XClose

Chemistry

Home
Menu

Studentships

Current PhD vacancies are listed below. See the postgraduate pages for more information on our PhD programmes

A 4-year EngD studentship in Multiscale modelling and simulation of graphene and graphene-oxide polymer composites (D/L:19/07/19)

Supervisor: Professor P V Coveney, UCL

Start date: 24 September 2019

 

The UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science is offering a 4-year fully funded studentship in collaboration with Hexcel (http://www.hexcel.com) to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2019. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend of £18550 (tax free) per annum for four years.

 

The student will develop and implement the multiscale modelling methodologies required to investigate polymer nanocomposites with particular focus on epoxy-resins. These composite materials are expected to exhibit properties of importance to aerospace industries owing to their anticipated properties (lightweight, strong, durable, as well as being environmentally friendly and sustainable). While the student will need to perform some amount of electronic structure calculations in order to extract certain key parameters (pertaining to charge distributions and dispersion interactions), he or she will employ a combination of modelling methods, primarily focussed at the level of classical molecular dynamics (both all atom and coarse-grained) and its connections to higher levels of modelling in order to make predictions of large-scale materials properties.

 

Hexcel, whose laboratories are in close proximity to UCL, will perform a range of performance tests on the same materials as the student will be modelling, thereby providing experimental validation of the theoretical and simulation work.

 

A central objective in this work is to this work is to assess the accuracy, precision, and reliability of such computer-based predictions of the properties of these nanomaterials. The overarching goal is to make high-fidelity, chemically-specific predictions of the mesoscale structure from the nanoscale description of these composites, and, in turn, to predict emergent macroscopic behaviour and properties.

 

Applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or a related subject and must be able to demonstrate significant computational experience including use of high-level programming languages (such as Fortran, C/C++, and Python or other scripting methods).

 

The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend of £18550 (tax free) per annum for four years. Interested candidates should contact p.v.coveney@ucl.ac.uk with a degree transcript and a motivation letter explaining their interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged, and applications are accepted until a suitable candidate is identified.

 

Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

 

Understanding failure mechanisms in low temperature water gas shift catalysts (D/L:31/08/19)

UCL Chemistry is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start as soon as possible. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend (tax free) for three years.

The project will be in collaboration with Yara international are a global supplier/manufacturer of ammonia and fertilizers. The student will carry out his/ her doctoral research at the Research Complex at Harwell, Oxfordshire but where required will also conduct some of the project at the industrial sponsor’s site in Porsgrunn, Norway.

This exciting project will make use of state-of-the-art advanced characterisation methods applied under in situ conditions to understand the process/processes by which copper zinc oxide catalysts fail under water gas shift reaction conditions. This it will do by using novel characterisation techniques such as X-ray diffraction computed tomography and X-ray chemical imaging applied under operando conditions (including high temperatures and pressures) to follow the evolution of an active state into an inactive one. Complementary studies will also be performed using in situ TEM and optical spectroscopic techniques such as IR, Raman and UV-Vis. A particular focus for the project will be to examine the impact of alkali metal promoters and their ability to promote water condensation at the catalyst surface that leads to copper sintering. Any insight into the failure mechanism will allow for re-formulation of the catalysts or else to control the composition of the inlet gas to mitigate the sintering process and to effect a longer term of operation. The impact of these findings could therefore be substantial and on a global scale.  

Interested candidates should contact Prof. Andrew M. Beale (Andrew.beale@ucl.ac.uk) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged.


Applications will be accepted until 31 August 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

Funding Notes

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or related subject ideally with some experience of heterogeneous catalysis, molecular or solid-state chemistry and/or X-ray/optical spectroscopy methods.


Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK. 

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Discovery and Scale up of New Industrial Nanomaterials (D/L:30/06/19)

Applications are invited for an i-CASE (industrial Cooperative Award in Science & Technology), research studentship in the field of developing new advanced industrial nanomaterials and scaling up their synthesis, leading to the award of a PhD degree at University College London. The post is supported by a bursary and fees (at the UK/EU student rate).

