Materials Engineer – KTP Associate

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Job Description

An exciting opportunity has become available for an enthusiastic and self-motivated Engineer/ Materials Scientist/Chemical Engineering graduate to facilitate the development of novel products from bulk offensive waste, reducing disposal costs and valorising waste materials generated by the company, Medisort, based in Littlehampton. This position is a six-month fixed-term contract which finishes off a larger collaborative project between the University and Medisort.

Project Description

The University of Brighton is working in partnership with Medisort Ltd, a healthcare waste management company based in Littlehampton (West Sussex) on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership. The project is aimed at promoting a circular economy by diverting absorbent wastes from landfill and incineration to recycling the cellulose-based pulp fibres, super-absorbent polymers and polyolefins. To date, lab-scale tests have been completed, which confirm that these materials can be decontaminated and separated without compromising their quality.

The project is now exploring the potential of producing products such as insulation materials, plastic lumber suitable for making garden chairs and floor panelling using the the pulp fibres and polyolefins. Natural fibres derived from various plants and trees can be blended with plastics to form composite materials possessing enhanced mechanical properties relative to their plastic-only counterparts.

Qualifications we require

As a minimum, you will have a minimum 2:1 BSc/BEng Hons in Engineering/Chemical Engineering (or a related discipline involving materials science and product design), along with a Masters’ degree. Candidates who can demonstrate that experience substitutes for a Masters may be considered.

About Medisort Ltd

Medisort collects, processes and disposes of healthcare waste in the Southeast of England, including single use instruments, sharps, medicinal waste and absorbent hygiene products. Medisort aim to deliver a bespoke service to all customers which maximises segregation, ensures full compliance, delivers cost reductions and reduces environmental impact. Find out more by visiting:

Job Tasks

This role is focused around idea generation for new products, using composite materials, their specifications and cost implications for Medisort. Ideas for new products based on surveys of literature, patents and findings to-date include:

  • Cellulosic fibre Insulation materials based on: a)Fibre in plastic –  b)Foam and panel or board fabrication
  • Growth-gel media
  • Cellulose-based fibre characterisation: mechanical and thermal performance

Acrylate gel formulations

  • Composites with/without humectant
  • Extruded and moulded plastics with/without cotton
  • Blends of plastics and cotton mixed with either aggregates and cement for water repellency and light-weighting (civil engineering), or fiberglass (civil engineering)
  • Characterising the abovementioned new products in terms of mechanical, thermal and physico-chemical properties using established BS EN ISO and TAPPI testing methods.
  • Calculating the cost implications of the new product developments to ascertain the financial viability of the end products compared to the current disposal practice will also be a considerations (incineration and its associated gate fees).
  • Investigating opportunities for Patents and IPR should also be included as part of the exploration process of this role.

Start date: Spring 2021

Further details: Job Description

The University is committed to an inclusive environment which embraces equality and diversity in our working, learning, research and teaching environment. We particularly encourage applicants from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background because the university is underrepresented by BAME staff.

Further information about working for us, as well as the wide range of benefits we offer, can be found in the working with us section of our vacancies page.