Job Offer at INRA, Massy, F-91300, France - URGENT    |    contact: Olivier Vitrac    |    see all job offers

Post-doc bridging nanotechnology, material science and agricultural production

Do you want to learn new engineering practices integrating safety and environmental concerns?

Post-doc bridging nanotechnology, material science and agricultural productionDo you want to learn new engineering practices integrating safety and environmental concerns?Context Job description Job requirementsContact, how to applyRelevant publications


Technology can help to increase crop production significantly and paves the way for urban agriculture. The collaborative project ECLA seeks to extend the performances of the first generation of photonic materials. These materials modifiy the solar spectrum to match the photosynthetic characteristics of the plant.

Using photoactive and nanomaterials in agriculture requires strict validation and proper risk assessment. The offered position aims at devising a full approach for photoactive materials: risk of leaching chemicals, nanoparticles, degradation products, etc..

INRA is a partner of the project and has a long experience on the matter. The host laboratory (UMR 1145 Food Engineering and Processing, Group "*Interactions between the Materials and Media in Contact") is the leading group on the development of predictive approaches for assessing chemical risks for materials. INRA/AgroParisTech are associated with the French National Reference Laboratory of Metrology and Testing (LNE) to develop the concepts of safe food packaging and related materials.

The project " Efficiency of Light Waterfalls for Agriculture" (ECLA1) is funded by the French Environment & Energy Management Agency


Job description

The researcher will organize, control, and conduct testing aiming at evaluating i) physical and chemical aging of materials and ii) the risk of release photoactive substances and nanoparticles. Tests will be carried out using a large variety of both macroscopic and experiments. Estimates corresponding to real or more extreme conditions of use of the tested materials will be derived by combing collected data with simulations and predictive methodologies of the migration.

The position is open for 18 months (immediately) at INRA in AgroParisTech site of Massy, France.

Job requirements

A PhD. degree in Material Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry is required or an engineering degree or equivalent combined with an experiment in research. Some experience in analytical chemistry will be appreciated.

Contact, how to apply

Please send CV, previous publications and thesis summary to Olivier Vitrac, Chargé de Recherches INRA.

Relevant publications

Publications in relationship with the project are listed below to show how the laboratory valorize experimental and theoretical work with the industry.

[1] Zhu Y, Welle F, Vitrac O. A blob model to parameterize polymer hole free volumes and solute diffusion. Soft-Matter. 2019

[2] Zhu Y, Nguyen P-M, Vitrac O. Risk assessment of migration from packaging materials into food. ( In: Robertson G, (editor). Elsevier Food Science Reference Module. Amsterdam, NL: Elsevier; 2019. p. 64

[3] Zhu Y, Guillemat B, Vitrac O. Rational Design of Packaging: Toward Safer and Ecodesigned Food Packaging Systems. Frontiers in Chemistry. 2019;7

[4] Nguyen P-M, Dorey S, Vitrac O. The Ubiquitous Issue of Cross-Mass Transfer: Applications to Single-Use Systems. Molecules. 2019;24, 3467

[5] Nguyen P-M, Julien JM, Breysse C, Lyathaud C, Thébault J, Vitrac O. Project SafeFoodPack Design: case study on indirect migration from paper and boards. Food Additives & Contaminants. 2017;34:1703-20

[6] Nguyen P-M, Guiga W, Dkhissi A, Vitrac O. Off-lattice Flory-Huggins approximations for the tailored calculation of activity coefficients of organic solutes in random and block copolymers. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 2017;56:774–87

[7] Fang X, Vitrac O. Predicting diffusion coefficients of chemicals in and through packaging materials. Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. 2017;57:275-312

[8] Nguyen P-M, Goujon A, Sauvegrain P, Vitrac O. A Computer-Aided Methodology to Design Safe Food Packaging and Related Systems. AIChE Journal. 2013;59:1183-212

[9] Fang X, Domenek S, Ducruet V, Refregiers M, Vitrac O. Diffusion of Aromatic Solutes in Aliphatic Polymers above Glass Transition Temperature. Macromolecules. 2013;46:874-88 10.1021/ma3022103.

[10] Gillet G, Vitrac O, Desobry S. Prediction of Partition Coefficients of Plastic Additives between Packaging Materials and Food Simulants. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research. 2010;49:7263-80

[11] Durand M, Meyer H, Benzerara O, Baschnagel J, Vitrac O. Molecular dynamics simulations of the chain dynamics in monodisperse oligomer melts and of the oligomer tracer diffusion in an entangled polymer matrix. Journal of Chemical Physics. 2010;132:194902

[12] Gillet G, Vitrac O, Tissier D, Saillard P, Desobry S. Development of decision tools to assess migration from plastic materials in contact with food. Food Additives and Contaminants. 2009;26:1556-73

[13] Vitrac O, Mougharbel A, Feigenbaum A. Interfacial mass transport properties which control the migration of packaging constituents into foodstuffs. Journal of Food Engineering. 2007;79:1048-64

[14] Vitrac O, Hayert M. Effect of the distribution of sorption sites on transport diffusivities: A contribution to the transport of medium-weight-molecules in polymeric materials. Chemical Engineering Science. 2007;62:2503-21

[15] Vitrac O, Lezervant J, Feigenbaum A. Decision trees as applied to the robust estimation of diffusion coefficients in polyolefins. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 2006;101:2167-86

[16] Vitrac O, Hayert M. Risk assessment of migration from packaging materials into foodstuffs. AIChE Journal. 2005;51:1080-95

INRA, UMR 1145 Food Processing and Engineering, Group "Interactions between Materials and Media in Contact", AgroParisTech, site de Massy, 1 rue des Olympiades, 91300 Massy, France


$ last revision 2019/11/01 $​

1 The collaborative project ECLA is coordinated by the company Cascade Light Technologies.