Research Materials Coordinator - Lignin Bioenergy

  • University of Wisconsin
  • Madison, WI, USA
  • Jun 11, 2019
Full time Energy Environmental Science - Engineering Renewable Energy Research Technology

Job Description

Position Summary

The Research Materials Coordinator position works with key stakeholders and Center leadership in the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) to develop, implement, and manage the lignin streams needed to progress Center research. An important feature of the Center is common access to well-characterized as well as standardized lignin and lignocellulosic hydrolysates. These materials are provided via established production supply chains assembled by GLBRC and tracked via quality control (QC) data in our laboratory information management system (LIMS), in quantities that not only support Center research activities but also allow us to collaborate with researchers in other bioenergy research centers and elsewhere. The Lignin Pipeline Project is tasked with reducing redundancy and increasing research efficiency within the Center, therefore, the ultimate goal is to produce standardized research materials from varying feedstocks via chemical deconstruction processing.

Principal duties:

1.The Research Materials Coordinator will have primary responsibility to provide administrative leadership, management and research coordination of the Lignin Pipeline Project for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center. (75%)
a. Develop project objectives and deliverables, monitor project timelines, identify and address barriers/bottlenecks, maintain standards/provide quality control (QC), evaluate and document processes and outcomes and provide progress updates monthly, quarterly, and as requested.
b. Build and support a collaborative team structure which includes staff that are aligned with the research directions of the strategic research plan that is developed with key stakeholders including faculty, scientists, and staff.
i.Supervise and coordinate Assistant Research Materials Coordinator activities, to include serving as a back-up for this position as needed.
ii.Hire and manage research interns, students and LTEs as needed.
c.Manage budget for Lignin Processing Chain Project.
i.Determine recommendation for annual budget for project from Center research needs.
ii.Monitor expenditures billed to project.
iii.Forecast future needs based on equipment and materials demands.
d.Determine needs for additional chemical deconstruction processing equipment, obtain quotes and weigh option for the location of the set-up, and assembling procession system.
e.Coordinate among research groups in the GLBRC involved in preparing and conducting research on deconstructed lignocellulosic biomass, use cross-team role to perpetuate consistency in the lignin pipeline.
f.Determine the balance between lignin preparation and conversion of lignin to monomers and oligomers in concert with key stakeholders.
g.Develop and employ a strategy to meet the needs of the Center via scale up of the deconstruction of plant-based feedstocks, including the use of and customization of large bioreactors and chemical engineering equipment and modifying any existing equipment or instrumentation for scale up.
h.Operate independently and train other professionals on procedures if the need arises.

2.The Research Materials Coordinator will manage, prepare and analyze data and procedures for the Lignin Pipeline Project. (20%)
a.Develop and document robust laboratory procedures. This requires a level of scientific knowledge sufficient to assure that the documentation is accurate and technically sound, and that there's an appropriate level of Quality Control (QC).
b.Partner with Information Services to capture lignin pipeline activities in the GLBRC Data Catalog.
c.Research new and existing processes to improve conversion efficiencies.
d.Explore options via both industrial and academic resources.
3.Support the GLBRC strategic plan and research portfolio as needed. (5%)


BA/BS required. Master's preferred, in Chemistry, Chemical or Process Engineering, or related field.


At least 4 years, preferably 6 years, of relevant experience managing research and/or laboratory proficiency in organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, or chemical engineering. The successful candidate will possess strong technical knowledge in order to effectively manage the Lignin Pipeline Project for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). An ability to effectively coordinate research conducted in multiple research groups, proficiency in assessing chemical procedures, proficiency in basic computational and data management systems, an ability to implement new methods efficiently, an ability to document reproducible standardized methods, good writing and general documentation capabilities, excellent interpersonal skills, and a strong capacity for independent problem solving are all required. Strong supervisory and budgetary skills desired.

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Academic Institution


Minimum $50,286 ANNUAL (12 months) DOQ