PhD Studentship: Direct, On-line Monitoring and Control of Chemical Reactions with a Focus on Polymerisation

Division of Energy & Sustainability

Fully Funded PhD Research Studentship (3 years)

Direct, On-line Monitoring and Control of Chemical Reactions with a Focus on Polymerisation

The University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering, one of the UK’s premier engineering faculties, conducts research that has been recognised as being world-leading and internationally excellent. The University belongs in the UK’s top five universities for engineering. The Faculty is a vibrant and supportive work environment. It provides state-of-the art experimental and computational facilities and attracts expert scholars from around the world, many of whom are leaders in their fields.

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3 years) in the Energy & Sustainability Research Division to work as part of an interdisciplinary team on a project designed to develop novel reaction monitoring and control strategies. This project will be based in the Faculty of Engineering but will also draw on expertise from a number of other departments.

The focus of the studentship will be to develop methods to successfully follow the progress of chemical reactions (polymerisations) using dielectric spectroscopy as the key monitoring technique. The strategies for collecting this data will be designed such that they can be fitted and operate on-line to both batch and flow processes. The final aim of the project is to use the data collection techniques developed in order to provide direct process control to modern continuous manufacturing techniques. As a result, the project will provide novel, step change technology designed to improve the manufacture of chemical products and increase the sustainability of the process involved. This will ultimately lead in reduced energy demand and/or waste generation. The studentship will involve training on a wide range of cutting-edge experimental techniques, including synthesis and characterisation of chemical products. The student will work under the supervision of Dr George Dimitrakis in the National Centre for Industrial Microwave Processing (NCIMP), which is a vibrant interdisciplinary team within the Faculty of Engineering.

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Requirements of the studentship:

i)     Students should have, or expect to obtain, a first-class or good 2:1 honours degree, or a distinction or high merit at MSc level in chemistry, chemical engineering, or a closely related engineering or science discipline that includes courses involving laboratory practice.

ii)    Students should be able to demonstrate an interest in synthesis and materials testing, and should have good written and oral presentation skills. Previous experience with chemical synthesis and/or testing would be beneficial.

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees and a tax free stipend for three years (£13,726 for the 2013-14 academic year), due to funding restrictions this studentship is only available to UK/EU students. An additional £2,000 a year may be awarded for students with a 1st class degree/MSc Distinction from a UK Russell Group University or equivalent. The studentship is expected to start immediately.

Informal enquiries prior to making an application may be addressed to: Dr George Dimitrakis, email: If you are interested in making an application, please contact Dr George Dimitrakis directly with a covering letter stating clearly how you fulfil the requirements of the studentship, and include a CV and the names and addresses of two academic referees. Interviews will take place at the University of Nottingham. Please quote ref. ENG/694×1.

Closing date: 9 March 2014

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