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SUSMAT-RC - Assistant Professor in Bio Chemical Process Design and Engineering

Morocco (MA)
Closing date
28 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 Chemical & Biochemical Sciences Green Process Engineering (CBS)

The Chemical & Biochemical Sciences Green Process Engineering Department (CBS) is a component of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P). The main objective of CBS is to set up a distinctive research-teaching program, of international level, to meet the research and teaching challenges of UM6P, in particular on green and environmental chemistry applied to all aspects of chemical sciences: organic and inorganic chemistry, analytical chemistry, chemical biology, biochemical and thermal reactions.

Research at CBS is organized around several major areas, which aim to answer challenging industrial questions, from complex chemical and biochemical reactions to scale-up and validation of process engineering. CBS projects aim at an in-depth understanding of the molecular mechanisms of all transformations in order to propose new original alternatives in terms of efficiency, environmental friendliness and sustainability.

Job description

The successful candidate will be responsible for designing, simulating, implementing and optimizing chemical and biochemical processes, especially continuous ones with applications in the chemical, agriculture, and biotechnological industries. SNG is looking for an enthusiastic, experienced, and entrepreneurial candidate to meet the goals of the research group. The incumbent will be expected to:

  1. Lead the group’s activities chemical process design, simulation, implementation, and optimization, at the macro-lab, pre-pilot, and pilot scales. 
  2. Closely interact with scientist, engineers, and entrepreneurs in the SNG 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 R&D 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 R&D by providing solutions and demonstrating the potential bio/chemical process engineering in addressing important Moroccan technology 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 the SNG.  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 bio/chemical process engineering, notably:

  • Develop new industrial processes and design new process plants and equipment or modify/optimize existing ones.
  • Test new processes, collect data required to make improvements and modifications, oversee the construction, supervise the operation of new pre-pilot/pilot plants, purchase and install equipment, and liaise with installation/project engineers and specialists. 
  • Investigate and troubleshoot plant/process problems. Ensure that equipment works to its specification and to appropriate capacities
  • Assess safety and environmental issues and ensure safe working conditions and compliance with health and safety legislation.
  • Schedule and coordinate work to tight deadlines and within financial budgets.
  • Design and develop continuous manufacturing processes along with the layout and equipment for pre-pilot/pilot plants. This includes creating and setting specifications, developing, implementing, and monitoring this equipment as part of the manufacturing system.
  • Use of simulation software in the development of new processes

The successful candidate is also expected to:

  • Contribute to building a vibrant and sustainable entrepreneurial ecosystem at UM6P by translating, integrating, and assimilating sustainable academic innovations into commercial opportunities.
  • Deliver process engineering solutions to enable rapid evolution of academic research through the various TRL levels from innovation to product manufacturing (TRL 5-9).
  • 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.
  • Assist or lead the identification of new and more efficient bio/chemical processes.
  • 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 SNG.
  • Assist in the management and administration of the SNG. This activity may include several components, notably (a) collect, analyze, and summarize scientific literature relevant to a given project, (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. 
  • Co-supervise research progress of graduate students, engineers, technicians, and/or postdoctoral fellows. This activity entails regular discussion with group members to ensure they are making progress in their research 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 the SNG at conferences, meetings, and/or workshops.

Criteria of the candidate

R&D experience:

  • PhD in chemical engineering, materials engineering, mechanical engineering, or related areas from a recognized university with a focus on process engineering and its applications in the chemical, cements, fertilizers, and/or paints industries. Candidates with an engineering degree and at least 5 years of professional experience in R&D and process engineering may also apply. 
  • Thorough knowledge of the key components of a bio/chemical process system (e.g. piping, pumps, tanks, flow valves, steam valves, temperature gauges, boilers, vessels, reactor vessels, crackers, distillation columns, heat exchangers, boilers, steam pipes, autoclaves, clarifiers, decanters, fluidised dryers, Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs), Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Controllers).
  • Mastery of process simulation software (e.g. Aspen, ProSim, UniSim, ChemCAD, Mathworks) to work out the best production methods.
  • Knowledge of scientific principles related to magnitude, momentum, and heat transfer. 
  • Thorough knowledge of analytical chemistry techniques with a demonstrated ability to solve highly technical problems. 
  • Familiarity with process improvement methodologies (Six Sigma, lean manufacturing)
  • Ability to execute tasks with minimal oversight
  • Excellent publication (or patent) portfolio and R&D record.
  • Experience in supervising engineers, graduate students and/or postdoctoral fellows.
  • Demonstrated ability to organize/analyze/interpret results and assess whether additional investigations are necessary to reach the project’s aims.
  • Evidence of collaboration with peers at national and/or international institutions. 
  • Familiarity with some of the main Moroccan industries (notably chemical, cements, fertilizers, paints, recycling). 
  • Teaching experience with the capacity to develop new courses (learning by doing) is desirable.

Entrepreneurial experience:

  • First-hand 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.

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 (in R&D and entrepreneurship).
  • 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.

While OCP group, a world leader in fertilizer production, is a privileged client for the University, a growing portfolio of clients is driving the development of a rich R&D ecosystem around the university. UM6P enjoys ample research funding, moderate teaching load, and excellent facilities. The university promotes multidisciplinary R&D, entrepreneurship and collaboration with external institutions and clients with the aim of advancing the Moroccan and African economies.

UM6P offers highly competitive incentives to its current and future talented research staff.

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