Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Institute for Secure Sustainable Environment

University of Tennessee-Knoxville

Knoxville, TN, US


 The Papanicolaou Watershed Processes and Sedimentation Group in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering with support from the Institute for Secure Sustainable Environment at the University of Tennessee are seeking an outstanding candidate for a full-time Postdoctoral Research Scholar position. The ideal candidate is a highly, self-motivated, individual with a PhD in Civil Engineering or relevant discipline. The candidate should also have a strong desire to examine fundamental natural processes through laboratory studies and field monitoring.

This candidate will work within a dynamic research team under the supervision of Thanos Papanicolaou. The candidate shall perform the following tasks:
Project 1: perform aggregate stability analysis in upland erosion processes
Outcome: journal paper
Project 2: perform biostabilization techniques for bank and bed sediments
Outcome: proposal and journal paper
Project 3: examine methane and water induced fluidization processes behind dams
Outcome: proposal and journal paper

All team members working in the Papanicolaou group are expected to publish in top-tiered journals and present yearly in national and international conferences, so the candidate should present proficient technical, oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills. Previous members from this group have joined different ranks of academia, federal agencies and the private sector.

The University of Tennessee’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering has an ongoing commitment to excellence in scientific research and engineering education. It has recently experienced significant growth in enrollment, faculty, and national prominence. Along with this growth, the new John D. Tickle Building, which was dedicated in October 2013, has 24 laboratories, three conventional classrooms, one large lecture hall, and 63 affiliated faculty and graduate student offices, along with a high-bay area where environmental and geotechnical experiments can be performed. Additionally, the new Hydraulics and Sedimentation Laboratory, run by Prof. Papanicolaou, has two new 50cm x 60cm x 9m water and sediment recirculating research flumes, with ADV, LDV, PIV, and geophone monitoring capabilities, as well as a state-of-the-art conduit flume and an open channel flume for measuring soil strength. The HSL also houses an assortment of field hydrological and sedimentological monitoring equipment including 3 rainfall simulators, a microtopography laser scanner, sedimeters, photo-electric erosion pins, and gamma spectroscopy detectors.

This is a one year position supported from current funding, with a competitive salary that may be renewed for a second year based on performance and funds availability.


 Requirements: PhD in Civil Engineering, or a closely related field obtained in the last 3 months.

The ideal candidate will have, but not be limited to:
Proficient technical, oral, written, and interpersonal communication skills.
Demonstrated experience in working with scientific collaborators.
A strong desire to examine fundamental natural processes through laboratory studies and statistical treatment of the problem.

Knowledge of biological cohesion on sediment stability
Understanding of turbulence
Carbon analysis of samples
Past laboratory and experimental work is a plus, but not a pre-requisite.

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter, resume, and the names of five (5) professional references to: Prof. Thanos Papanicolaou, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, The University of Tennessee, 325 John D. Tickle Building, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-2313 or via email [email protected]