The University of British Columbia (UBC)

Postdoctoral Fellowships available in bioenergy systems analysis

The University of British Columbia (UBC)

Vancouver, Canada

The Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF) position co-supervised by Professors Tony Bi, Naoko Ellis and Kevin Smith. The PDF position will be located at UBC’s Vancouver campus.

We are seeking a PDF to (1) perform a systems analysis to quantify the environmental, economic and social benefits of the biomass-to-syngas and -biomethane process, and (2) to carry out a comprehensive analysis of government policy and incentive/subsidy programs at regional, natural and global scales to understand the impacts and implications of policy changes on the deployment of syngas and renewable natural gas technologies.

Qualifications of applicant:

  • Have completed a relevant Ph.D. (e.g., in chemical engineering, catalysis) within the last 3 years.
  • Be highly motivated, organized, a good communicator (written and verbal).
  • Thrive in a team environment (in a large biomass energy program).
  • Have a strong desire to conduct process analysis evaluation in close collaboration with industry.
  • Expertise in life cycle analysis, integrated impact assessments and policy analysis
  • Experience with clean energy and bioenergy research, development and applications


  • Perform environmental and techno-economic analyses of (i): the biomass-to-syngas process in which the syngas is used to fire pulp mill lime kilns and (ii) the biomass-to-RNG technology, using life cycle analysis and other tools.
  • Evaluate the impacts of policy changes on the deployment of the syngas to fire lime kilns technology and RNG production technology in BC and Canada.
  • From time to time, assist in the experimental tests of a pilot fluidized bed biomass gasification and methanation system
  • Deliver clear and concise written and oral presentation of analysis, and internal/external reports.
  • Communicate with stakeholders in industries to update progress, receive guidance on new assignments and independently complete recurring assignments.
  • Prepare manuscripts for publications and present their work at national/international conferences.

Duration & Salary:

This full-time PDF position has an initial 1-year appointment (as per UBC policy for PDFs), with the potential for renewal.

Salary will be commensurate with qualifications.

The anticipated start date is March 1, 2021. Review of applications will start immediately and will continue until the position is filled.


Please send your CV, cover letter, and contact information of 3 references, addressed to:

Dr. Junnan Chao,

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

This posting is for the UBC Vancouver campus in British Columbia, Canada.

Please refer to reference number NC-54852 during correspondence about this position. Please visit the researcher profiles of the supervisors (1, 2) for this position to learn more about their research.

Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence. An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged. We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person.

About UBC
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world. Since 1915, UBC’s entrepreneurial spirit has embraced innovation and challenged the status quo. UBC encourages its students, staff and faculty to challenge convention, lead discovery and explore new ways of learning. At UBC, bold thinking is given a place to develop into ideas that can change the world.

Postdoctoral Fellows at UBC Vancouver
UBC is home to over 900 postdocs spanning all faculties and units across two campuses and a variety of affiliated hospitals, research centres, and sites, providing unparalleled opportunities to learn, discover and contribute in one’s own way. UBC’s Postdoctoral Fellows Office (PDFO) is committed to supporting the lives and career aspirations of our Postdocs, with the goal of enriching their experience at UBC and preparing them for the future. In addition to providing support and advocacy for all postdocs, the PDFO is dedicated to providing professional development opportunities that foster the development of soft skills needed in today’s professional environments, helping them secure future careers in their chosen fields.

About UBC’s Faculty of Applied Science
The Faculty of Applied Science comprises a unique constellation of disciplines – including the Schools of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Community and Regional Planning and Nursing, as well as all engineering activities at both the Vancouver and Okanagan campuses. Our work and the professional disciplines we represent span the entire human-centred built environment and innovation at all scales – from nanoscale electronic devices that power communications to the design of entire cities.

There has never been a more urgent time for our professions – as planners, architects, nurses and engineers – to come together to build upon our existing strengths and ambitions to ensure a thriving society, to make real impact locally and globally.

With a community of over 300 full-time faculty members and more than 8,600 students across our undergraduate and graduate programs, we shape the leaders and professions that shape the world.

About Vancouver
Vancouver is a dynamic, cosmopolitan and progressive city, consistently ranked as one of the top cities to live in the world. Canada’s third largest city has it all: sea, parks, mountains, beaches, and four seasons per year, including beautiful summers and mild, wet winters with snow in the mountains. It’s the perfect backdrop to your academic research.

Apply with CV and Cover Letter

Must be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MBMust be a .doc, .docx, or .pdf file and no larger than 1MB

Postdoctoral Fellowships available in bioenergy systems analysis