Research Associate - Macromolecular Science and Engineering


Title:  Research Associate

Department: Macromolecular Science & Engineering

School: Engineering

Location: Kent Hale Smith Bldg. 

Supervisor Name and Title:  Lei Zhu, Professor of Macromolecular Science & Engineering



While working under general supervision, the Research Associate will plan and carry out research within the Department of Macromolecular Science and Engineering. This research will be specific to the development of highly electroactive polymers for actuation, sensing, and energy harvesting. The Research Associate will also perform synthesis of new electroactive polymers to establish structure-property relationships.


1. Plan, coordinate and execute projects involved with the multi-disciplinary program on high performance electroactive polymers. Record, analyze and present data on all work relevant to the project. Prepare reports on the progress of the program. Identify and record changes in thermal and processing performance throughout program sequence. Mentor and monitor graduate students on details of experiments, characterization, and analysis. Participate in project discussions and project planning. (50%)


2. Assist in the program investigating the structure-property relationships. Mentor graduate students on details of experiments, characterization, and analysis. Participate in project discussions and project planning. (50%)




1. Assist with publishing and presenting scientific work at local/national conferences.


2. Train new staff and direct the work of students.


3. Perform other duties as assigned.



Education:  PhD. Degree in Polymer Science and Engineering with emphasis on Structure, Property, Processing Relationships in polymers, morphology characterization, and dielectric/ferroelectric properties. Knowledge in extrusion and polymer characterization in the solid state.


Experience:  PhD and 0 years of post-terminal degree experience for a research associate appointment



1.  Attention to detail and accuracy and time management skills.

2.  Basic understanding of common practice and procedures within the field.

3.  Oral and written communication skills and interpersonal skills.

4.  Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.

5.  Ability to work closely with colleagues.

6.  Motivation, responsibility and dependability.

7.  Accurate data recording and note-taking.

8.  Willingness to learn new techniques and procedures as needed.

9.  Ability to meet consistent attendance.

10. Ability to interact with colleagues and supervisors.



General laboratory environment. This position will have contact with or exposure to the following hazards: chemicals, hot processing materials and equipment, processing equipment having pinch-points. Laboratory safety training is required and will be provided. Appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) is also required and will be provided, including gloves, lab coat and protective eyewear.



In employment, as in education, Case Western Reserve University is committed to Equal Opportunity and Diversity.  Women, veterans, members of underrepresented minority groups, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply.


Qualified applicants should send their CV to Dr. Lei Zhu at