Art museum

Postdoctoral analytical chemist in the scientific laboratory of the Art Museum at the Metropolitan Museum of Art



Conduct research using advanced analytical scientific instruments, techniques and bibliographic surveys to identify and quantify the reactive volatile components of 40 commercially available materials with the aim of developing a set of chemical solutions to compare methods material testing. This research is at the heart of a 3-year National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services focused on establishing benchmarking tools for tests used in the field of cultural heritage to identify materials. for display, transport and storage of collections. This research associate will work in tandem with a second research associate at the Preventive Conservation Science Laboratory (PCSL) under the supervision of the environmental scientist.


  • Establish methods and protocols to identify and quantify reactive volatile components of commercial products using analytical tools at the Met and, if necessary, at local universities.
  • Collaborate with the German BAM institute to perform BEMMA tests on each material.
  • Determine the concentration of a subset of reactive chemicals present in each product and subject these chemicals to Oddy and paper tests.
  • Establish the levels of corrosion or tarnishing produced by the materials and relate the chemicals and their concentrations to the limits of the three levels of degradation commonly used in the Oddy test (permanent, temporary or inappropriate).
  • Purchase and use electrochemical stripping tools and methodologies to quantify the degree of metal corrosion on copper, silver and lead coupons. Correlate the degree of corrosion with the chemical concentration.
  • Use X-ray diffraction tools to identify the corrosion phase observed on the copper, silver and lead coupons. Correlate the corrosion phase with chemical reagents.
  • Establish benchmarking chemical solutions and provide solutions to at least 10 other institutions or individuals who also perform material testing using the Oddy test.
  • Collaborate with PCSL staff, research assistant and steering committee throughout the project.
  • Maintain analytical tools as needed throughout the project.
  • Document new operating methods and procedures.
  • Prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals.
  • Prepare and present the results at national and / or international conferences.
  • Document and share results on the AIC Materials Testing wiki site, developing a benchmarking page for the site in conjunction with a contracted web developer.
  • Other assigned tasks


Fully vaccinated with a vaccine cleared by the FDA or WHO (or approved for exemption as reasonable accommodation due to a disability, sincere religious belief, or pregnancy, or because you are a victim domestic violence, criminal harassment or sexual offenses).

Experience and skills:

  • Demonstrated expertise in advanced analytical techniques of liquid or gas chromatography such as GC / MS, HPLC or ion chromatography (required).
  • Development and implementation of test methods and protocols for the analysis of volatile substances, ideally the identification and quantification of unknowns. (obligatory).
  • Experience in quantifying the concentration of volatile substances in complex mixtures. (preferably)

Knowledge and education:

  • doctorate in analytical chemistry, materials science, related disciplines or equivalent experience.
  • 1 to 3 years of experience in the quantification of volatile unknowns, air quality testing or chromatography-based testing and analysis.