Postdoctoral Fellow

Postdoctoral Fellow on Policy Tools to Enable Carbon Capture and Valorisation

Project Background

In 2020, Ontario had an electricity surplus of 17.2 TWh from low-carbon sources (enough to power nearly 2 million homes). One way to make better use of Canada's clean electricity is to increase storage capacity, but storage capacity is expensive and has a sizeable environmental footprint. An alternative explored in this project is to use surplus clean energy in combination with the abundant waste heat of nuclear power plants to capture carbon dioxide from the air and transform it into net-zero hydrocarbons for ethanol, methanol, and ultimately longer-chain products. These hydrocarbons can be used as feedstock for the chemical industry in lieu of petroleum products. This transformation requires heat and electricity, so using surplus power is a promising approach to make this carbon capture and valorisation (CCV) process economically viable. Given the urgent need for Canada to further de-carbonise its electricity grid and industry, and to pursue more active carbon capture strategies, this project will provide timely analysis to guide clean energy development and strengthen Canada's climate plan.


Job Description

The tasks of this postdoctoral position will comprise:

  1. Perform policy review to identify institutional capacity or regulatory barriers to CCV update in Canada’s context;
  2. Develop different scenarios with policy instruments (e.g., carbon tax, carbon credit, carbon auditing) to compare CCV with CCS or other decarbonization solutions in the energy sector in terms of economic and environmental benefits;
  3. Considering specific nuclear power plants and future deployment of small modular reactors, estimate cost-effective strategies to forge industrial symbiosis between nuclear power and CCV deployment;
  4. Work efficiently with other team members and co-supervise graduate students in this project.


Requirements and Desirable Experiences

As part of a diverse and interdisciplinary research team (6 research labs, 5 industrial partners), the successful and highly motivated candidate holds a PhD in energy policy, energy systems engineering, environmental engineering, or a similar discipline. Demonstrated research experience in energy and environmental policy studies or energy systems modelling is highly desirable. Furthermore, the candidate is expected to be familiar with life-cycle assessment or cost-benefit analysis in the energy sector, and understand recent developments in Canada’s emissions reduction plan towards net-zero goals by 2050. We appreciate the candidate's excellent spoken/written English, good interpersonal skills and time management, and independent working style.


Conditions of Employment

Compensation will be commensurate with skills and experience, consistent with current practice at Queen’s University.

Location: Queen's University in Kingston, ON; hybrid work mode (within Canada) is negotiable.

Benefits: The standard package offered by Queen's University.

Period of employment: 100% FTE, 1 year, renewable.

Start date: 1 July 2024 or soon after.


How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. All applications received by 19 April 2024 will be fully considered. Exceptional applicants will be recommended to apply for Queen’s Vice-Principal Research Postdoctoral Fund as a top-up fund. Applications after this date will be considered until the position is filled.

Please send your application to Dr. Warren Mabee ( AND Dr. Qian Zhang ( with the recommended subject line [YOUR NAME]: Application for CCV postdoctoral fellowship. The application must include a cover letter explaining your research interests and motivation for the position, a detailed CV with publication records, and contact information for two references.

For clarification questions, please contact Dr. Qian Zhang (


Work Environment

Queen's is committed to counteracting discrimination in this institution and developing a climate of educational equity that recognizes and respects the equal dignity and worth of all who seek to participate in the life, work and mission of the University. Such a climate is created and maintained by developing a university-wide commitment to and understanding of educational equity, supported by policies, programs, curricula, practices and traditions that facilitate individuals - and equity-seeking groups- free, safe, and full participation.

More information at


  • Application deadline: Apr 19, 2024
  • Queen's University (Canada)
  • School of Policy Studies & Smith Engineering
  • Kingston, Ontario
  • Postdoc Positions
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