additional years. The PhD must have been conferred within five years prior to employment.

Individuals in postdoctoral positions may bid on regular Sandia positions as internal candidates, and in some cases may be converted to regular career positions during their term if warranted by ongoing operational needs, continuing availability of funds, and satisfactory job performance.


Are you looking to do innovative and creative research related to bioenergy and biomass conversion? Deconstructing lignin for subsequent valorization is key to making lignocellulosic biomass economically feasible as a feedstock. We seek hardworking and motivated Postdocs to work as part of a cross-disciplinary team developing innovative microfluidic high-throughput screening platforms for the enzymatic breakdown of lignin. We seek to identify new enzymes and metabolic pathways to optimize performance of biomass conversion. The individual selected will work at the Joint BioEnergy Institute in Emeryville, CA ( www.jbei.org ).

On any given day, you may be called on to:

+ Design and implement high-throughput methods for the rapid characterization of enzyme activities;
+ Be responsible for developing and characterizing aromatic breakdown of lignin;
+ Analyze and integrate results as a member of a team of scientists and engineers;
+ Publish scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals and present findings at seminars and conferences.


+ PhD in Biochemistry, Chemistry, Chemical engineering or a related field with a strong emphasis on enzymes and enzymatic activities;
+ Expertise with analytical techniques for quantifying enzyme products and activities (e.g. mass spectrometry-based methods);
+ High technical achievement as evidenced by publication in high-impact scientific journals;
+ Proven ability to conduct creative, independent research within a team environment.


+ Knowledge of lignin structure and research;
+ Knowledge of bioremediation methods;
+ Knowledge of aromatic breakdown;
+ Experience with 2D-NMR;
+ Experience with homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts.

Department Description:

Biotechnology and Bioengineering Department, located in Livermore, and Emeryville, CA, performs both basic and applied biological and bioengineering research with broad applications in national security. We address problems such as biodefense and health security, developing advanced technology including micro- and nanofluidics and engineered automated systems, and new research approaches which include gene-editing and novel nanomaterials. We also address national energy security by developing the science and engineering required to be able to produce clean, efficient, and cost-effective biofuels, specialty chemicals and polymers on a commercial scale. This work is carried out in partnership with the Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) as well as other external academic and commercial partners. The department is highly multidisciplinary and is comprised of researchers with expertise in many fields of biology, chemistry and engineering.


About Sandia:

Sandia National Laboratories is the nations premier science and engineering lab for national security and technology innovation, with teams of specialists focused on cutting-edge work in a broad array of areas. Some of the main reasons we love our jobs:

+ Challenging work withamazingimpact that contributes to security, peace, and freedom worldwide
+ Extraordinary co-workers
+ Some of the best tools, equipment, and research facilities in the world
+ Career advancement and enrichment opportunities
+ Flexible schedules, generous vacations,strongmedical and other benefits, competitive 401k, learning opportunities, relocation assistance and amenities aimed at creating a solid work/life balance*

_World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers._ Learn more about Sandia at: http://www.sandia.gov

*These benefits vary by job classification.

Security Clearance:

This position does not currently require a Department of Energy (DOE) security clearance.

Sandia will conduct a pre-employment drug test and background review that includes checks of personal references, credit, law enforcement records, and employment/education verifications. Furthermore, employees in New Mexico need to pass a U.S. Air Force background screen for access to Kirtland Air Force Base. Substance abuse or illegal drug use, falsification of information, criminal activity, serious misconduct or other indicators of untrustworthiness can cause access to be denied or terminated, resulting in the inability to perform the duties assigned and subsequent termination of employment.

If hired without a clearance and it subsequently becomes necessary to obtain and maintain one for the position, or you bid on positions that require a clearance, a pre-processing background review may be conducted prior to a required federal background investigation. Applicants for a DOE security clearance need to be U.S. citizens. If you hold more than one citizenship (i.e., of the U.S. and another country), your ability to obtain a security clearance may be impacted.

Members of the workforce (MOWs) hired at Sandia who require uncleared access for greater than 179 days during their employment, are required to go through the Uncleared Personal Identity Verification (UPIV) process. Access includes physical and/or cyber (logical) access, as well as remote access to any NNSA information technology (IT) systems. UPIV requirements are not applicable to individuals who require a DOE personnel security clearance for the performance of their SNL employment or to foreign nationals. The UPIV process will include the completion of a USAccess Enrollment, SF-85 (Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions) and OF-306 (Declaration of for Federal Employment). An unfavorable UPIV determination will result in immediate retrieval of the SNL issued badge, removal of cyber (logical) access and/or removal from SNL subcontract. All MOWs may appeal the unfavorable UPIV determination to DOE/NNSA immediately. If the appeal is unsuccessful, the MOW may try to go through the UPIV process one year after the decision date.

EEO Statement:

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, disability, or veteran status and any other protected class under state or federal law.



  • Engineering
Posted: 2020-10-20 Expires: 2020-12-23

 World-changing technologies. Life-changing careers.

National security is our business. We apply science to help detect, repel, defeat, or mitigate threats.

For more than 60 years, Sandia has delivered essential science and technology to resolve the nation's most challenging security issues.

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Postdoctoral Researcher (Emeryville) - Lignin Biochemist

Sandia National Laboratories
Livermore, CA 94550

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