Job ID: 191028

Assistant Professor - Sustainable Packaging

Clemson University

  • Jul. 25, 2022
  • Assistant Professor - Sustainable Packaging
  • Department of Food, Nutrition, & Packaging Sciences
  • Clemson University
    Clemson, SC
  • Open until filled
  • Available immediately
  • Assistant Professor
  • Materials Sciences/Polymer Sciences
    Chemistry - General

Clemson University: College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences: Food, Nutrition & Packaging Sciences
Assistant Professor - Sustainable Packaging

Location: Clemson University

The Department of Food, Nutrition and Packaging Sciences (FNPS) is seeking a visionary researcher and teacher to become the globally recognized expert on sustainable packaging.

Clemson University has much of the infrastructure required to be successful in converting bio- and mono-polymer structures into functional packages that reduce dependence on multi-layer flexible and rigid plastic packaging.

Clemson University is an R1 Research institution, with comprehensive and state-of-the-art resources. FNPS staffed laboratories include material analysis, cast and blown film production, extrusion blown molding, injection molding, semi-rigid plastic packaging conversion, thermoforming, lamination, and much more. Campus includes a fully equipped machine shop to customize tooling, a dynamics lab to test structures for transport, food and thermal processing laboratories, wet lab nutrition analysis labs, shelf-life analysis capabilities, food safety, and health experts. FNPS design and prototyping capabilities are second to none, helping translate new materials into market-ready concepts. Packaging analytical equipment includes: DSC, TMA, TGA, Instron universal testing machine, coefficient of friction, contact angle, FTIR, melt indexer, haze meter, gloss meter, hot tack tester, heat sealers, impulse sealers, induction sealer, Elmendorf tear testing, dart drop testing, environmental impact software, and an extensive list of packaging industry relationships.

The successful candidate for this position will focus 75% of their time on the research to help transform post-consumer plastic packaging and/or food waste into value added packaging materials. The remaining 25% of time will focus on developing and teaching an undergraduate and graduate course, ensuring students understand innovations in sustainability and how to measure environmental impacts.

The successful candidate is expected to:

• Develop different bio- and mono- polymer structures which can be converted into flexible (pouches, films, sachets), rigid (blown and injection molded), and semi-rigid (thermoformed) packaging structures.

• Partner with the following groups on project and research grant opportunities:

  • Food, Nutrition, and Packaging Sciences
  • Material Science and Engineering
  • Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
  • Chemistry

• Obtain grants and industrial contracts with packaging manufactures and suppliers

• Publish work in relevant peer-reviewed journals

• Develop and instruct courses in sustainable packaging

• Research methods to reduce food waste and single use plastics

• Develop expertise in, and obtain equipment for, chemical and mechanical recycling processes



Ph.D. in Chemistry, Polymer Science, Material Science, or a closely related field, with experience in developing polymer-based products

Experience in mono-materials and bio-materials

Expertise in research methods relevant polymer production, processing, and manufacturing.

Preferred experience in packaging sustainability, food waste and single-use plastics reduction, and chemical recycling

Demonstrated ability to publish in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. Capability to work proactively within collaborative, multi-disciplinary teams is critical.

Experience in proposal preparation and project management.

Excellent communication skills (oral & written) are essential.


Application Instructions

Please submit the following items electronically (PDF format) via Interfolio

Letter describing interest in and qualifications for the position

A one-page statement of research interest, experience, and vision to achieve stated goals

A statement describing experience and/or future plans to promote diversity and inclusion

Unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts (official transcripts will be needed before an offer is made)

Personality statement (help us understand your working and collaboration style using Myers-Briggs, DISC, or personal reflection)

Full curriculum vitae

Name, address, email, and phone number of three professional references (references will not be contacted by the search committee until after an in-person campus interview has occurred)

Any questions should be addressed to Dr. Andrew Hurley, Search Committee Chair (

To receive full consideration, applications must be received by August 15, 2022. The position will remain open until filled. Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until a suitable candidate is identified.

Anticipated start date is January, 2023.

Clemson University is an AA/EEO employer and does not discriminate against any person or group on the basis of age, color, disability, gender, pregnancy, national origin, race, religion, sexual orientation, veteran status or genetic information. Clemson University is building a culturally diverse faculty and staff committed to working in a multicultural environment and encourages applications from minorities and women.


Please reference in your cover letter when
applying for or inquiring about this job announcement.

Contact Information

  • Charles Santerre
    Department of Food, Nutrition, & Packaging Sciences
    Clemson University

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