Postdoctoral Fellowships in Postharvest Technology Stellenbosch University, South Africa

Job Description: The South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI) in Postharvest Technology at the University of Stellenbosch focuses on the development of cross-cutting innovative technologies for cool chain produce handling, and measurement and control of postharvest quality.
The Postharvest Technology Chair is seeking suitable applications from candidates who have obtained their PhD within the last five years in engineering/technology, science, agricultural/horticultural and other applied sciences as postdoctoral fellows in the following research themes:

Theme 1: Packaging Technology
The successful candidate will be expected to develop and participate in research on design, modelling and performance evaluation of packaging for the fresh produce sector, including modified atmosphere packaging (MAP). Knowledge and experience with aspects of fresh produce physiology, mechanical testing of packaging and use of innovative treatments to extend shelf-life will be beneficial.

Theme 2: CFD Modelling of Airflow, Heat and Mass Transfer
The successful candidate will be expected to develop and participate in research on modelling airflow, heat and mass transfer in postharvest built environments such as cool stores and ventilated packaging. Experience in using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software such as FLUENT will be advantageous but not compulsory provided the candidate has numerical modelling skills and experience.

Theme 3: Non-destructive Quality Measurement and Modelling
The successful candidate will be expected to develop and participate in research using non-destructive tools to measure and model internal quality of fresh produce. Candidate will be expected to demonstrate the knowledge and ability to work with non-invasive tools for quality measurement such as near-infrared spectroscopy and similar instruments.

Theme 4: Impacts of Postharvest Research and Interventions
The successful candidate will be expected to develop methods for, and conduct systematic reviews on the effectiveness of interventions to reduce postharvest losses, including impacts of postharvest interventions to reduce food losses, and impacts of postharvest research on product quality, safety and incidence of losses. Suitable candidates with qualifications in the management sciences/economics and health sciences are also encouraged to apply.

General duties and responsibilities
Conduct original research/reviews and prepare scientific articles for publication. Provide support, guidance and mentorship of postgraduate students.

Personal attributes required
Relevant research experience, ability to think critically, passion for research, excellent written and oral communication skills.
Please send letter of motivation and CV to Professor Linus Opara ([email protected]). CV should highlight qualifications, research experience and expertise, scientific papers in refereed journals, and contact details of 2-3 potential referees.
Closing date for applications is 20 June 2010 or as soon as suitable candidates are selected.

For Further Information:

Contact address : Professor Umezuruike Linus Opara
South African Research Chair in Postharvest Technology
Faculty of AgriSciences, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
E-mail: [email protected]; phone: +27 (0)21 808 4064.

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