Getty Conserving Canvas Science Fellow

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The University of Akron
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Friday, 6 August, 2021 - 00:00

( Job # 13009)
The School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering at The University of Akron, Ohiois seeking a postdoctoral Getty Conserving Canvas Science Fellow for conducting research on the advancement of hot melt thermoplastic adhesives based on tackified ethylene vinyl acetate polymers for the preservation of fine art. This is a two-yearproject within the research program Improved Lining Adhesives for the Structural Treatment of Paintings on Canvas, directed by NYU Senior Research Scholar and Adjunct Professor Chris McGlinchey. The Getty Conserving Canvas Science Fellow will be a critical part of a team exploring the development of a satisfactory substitute for the original adhesive formulation of Beva 371 for the lining of paintings on canvas. The Fellow will collaborate closely with a Getty Conserving Canvas Research Fellow, a paintings conservator, who will be based at New York University, New York, one of the premier programs in art restoration in the country.

Full-Time, two years commencing in September 2021

Eligibility and Qualifications
The candidate must have a Ph. D. in the area of polymer chemistry, or engineering with a specialization in adhesion science in an area of thermoplastic based polymer blends. A minimum of 2 years' experience in adhesion and coatings technology is necessary. Past experience in adhesive formulation and characterization such as melt indexing methods for solvent-free mixing of thermoplastic adhesives in bulk and films, dynamic mechanical analysis, small-angle x-ray scattering, FTIR, GPC, peel and shear strength analysis, accelerated aging and lifetime prediction is highly desired.

You will be a critical part of a team exploring the development of an adhesive for the treatment of paintings on canvas and work with a fellow post-graduate level paintings conservator based at NYU who will be a co-equal to the project. The NYU Conservation Center is one of the top graduate level training programs in North America. The two fellows will consult with senior paintings conservators, cultural heritage scientists and adhesion scientists to ensure the project remains on target and proceeds efficiently. The main objective is to investigate the performance of an ethylene vinyl acetate adhesive used in art restoration and find a substitute for a resin that is no longer commercially available in one of the most commonly used adhesives used for lining paintings on canvas, a material named Beva 371. This process will be carried out using instrumentation described above under the qualifications section under the supervision of Chris McGlinchey and Ali Dhinojwala.

Knowledge of Hansen solubility parameters as a means to select a substitute, or blend, to replace the discontinued product is required. During the two-year period of exchange of ideas and exposure to emerging technologies you will have the opportunity to explore transfer technologies from industry that may be a next generation adhesive for cultural heritage applications. (Seed money for synthesis and molecular engineering is included in the grant.) In addition, the candidate will work on the scientific component of two workshops (summer of 2023) focused on teaching emerging conservators the properties of the reformulated adhesives for the lining and structural treatment of paintings on canvas.

You will be responsible for writing summaries of expert's meetings. In addition as travel support for attending experts' meetings you will receive $5K per annum travel support to visit researchers and facilities to support your work.

Annual Salary: $55,000, with benefits.
Questions? Email Ali Dhinojwala,

This project is made possible with support from the Getty Foundation through its Conserving Canvas initiative.

Application Instructions
Please provide the following documents: Cover letter, Statement of Interest, CV or Resume, and contact information for two recommendations from teachers or colleagues familiar with your professional experience. Please submit your documents by August 6th, 2021, by visiting the UA site that lists all the open positions
( Look for job opening # 13009.

About School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering
The School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering (SPSPE) at The University of Akron is one of the oldest and most innovative polymer programs in the United States. The Rubber Research Program, established in the early 1900s, was renamed the Institute of Polymer Science in 1964. Later, in 1988, it was named College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering and recently in 2020, it has been renamed as the School of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering. SPSPE offers graduate programs at Doctoral and Master's level and an undergraduate minor. It is a home to a host of polymer synthesis, characterization and processing research facilities, encompassing fields of polymer chemistry, polymer physics and polymer engineering. In addition to the academic research, SPSPE offers testing services to industry, as well training courses in fields of plastics and rubber technology.