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Currently, we have the following job openings for enthusiastic and motivated individuals who are interested in biofuels, bioproducts, food and bioprocessing research. For details please check the descriptions below. 

Graduate Research Assistant in Food and Bioprocess Engineering (New 2019!)

*We will pay your U.S. travel to visit the department, join us to the 2019 graduate student recruitment event.

Job Description and Responsibilities:

Graduate Assistantships (M.S. or Ph.D.) are available for outstanding candidates who are interested in the following research areas:

  • Lignin valorization for fuels, chemicals and advanced materials;
  • Catalysis and biocatalysis for lignocellulosic biomass;
  • Fermentation process development and modeling;
  • Bioproducts separation and recovery;
  • Municipal, food and agricultural waste treatment and conversion.

You will work together with a cluster of university wide researchers to explore lignin based chemicals and advanced materials for applications in advanced-membrane technologies, water purification, and electrochemical energy storage (through recent NSF EPSCoR RII Track 1 & 2 and USDA-NIFA awards, read more at:

Qualifications:   The candidates should have:

  • An earned B.S. or M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Biological/Agricultural Engineering, Environmental Engineering, or Material Science and Engineering.
  • Good knowledge of one or more of the aforementioned research areas. 
  • With credentials sufficient for admission into the UK graduate school (GPA>3.0; TOEFL>93 or IELTS>6.5 for international students; GRE Test Scores) – Applications must be received by March 15th for Fall Admission OR by August 15th for Spring Admission.
  • Ability to formulate and conduct experiments including data collection and analysis.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills.
  • Please send in your CV and 2-page research summary to Dr. Shi ( if you are interested.

Postdoctoral Scholar in Lignin Based Chemicals and Materials (New 2018!).

Check here for job description. Apply through this link


Undergraduate Student Interns

We also have openings for paid undergraduate student interns who are willing to engage in lab research during summer (8-10 weeks) or the school year.

Please contact Dr. Jian Shi ( if you are interested in applying to the positions.

Visiting Scholar/Visiting Student Program in Food and Bioprocess Engineering

Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
University of Kentucky

We offer opportunities for visiting students/visiting scholars who are interested in one of the following food and bioprocess engineering area: 1) biomass conversion and fermentation 2) system biology/metabolic engineering 3) bioprocess modeling and life cycle analysis, and 4) synthetic chemistry or biomaterials.  Specific research topics may include biomass pretreatment and fractionation using solvent-based catalysis; catalytic or biological valorization of lignin for biofuels and chemicals; products separation and recovery using advanced-membrane technologies; cellulose and lignin based bioproducts and biomaterials.

The visit will be hosted in our well-equipped microbiology, chemistry, food and bioprocessing laboratories and office building at the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY. University of Kentucky is the flagship university in the state and the 62th ranked public research schools in US. The City of Lexington is renowned for horse racing and its college basketball. The city ranks 60th-largest city in US and is in driving distance to the 29th and 45th largest US metropolitan areas of Cincinnati and Louisville, offering safe, convenient and enjoyable life style.

Application: Applicants may contact:

Dr. Jian Shi
Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering Department
115 Charles E. Barnhart Building
University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40546-0276
Phone: 859-218-4321

The University of Kentucky is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


© 2019 Shi Research Group | Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering | University of Kentucky
169 C.E. Barnhart Building, Lexington, KY 40546 | Directions | Phone: 859-218-4321   
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