Research Assistant

Two Research Assistant/Associate positions have become available at Cambridge Univeristy, supervised by Dr Andre Serrnho and Dr Jonathan Cullen.  This is part of an exciting international research programme called C-THRU : carbon clarity in the global petrochemical supply chain, which is funded by VKRF and aims to deliver foresight on the future interventions and innovation opportunities in the petrochemical sector required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The modern petrochemical sector is also responsible for 17% of global industrial emissions. These arise from the production process of petrochemicals and its transformation into products, and also from waste management after the disposal of goods. As the global demand for petrochemicals keeps growing, rethinking its entire supply chain becomes all the more challenging and urgent. We have started to explore the main implications of this problem for plastics in the UK in a recent report we produced. This can be read here.

New opportunities to achieve a low-emissions future require a detailed understanding of the links between the productions of petrochemicals and their end-use applications and disposal is therefore essential to achieve a low-emissions future. Yet, we know very little about how petrochemical products are used, which needs they serve, and how they are disposed of.

The successful candidates will develop new modelling tools to map the global flows of petrochemicals from production to end-use applications. This map will be used to estimate the stocks of petrochemical products in service, anticipate future demand and the availability of waste streams, using Material Flow Analysis (MFA) and Dynamic MFA approaches. This model will enable the testing of the impact of alternative interventions along the supply chain on global lifecycle emissions. By the end of this project, we will have identified and prioritised key interventions in the petrochemicals supply chain that lead to a faster reduction in emissions.

If this project excites you and you’d like to know more, please visit for further information about the roles available. The closing date for applications is 15th November 2020.

If you have any questions about this vacancy, please contact Dr André Cabrera Serrenho at or Dr Jonathan Cullen at for queries of a technical nature related to this role, and please contact Joanna Wakeling at for queries about the application process.

We look forward to hearing from you!

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  • Application deadline: Nov 15, 2020
  • Cambridge University
  • Massachusetts, US
  • Other Positions
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