The research will investigate how the structure and composition of inorganic materials affects the properties (magnetic, dielectric, optical etc.) in target industrial applications.  These nanomaterials will be synthesised using UCL’s patented continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis reactors and will be designed with specific compositions and surface coatings in order to affect their properties in the desired applications.  The work will be principally experimental, involving synthesis and the use of key analytical methods for inorganic materials, e.g. powder XRD, BET surface area, Raman spectroscopy, etc. The structure/property relationships of the nanomaterials will be identified, leading to improved and novel materials. There will also be the opportunity to work as part of a bigger academic and industry team (including the sponsor QinetiQ) developing nanomaterials for industrial applications, such as imaging for medical applications, and for security and defence.

You will be an enthusiastic and self-motivated person who meets the academic requirements for enrolment for the PhD degree at UCL. You will have a 1st class or 2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or materials science, or a related subject, and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Training will be given in materials synthesis, characterisation and testing, and investigative techniques including electron microscopy. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential. The position is only open to UK nationals.

To find out more about research at UCL in the Clean Materials Technology Group see the website www.ucl.me.uk

For further details of the post contact Professor Jawwad Darr: j.a.darr@ucl.ac.uk +44 (0)20 76794345. The start date for the PhD position is the 23rd September 2019. The deadline for applications is the 30th of June 2019, but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk). Formal applications should be submitted at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply.

3- year PhD studentship in Experimental Physical/Materials Chemistry, UCL Department of Chemistry (D/L:30/06/19)

Using state-of-the-art experimental approaches, the aim of this fully funded PhD studentship is to investigate the interface and interplay between water and carbon species in detail. This includes studies into the hydration of hydrophobic species, the formation of clathrate hydrates, the nucleation and crystallization of ice at the carbon interface, and water-desorption processes relevant for atmospheric and cometary environments. The PhD student will be trained in a wide range of characterisation and sample preparation techniques including X-ray and neutron diffraction, Raman / IR spectroscopy, mass spectroscopy, calorimetry, high-pressure experiments, physical vapour deposition and quartz crystal microbalance measurements. The highly interdisciplinary work will benefit from interactions with a wide range of international collaborators and experiments at large scale facilities such as the ISIS neutron source.

Formal applications require the completion of the online application form using the link provided below. In addition, please email a motivation letter, a degree transcript, contact details of two referees and an up-to-date CV directly to Prof. Salzmann (c.salzmann@ucl.ac.uk) who can also be approached for informal inquiries. Full details of the research activities of the Salzmann group at UCL can be found at: http://www.ucl.ac.uk/~uccacgs/

UK/EU students are eligible for this studentship, which will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a stipend (tax free) for three years. The candidates should have, or expect to gain, a good honours degree (first or upper second) in chemistry, physics or a related subject, and an enquiring and rigorous approach to research. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are also essential.  The start date for the PhD position is the 23rd September 2019. The deadline for applications is the 30th of June 2019, but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk). Formal applications should be submitted at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply.

In situ study of piston deposit formation (D/L:30/06/19)

UCL Chemistry is offering a fully funded 3-year studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start as soon as possible. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend (tax free) for three years.

The project will be in collaboration with a UK-based company which carries out research into the development of new engine lubricants. The student will carry out his/ her doctoral research at the Research Complex at Harwell but where required will also conduct some of the project at the industrial sponsor’s site.

The aim of the project is to use advanced characterisation methods and in-situ environments in order to understand the process/processes by which deposits form within internal combustion engines.

