Expert X-ray diffraction

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The Department of Chemistry (part of KU Leuven’s Science and Technology Group) is looking for an expert in X-ray diffraction.


You keep the X-ray machines operational and supervise their correct use:
  • You take care of keeping the lab equipment operational within the department (XRD/WAXS/SAXS) and also liaise with the suppliers.
  • You develop proposals for upgrading/replacing/making the equipment more user-friendly/efficient and implement them in cooperation with the supplier.
  • You ensure technical optimisation of X-ray experiments (sample environment, beam definition, calibration).
  • You develop new experiments based on user requests.
You provide scientific support to the research groups:
  • You routinely perform crystal structure determinations by X-ray diffraction on single crystals and powders of small molecules as a service to the research groups. You provide reports in a format ready for publication.
  • You provide assistance in the structure determination of biological macromolecules.
  • You provide assistance in the crystallisation of synthesised molecules.
  • You are a point of contact for crystallographic databases (Cambridge Structural Database CSD and Inorganic Crystal Structure Database ICSD).
  • You provide training to students who wish to make frequent use of XRD/WAXS/SAXS and guide them in performing experiments and data interpretation until they can do this independently. You will do the experiments and data analysis yourself for occasional experiments.
  • You carry out experiments at the request of the industry (contract research). You prepare offers, take care of reporting and administrative follow-up. You attract new industrial users.
  • You act as liaison regarding experiments on synchrotron sources, the ESRF and the Flemish beamlines in particular. At the request of researchers within the department, you provide assistance in writing the technical part of projects for experiments over there.
  • You provide assistance in the administration of the Flemish beamlines at the ESRF in consultation with the responsible.
  • You follow up on the latest developments and trends (you follow training courses, internships, etc.).
  • You are the point of contact regarding X-ray analyses for colleagues within the department.
You ensure compliance with the HSE rules in the X-ray room.
You take on limited teaching assignments in the context of your expertise.
  • You have, preferably, a master’s degree in science, preferably in chemistry or you are equivalent through experience. Experience with a PhD is a plus.
  • You are a specialist in X-ray diffraction based crystal structure determination (single crystals and powders) for small molecules and (biological) macromolecules.  You are well acquainted with relevant software.
  • You have at least notions about the related techniques SAXS/WAXS and X-ray spectroscopy or you are willing to follow further training in these. In time, you should be able to interpret low-resolution SAXS data in terms of appropriate structural models.
  • You have a sense of order and planning. You can work independently, have a healthy dose of analytical insight and are stress-resilient.
  • You have an eye for HSE aspects.
  • You have good verbal social skills, are bilingual Dutch/English or are willing to learn the missing language.
  • You have good working knowledge of MS-office packages.
Additional skills can further enhance your candidature:
  • You are interested in or experienced in software development for data processing.
  • You are willing to occasionally make an extra effort when deadlines need to be met.

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