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Rector of the Slovak University of Technology in Bratislava (STU), Slovak Republic, invites applications for 5 postdoctoral research positions.

 

Job title: Researcher/postdoctoral scientist

 

Call opening: 20. 7. 2020

Application deadline: 5. 9. 2020

The duration of the position: for 1 year with possibility of extension by 1 year, beginning on 1st of October 2020.

Requirements: Minimum Experience/Education: Ph.D. or equivalent doctorate in appropriate field awarded no more than 3 years ago

 

Candidates should send written application for the postdoc position, CV, description of research or artistic activities, overview of publications or artistic activities, statement of integrity.

Applications should be send electronically to miroslav.mihalik[@]stuba.sk. In case of questions about this positions contact miroslav.mihalik[@]stuba.sk or directly the respective mentor.

The Postdoctoral Researcher positions are located in Bratislava.

 

Subject Field and the Description of the Position:

1/ Practical synthesis of antibiotics active against the most dangerous bacterial pathogens (mentor: Ing. Pavol Jakubec, PhD., Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology STU, pavol.jakubec[@]stuba.sk)

According to the statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO), Staphylococcus aureus is listed amongst the most dangerous bacteria and is thought to be resistant against vancomycine and methiciline - antibiotics of the last resort. Due to its high resistance to the most modern antibiotics MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) causes complicated bacterial infections. Moreover, the secondary bacterial infections represent a serious threat to COVID-19 patients. Even in this situation, natural products still offer an inspiration and hope for the development of new drugs, as documented by the recent discovery of berkeleylactone A, a natural macrocyclic lactone with very promising antibacterial activities against MRSA and other strains. The combination of the unique antibacterial activity of this structurally relatively complex compound together with the so-far unexplained mode of action highlights the enormous potential of berkeleylactone A for the treatment of infectious diseases. The fundamental aim of the proposed multidisciplinary project is the development of an unprecedented, modular and practical synthesis of analogues of berkeleylactone A with emphasis on the improved antimicrobial activities.

The successful candidate is expected to excel at all aspects of advanced organic synthesis and be familiar with principles of medicinal chemistry, and microbiology.

2/ Assessing the effect of rainfall-runoff model parametrization on climate change impact evaluation (mentor: prof. Ing. Silvia Kohnová, PhD., Faculty of Civil Engineering, STU Bratislava, silvia.kohnova[@]stuba.sk)

Changes in the hydrological regime and runoff conditions caused by land use and climate change are currently one of the main sources of uncertainty in water management. They can manifest themselves in a decrease of water resources, in the runoff regime change, in an increase of floods and droughts, as well as a change in the snowpack.

The scientific goal of the postdoctoral research project will be the development of a differentiated approach to assessing the potential impact of climate change and land use on the hydrological regime of extremes in selected regions of Slovakia. Specific research will focus on the development of physically-based and conceptual schemes of processes parameterization in hydrological rainfall-runoff models to simulate the runoff extremes, especially in small and mid-sized catchments. Parameterization schemes for simulating of individual phases of runoff and erosion processes will also be developed, taking into account the land-use change and management of the landscape. Based on testing and validation of developed schemes on data from experimental river basins, land use and management practices will be assessed, and scientifically based measures to reduce the negative impacts of runoff extremes and erosion processes in small river basins will be proposed.

The applicant is required to complete a PhD study in the field of water management engineering or a related field, and have experience in rainfall-runoff and erosion processes modelling. The candidate is also required to have at least one publication in a peer-reviewed journal (WOS, SCOPUS), knowledge of English at an excellent level and the ability to work in an international team.

3/ Extraction of biologically active substances from waste plant biomass and their application in functional foods (mentor: prof. Ing. Štefan Schmidt, PhD., Faculty of Chemical and Food Technology STU, stefan.schmidt[@]stuba.sk)

The current trend in the nutrition of the population and the requirements of the EU require such properties of food that will ensure their full nutritional and energy functionality. In addition, food production should be ecological, innovative and food products should contain natural substances obtained from sustainable plant biomass. The presented topic is focused on the study of complex processing of plant biomass and obtaining substances with added value, as well as their subsequent use in functional foods. By their prophylactic action, these reduce the risk of chronic diseases of the body. Globally, diseases of the cardiovascular system contribute to the highest morbidity and mortality of the population, so it is extremely topical to focus on the possibilities of prevention against these diseases. The aim of the project will be the extraction, purification and subsequent application of biologically active substances in food. Enriching foods with biologically active substances will increase their oxidative stability and nutritional value, which in turn will affect the health of consumers.

