Research Assistant (Part-Time)

Penn State University

University Park Campus
Campus City:
University Park, PA
Date Announced:
Date Closing:
open until filled
Job Number:
Work Unit:
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences
EMS Energy Institute
Full/Part Time:


The Earth and Mineral Sciences Energy Institute at Penn State invites applications for an immediate position of a part-time Research Assistant to conduct research on projects in collaboration with Dr. Randy Vander Wal. Broadly, the research involves carbon materials, surface chemistry, microscopic and spectroscopic characterization and applications. Carbon forms range from graphene to carbon blacks, also including graphitizing and non-graphitizing carbons precursors. Characterization techniques include TEM, XRD, NMR, TGA, Raman and XPS for structure and bonding information. Applications include barrier coatings, carbon-carbon composites and energy storage media ranging from combustion produced soot to graphene, and addressing topics such as oxidative reactivity and functionalization, respectively. These themes connect fields spanning materials, human health, and energy. Extensive analytical characterization using the instruments at the Penn State Materials Characterization Laboratory (MCL) and laboratory-based preparation is common to these material studies. Current projects include characterization and processing of graphene mixtures in composites, graphite formation, and flame synthesis. Related studies include thermal versus microwave pyrolysis processing of hydrocarbons. Work on multiple projects is to be anticipated. Applicants must hold an advanced degree, M.S. or higher in chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, or related field. Strong background and training in chemistry and materials characterization techniques is required. Experience with pulsed lasers, optics, spectroscopy and associated spectral acquisition systems is desirable, though not essential. Candidates should possess excellent written and verbal communication skills, be able to work independently and have requisite computer skills. Adaptability to specialized data analysis software, e.g. Origin and analytical instrumental software packages is also desirable. Interested candidate should submit the following: an application letter highlighting qualifications for the position; a curriculum vitae including educational background, employment history, and a list of peer reviewed publications; research statement of your interests in the context of desired qualifications; contact information for three references. This position will work 24 hours a week.

These salary bands have been established to provide salary guidelines for staff positions.

Salary Band Minimum Midpoint Maximum
A $16,584 $24,456 $32,328
B $18,240 $26,904 $35,556
C $19,728 $29,592 $39,456
D $21,708 $32,568 $43,416
E $24,312 $36,468 $48,612
F $27,228 $40,848 $54,456
G $30,012 $45,744 $61,500
H $34,188 $52,140 $70,080
I $38,988 $59,424 $79,908
J $43,716 $67,740 $91,812
K $50,712 $78,600 $106,488
L $58,836 $91,176 $123,528
M $68,232 $105,756 $143,292
N $80,508 $124,788 $169,068
O $93,492 $147,252 $201,024
P $110,340 $173,760 $237,192
Q $126,396 $199,056 $271,728
R $151,668 $238,872 $326,088