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Postdoctoral Scholar in Plant Sensors - NC State

North Carolina State University
Raleigh, North Carolina (US)
$49,000-$51,000 per year + benefits
Closing date
May 4, 2020
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Position Description

The Mobile Imaging, Sensing, and Diagnostics Lab and the Nanomechanics and Nanoengineering Laboratory at NC State University are jointly hiring a full-time postdoctoral scholar beginning in Fall 2020. The postdoctoral scholar will be jointly mentored by Prof. Qingshan Wei in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) and Prof. Yong Zhu in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at NC State. The candidate will also collaborate with a research team of faculty in the cluster for Emerging Plant Disease and Global Food Security (EPDGFS) across four colleges and work on a project funded by the Plant Sciences Initiative (PSI) at NC State.

The postdoctoral scholar will develop plant wearable sensors that can selectively detect biochemical markers (e.g., volatile organic compounds, or VOCs) and plant’s microenvironment (e.g., light, humidity, and temperature) for continuous monitoring of plant health. The candidate will also work closely with the EPDGFS team to deploy and test the sensors in the laboratory, greenhouse, and field.

The initial appointment will be for one year and renewable for additional years upon satisfactory performance and mutual agreement. The successful candidate will be appointed through either CBE or MAE department, depending on the candidate’s training experience and preference. Salary is commensurate with experience.


The candidates are expected to have a recent Ph.D. in Chemistry, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, or other related fields. Candidates with extensive training and expertise in chemical sensors, VOC chemistry, gas sensors, nanomaterials, flexible/stretchable electronics, wearable sensors, and MEMS are strongly encouraged to apply; Basic understanding of nanochemistry, electrochemistry, wearable devices, and disease diagnostics is required. Skills and experience in chemical functionalization of nanomaterials, fabrication of stretchable electronics, and device integration is desired. Knowledge in plant biology or biomedicine is not required but will be considered as a plus. Successful applicants must also demonstrate a strong record of collaboration and working in a multidisciplinary team.

Training and Mentoring of Postdoc

The successful candidate will be appointed through either the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) or the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) at NC State, and jointly mentored by Dr. Qingshan Wei at CBE and Dr. Yong Zhu at MAE. The postdoc will meet regularly with both advisors to discuss project progress, manuscript preparation, and career development. In addition, the postdoc will closely interact with the Cluster faculty members across plant pathology, plant biology, and data informatics for sensor implementation and testing. The postdoc will be trained to develop additional skills beyond the technical focus of their research, through various means, such as attending national conferences to present the research findings, mentoring of undergraduate researchers, and writing of manuscripts and research grants.

Duties & Responsibilities

•          The candidate is expected to lead the collaborative research project, execute the planned research activities, and deliver millstones in a timely fashion;

•          The candidate is expected to coordinate with a multidisciplinary team on a regular basis;

•          The candidate will be the key personnel to perform the experiments, collect/analyze data, and write manuscripts independently;

•          The candidate is expected to supervise undergraduate researchers in the group.

Preferred Years’ Experience, Skills, Training, and Education: A PhD in related discipline and experience within five years of graduation. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are a must. Finally, applicants must have received their doctoral degree by the start date.

To Apply: 

Interested candidates should submit their applications (CV with the names of three references) at the NC State employment website. The position number is 00108002. Review of applications will begin immediately until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is no later than December 2020. Send inquiries to Prof. Qingshan Wei ( or Prof. Yong Zhu ( Useful links: 

Wei Lab (

Zhu Lab ( )

The Cluster ( )

NC State University is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity and strongly encourages applications from all qualified applicants, including women and minorities.

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