PhD Studentship: Immobilisation options for exotic reactor fuels

Supervisors: Professor William E. Lee and Dr Doni Daniel

Duration: 42 months

We are seeking applications from enthusiastic graduates for a 42 months PhD studentship as detailed below. The project will be based in the Department of Materials at South Kensington Campus.

A legacy of the UK’s early research into nuclear reactors is a range of waste types including some from research reactors using fuels which are grouped under the title “exotic”. This project will examine some of these, including carbide fuel from the Dounreay Fast Reactor programme for which no waste management decision has been made. It will build on the capability in non-oxide ceramics in the Centre for Advanced Structural Ceramics (CASC) and the Materials in Extreme Environments (XMat) programme grant at Imperial to examine treatment and immobilisation options. These will include examination of oxidation mechanisms, direct disposal, encapsulation and immobilisation and will involve ceramic processing, studies of microstructures using advanced characterisation techniques such as SEM, FIB, TEM and SIMS, and development of suitable wasteforms. Any work on radioactive materials will be done through the UKs National Nuclear Laboratory.

You will work within a team of dynamic PhD Students and Research Associates, in newly refurbished laboratories on the South Kensington Campus. In addition you will be working in collaboration with other departments within Imperial in the framework of EPSRC as part of DISTINCTIVE (Decommissioning, Immobilisation and Storage SoluTIons  for NuClear wasTe InVEntories) consortium.

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We are seeking candidates with a minimum 2:1 first degree (or equivalent) in any Engineering discipline including Materials Science, Chemistry or Physics. This 42 month studentship will begin from February 2014 and due to funding restrictions will cover tuition fees for students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for 3 years plus the standard maintenance stipend of £15,726 per annum. Applications will be processed as received.

This project will be supervised by Professor William E. Lee and Dr Doni Daniel. Informal enquiries should be sent to Professor Lee

How to apply:

The prospectus, entry requirements and application form (under ‘how to apply’) are available at:

For questions regarding the admissions process, please contact Fiona Thomson ( The prospectus, entry requirements and application form (under ‘how to apply’) are available from the Apply link below.

Formal applications can be completed online (only after informal enquiries): while information about the Department can be found at

Closing date: 5 December 2013

Committed to equality and valuing diversity. Imperial is also an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner, a Stonewall Diversity Champion and a Two Ticks Employer.

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