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SUSMAT-RC - Professor in Theory and Modeling of Sustainable Materials (Open Rank Position)

Morocco (MA)
Closing date
23 Jun 2024

About Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P)

Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) is an internationally oriented institution of higher learning, that is committed to an educational system based on the highest standards of teaching and research in fields related to the sustainable economic development of Morocco and Africa. UM6P is an institution oriented towards applied research and innovation. On a specific focus on Africa, UM6P aims to position these fields as the forefront and become a university of international standing.  

More than just a traditional academic institution, UM6P is a platform for experimentation and a pool of opportunities, for students, professors and staff. It offers a high-quality living and study environment thanks to its state-of-the-art infrastructure. With an innovative approach, UM6P places research and innovation at the heart of its educational project as a driving force of a business model.

In its research approach, the UM6P promotes transdisciplinary, entrepreneurship spirit and collaboration with external institutions for developing up to date science and at continent level in order to address real challenges.

All our programs run as start-ups and can be self-organized when they reach a critical mass. Thus, academic liberty is promoted as far as funding is developed by research teams.

The research programs are integrated from long-term research to short-term applications in linkage with incubation and start-up ecosystems.

About The Sustainable Materials Research Center (SUSMAT-RC)

The Sustainable Materials Research Center (SusMat - RC) is a multidisciplinary research center engaged in the development of advanced biobased products and materials thereof using biotechnological, physical and chemical conversion strategies and engineering processes (b) understanding and controlling their underlying specific functionalities and the structure-properties relationship acting over multiple length scales from the molecular, nano to the macro level and their cross-interactions and (c) utilizing the gathered knowledge and the invented materials to address key technological challenges in Morocco and African continent and assist the transition toward a green and circular economy.

Job Description:

Assistant Professor position is currently available in SUSMAT-RC at UM6P, with a focus on theory and modeling for the prediction of structure and physical properties of nanostructured sustainable nanomaterials, including their interfacial chemistry and properties, mechanical/rheological properties, stability, and compatibility with polymeric matrices. The incumbent will be expected to:

  1. Lead the group’s theory and modeling effort by means of quantum chemistry, statistical mechanical theory of molecular liquid, and molecular dynamics simulations.
  2. Closely interact with scientist, engineers, and entrepreneurs in SUSMAT-RC and UM6P, as well as with external clients and collaborators.
  3. Actively contribute to the entrepreneurial activities of the group. This is a unique and challenging opportunity to bridge theory, experiment, and entrepreneurship in a multidisciplinary and collaborative ecosystem, and to advance the development of use-inspired R&D at UM6P.
  4. Proactively engage in collaborative research by providing solutions and demonstrating the potential of theory and modeling in addressing important R&D challenges.
  5. Supervise graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.
  6. Prepare technical reports, manuscripts, and invention disclosures, and present results in relevant conferences.
  7. Assist with the drafting of research proposals.
  8. Assist with the management and administration of SUSMAT-RC.  The successful candidate will participate in progress review meetings, reports, and discuss results and explore opportunities for new activities consistent with the group’s programmatic priorities.

Key duties:

The successful candidate is expected to:

  • Lead all aspects of theoretical modeling research in SUSMAT-RC. Apply and/or develop new theoretical methods to predict and characterize various sustainable materials properties. Transfer the knowledge and findings to researchers at UM6P, external clients and/or collaborators when required.
  • Contribute to building a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem at UM6P by translating, integrating, and assimilating academic innovations into commercial opportunities.
  • Deliver engineering solutions to enable rapid evolution of academic research through the various TRL levels to development and manufacturing (TRL 3-9).
  • Contribute to the building of startup companies at UM6P. This activity consists in helping with market analysis, market development, fundraising, business plan development, IP strategy.
  • Identify and engage potential partners to explore commercial opportunities for UM6P’s entrepreneurial ecosystem by establishing good working relationships with collaborators, research institution, industry partners and government agencies.
  • Connect with development, marketing, and various business unit teams on a national and global scale for the delivery of next generation technology. Engage potential customers and develop roadmaps and strategies for green startups.
  • Work with universities, companies, and different consortia to lead groundbreaking R&D for next generation sustainable. Identify methods to rapidly test and translate research innovations to products.
  • Assist or lead the identification of new industrial applications for sustainable materials and derivatives thereof.
  • Assist the PI and group members in writing manuscripts for publication, filing patents, and developing research proposals to acquire relevant equipment or expand research programs consistent with the programmatic priorities of the SUSMAT-RC.
  • Assist in the management and administration of the SUSMAT-RC. This activity may include several components, notably (a) collect, analyze, and summarize scientific literature relevant to a given project/technology, (b) develop specific sections in relevant areas of expertise for a given proposal, (c) coordinate the organization of proposal applications in specific area of expertise, (d) administer the workstations and laptops in which scientific computation software are installed, (e) ensure all scientific data and information generated by the SUSMAT-RC is safe and secure.
  • Co-supervise research progress of graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows. This activity entails regular discussion with group members to ensure they are making progress in their R&D investigations notably in the candidate’s area of expertise. Discuss with the PI any challenges and roadblocks and ensure that the proposed solutions are implemented and followed upon.
  • Effectively communicate in English (verbally and in writing) to disseminate knowledge to group members, clients, and collaborators and/or to represent SUSMAT-RC at conferences, meetings, and/or workshops.

Criteria of the candidate:  

1. R&D experience:

  • PhD in theoretical chemistry or related areas from a recognized university with extensive experience in the theory and modeling of sustainable materials and systems, and an ability to predict materials properties and physical behavior. At least 2 years postdoctoral training, and at least 5 years of demonstrated research experience in the field of theoretical modeling of organic/sustainable nanomaterials/biomaterials and awareness of the associated challenges. 
  • Extensive knowledge of various theoretical methodologies including quantum chemistry, statistical mechanical theory of molecular liquids, molecular simulation, molecular mechanics, as well as scientific computation software.
  • Excellent publication (or patents) portfolio and research record in leading international and well-ranked journals in the field.
  • Experience in supervising graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize/analyze/interpret results and assess whether additional investigations are necessary to reach the aims of a project.
  • Evidence of collaboration with peers at national and/or international institutions.
  • Teaching experience with the capacity to develop new courses and connect research to teaching (learning by doing) is desirable.

2. Entrepreneurial experience:

  • First-hands experience in entrepreneurship and awareness of the current Moroccan entrepreneurial ecosystem.
  • First-hand experience in market analysis, customer discovery, fundraising, developing business plans, developing IP strategy and new product certification for startups.
  • Experience in creating pitch decks for investors and potential customers.
  • Experience in launching technology start-ups including essential elements such as prototyping/product visualization and early-stage venture funding.
  • Evidence of participation in entrepreneurial programs.
  • Solid managerial skills and ability to take the initiative to advance the team’s goals.
  • Awareness of Moroccan/African market and product development opportunities.
  • Experience with the incubation and start-up ecosystems in Morocco desirable.

3. Personal attributes:

  • Understands and works towards team objectives.
  • Meets deadlines and displays strong administrative and organizational skills.
  • Strong initiative, self-motivated, and focused on achieving quality outputs.
  • Ability to work effectively with a wide range of individuals, including faculty, students, industry executives, entrepreneurs, and investors.
  • Demonstrated ability to work on multiple projects at any given time.
  • Strong English and French communication skills, both verbal and written, are required.

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