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Job Record #17369
TitlePostdoctoral Research Associate – Aerosols in Medicine
CategoryPostDoc Position
EmployerVirginia Commonwealth University
LocationUnited States, Virginia, Richmond
InternationalYes, international applications are welcome
Closure DateMonday, December 20, 2021
Postdoctoral Research Associate – Aerosols in Medicine: CFD Development of a 
Surfactant Aerosol Delivery Device

Description of Job:

The Aerosols in Medicine (AIM) Lab in the VCU College of Engineering 
(directed by Dr. PW Longest) seeks to address significant current challenges 
in the field of medical aerosols in order to improve the treatment of 
respiratory and systemic diseases and conditions including chronic lung 
infections, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cystic 
fibrosis, surfactant insufficiency and acute respiratory distress syndrome.

To address challenges in the field of aerosolized medicine, the AIM lab 
specializes in a thorough understanding of transport phenomena including 
fluid mechanics, heat and mass transfer, turbulence, thermodynamics, 
pharmacokinetics and multiphase flows, together with aerosol science, lung 
biology and lung physiology.  Specific skills developed by lab members often 
fall into the areas of:

•  Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
•  Inhaler and aerosol generation/delivery device development
•  Development and use of characteristic and complete airway models
•  Particle engineering

These skills are applied to various aspects of the medical aerosol delivery 
process from particle formation during spray drying and aerosol generation 
within an inhaler through particle deposition in the distal airways and 
post-deposition transport including drug dissolution, absorption and 

The available position involves the use of CFD simulations to understand, 
characterize and improve the administration of a dry powder surfactant 
aerosol to infants.  Key regions of interest include aerosol delivery 
through the existing device, patient interface, and infant extrathoracic 
airways.  CFD simulations are expected to produce design modification that 
improve aerosol formation, reduce device and interface losses and improve 
transmission through extrathoracic airways and to infant lungs.  Recommended 
design changes will be prototyped and tested in the Aerosols in Medicine 
(AIM) – Experimental Lab and in the collaborating VCU Department of 
Pharmaceutics labs. Improved aerosol delivery to the lungs of infants is 
needed in order to realize the benefits of aerosolized surfactant 
replacement therapy instead of the current clinical procedure of liquid 
bolus instillation, which involves subject intubation, administration of 
high volume carrier liquids and subsequent mechanical ventilation.  In this 
project, low cost device and formulation options are being developed for 
applications in low resource settings.

Project funding is through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  Other 
projects in the AIM Lab are funded by NIH and US FDA.

More Information about the AIM Lab and group publications can be found at:

Required Qualifications

•  PhD in Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering or similar field
•  Experience with multiphase CFD, commercial CFD codes requiring user-
defined function development and use, and complex mesh generation
•  Excellent communication skills
•  Ability to mentor junior team members
•  Demonstrated ability to work in multi-disciplinary teams

Preferred Qualifications

•  Experience with CFD applied to aerosol science
•  Experience with CFD applied to inhaler analysis, design, and/or aerosol 
transport in the respiratory airways
•  Experience with constructing small scale devices with high resolution 3D 
•  Experience with aerosol characterization and quantification experiments
•  Publications in the areas of aerosol science or pharmaceutical aerosols

Job Open Date: September 2021

Applications Instructions:  Interested candidates should email a cover 
letter of interest, CV, graduate transcript (unofficial) and three 
professional references that include emails and phone numbers to Prof. 
Longest ( Applications will be reviewed upon receipt and 
accepted until the position is filled. Employment will require successful 
completion of background check(s) in accordance with University policies.

Additional Information

The Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Department at VCU offers a highly 
interdisciplinary research experience, which is essential for the study of 
pharmaceutical aerosols.  Areas of expertise include transport modeling, 
computational fluid dynamics, life science engineering, and pharmaceutics.  
This project is being performed in collaboration with the VCU Department of 
Pharmaceutics, which is located on the VCU Medical Campus.  The VCU 
Department of Pharmaceutics is widely recognized for its Aerosol Research 
Group, which specializes in the area of respiratory drug delivery, and is 
the developer of the Respiratory Drug Delivery (RDD) Conference series 
(, which currently hosts ~700 attendees to 
national and international conference sites each year.

VCU is an Equal-Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer.  Women, minorities 
and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Contact Information:
Please mention the CFD Jobs Database, record #17369 when responding to this ad.
NameProf. Longest
Email ApplicationYes
Record Data:
Last Modified16:29:34, Friday, October 22, 2021

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