Candidate is required to complete a PhD study in the field of chemistry and food technology, good knowledge of the English language and at least three publications in a CC journal with the first authorship. The candidate is also expected to know the work in the field of extraction and isolation of substances with a focus on antioxidants, in the field of substance analysis using GC-FID, GC-MS, HPLC-UV and microplate "reader", experience with antioxidant potential analysis and oxidative stability food.

4/ Development of printing technology for organic-electronics-based flexible senzors (mentor: Assoc. Prof. Ing. Martin Donoval, PhD., Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology STU, martin.donoval[@]stuba.sk)

The main goal of the project, determined on previous research, is to gain new knowledge about selected properties of organic electronics integrated circuit printing technology for the preparation of a flexible platform suitable for sensory and biosensor applications.  The research will focus on the design of devices compatible with organic semiconductor printing technology, optimisation of technology using new electrical and analytical techniques developed for this purpose, preparation of sensory devices, as well as simple signal processing circuits.  The originality of the project lies in the unique integration of complementary infrastructure and a comprehensive approach to the research of innovative solutions, starting with the design of organic electronics elements, their preparation and study of their properties in connection with technology development to the implementation of sensory and biosensor applications.  The proposed topic falls within the context of social needs, thematically focused on a research and innovation strategy for smart specialisation (denoted as RIS3).  The topic is directly related to advanced materials and their diagnostics, the development of new approaches in nanotechnology, the development of new devices and solutions in the field of information and communication technologies, and the use of materials compatible with biotechnology.

The applicant is required to complete a PhD study in the major of electronics, microelectronics or materials engineering (or their equivalent), the ability to work with technologies such as vacuum evaporation, lithography, wet technologies and technologies of printed electronics. Knowledge of English and at least 4 publications in a peer-reviewed journal.

5/ Sub-zero treatment of ledeburitic cold work tool steels (mentor: prof. Ing. Peter Jurčí, PhD., Faculty of Materials Science and Technology STU in Trnava, peter.jurci[@]stuba.sk)

Cryogenic treatment is a supplementary process in which, after hardening, the steels are immersed in a cryogenic medium for a predetermined time and then reheated to room temperature. This is followed by tempering, the purpose of which is to reduce internal stresses, and to induce transformations in the martensite and retained austenite (γR). Cryogenic processing is especially important in the processing of high-carbon high-alloyed steels, where the austenite is not converted into the martensite during room temperature quenching, in a sufficiently great extent. Chromium (Cr-) and chromium-vanadium (Cr-V) ledeburitic steels are typical examples of such materials. These steels usually contain 1.5 - 3% C, 6 - 13% Cr, and in the case of Cr-V steels also high (up to 10% vanadium content).

Cryogenic treatment makes it possible to effectively improve the properties of steels, such as hardness, strength, wear resistance and toughness. According to the current state of knowledge, the following phenomena, which are the result of the application of cryogenic treatment, contribute to the mentioned changes in the properties of steels: Refinement of martensite and increase in the number of lattice defects, a significant reduction of the retained austenite content, changes in the kinetics of precipitation of nanoparticles of transition carbides and an increased number of small globular carbides (SGCs), with a size in the range of 100 - 500 nm. The extent of these phenomena varies depending on the temperature and time of cryogenic treatment, and is probably also dependent on the chemistry of treated material. To date, these changes are best documented for chromium ledeburitic steel AISI D2 and chromium-vanadium steel Vanadis 6. The main goal of the project is the implementation of an experimental program of cryogenic processing of 2% C-12% Cr tool steel. The material will be treated at different temperatures and for various durations. The obtained results will be used in the preparation of a comprehensive study focused on the description and discussion of the influence of cryogenic processing on the microstructure and properties of commercially available ledeburitic tool steels. The partial objectives of the project are: 1) Execution of a set of processes of cryogenic processing of the abovementioned steel at different temperatures and for different durations, 2) Determination of microstructure development depending on the temperature and time of cryogenic processing, 3) Determination of impact of cryogenic treatment on selected mechanical properties of steel.

The main task of the candidate is to follow the results obtained on the AISI D2 and Vanadis 6 steels, to elaborate a comprehensive investigation, and subsequently publish the results in well recognized periodicals, thus contribute to the general state of knowledge in the field of cryogenic processing of tool steels. For successful project implementation a good English is required, knowledge of other languages ​​(French, German) is an advantage.