The ambition of this project is to study the formation process of deposits from engine lubricating oil under in-situ conditions to determine the method by which they form. Previous studies have shown that heating thin films of oil under a flow of oxygen can lead to deposits that relate to those found in real engine environments. Through employing in-situ characterisation methods, including X-ray scatter/ spectroscopy based imaging or optical spectroscopic techniques such as IR, Raman and UV-Vis, lubricant decomposition through to solid deposits of a lubricating oil can be observed. The aim is to ascertain differences in the deposit forming tendencies of lubricants and gain an insight into the mechanism of deposit formation.

The applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or related subject ideally with some experience of lubricants, molecular or solid-state chemistry and/or X-ray/optical spectroscopy methods. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Interested candidates should contact Prof. Andrew M. Beale (Andrew.beale@ucl.ac.uk) with a degree transcript and a motivation letter expressing interest in this project. Informal inquiries are encouraged. Suitable candidates will be required to complete an electronic application form at http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admissions queries should be directed to Dr Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk).

Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate has been identified.

A 4-year EngD studentship in Integrated Microfluidic E-SERS Platform for Biosensing (D/L:30/06/2019)

Application deadline: 30 June 2019

Start date: 23 September 2019

Location: London

Topics: nanomaterials design and fabrication, surface-enhanced Raman scattering, electrochemistry, microfluidics, biosensing

The UCL Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science is offering a fully funded studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in September 2019. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a tax-free maintenance stipend (e.g. £18,277 pa) for four years.  The project will be in collaboration with Camtech Innovations Ltd. in Cambridge. The student will carry out his/her doctoral research mainly in the Lee group at the UCL Bloomsbury Campus. Short-term visits to Camtech to perform microfluidics design and fabrication should be expected. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is only open to applicants from the UK and EU, who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years preceding their start on the programme or have indefinite leave to remain in the UK.

Electrochemical surface-enhanced Raman scattering (E-SERS) is a powerful analytical technique that combines electrochemical measurements and in situ SERS spectroscopy. E-SERS extends the capability of conventional SERS via selective electrochemical enhancement of specific Raman signals, allowing multiplexed detection of biomolecules (e.g. uric acid) in complex environments. While recent advances in photonic technology has enabled handheld SERS spectrometers, the development of E-SERS sensors remains challenging due to the cumbersome fabrication of integrated plasmonic microchips. This project aims to design and fabricate integrated E-SERS microchips for biosensing applications, which will synergise with other experimental effort led by the Lee group. In particular, E-SERS microchips will be achieved by a combination of photolithography and in situ electrodeposition that allows plasmonic nanostructures to be directly grown within a prefabricated microfluidic device, significantly simplifying the process. The project aims to pave the way towards on-the-spot diagnostics through robust multiplexed sensing of biomarkers in bodily fluids using a handheld standalone device.

Please visit the group website for more details about our research: http://tungchunlee.weebly.com/

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve a first or upper second class Honours degree or equivalent in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided. Knowledge in advanced data analysis using machine learning techniques is desirable. Please contact Dr. Tung Chun Lee (tungchun.lee@ucl.ac.uk) for further details or to express an interest. Applications will be accepted until 30 June 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

A 3.5-year PhD studentship in Programmable Conducting Polymer Nanocomposites for Printable Sensor Chips (D/L:31/07/2019)

Supervisors: Dr. Tung Chun Lee (UCL), Dr. Ming-Yong Han (IMRE, A*STAR)

Application deadline: 31 July 2019

Start Date: 23 September 2019

Location: London (1.5 years), Singapore (2 years)

Topics: nanomaterials design and synthesis, conducting polymers, supramolecular chemistry, sensing

This position is fully funded by the UCL-A*STAR Collaborative Programme via the Centre for Doctoral Training in Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S CDT) at UCL. The student will be registered for a PhD at UCL where he/she will spend year 1 and the first six months of year 4. The second and third years of the PhD will be spent at the A*STAR Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) in Singapore. The Studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a maintenance stipend of about £16777 (tax free) pro rata in years 1 and 4. During years 2 and 3, the student will receive a full stipend directly from A*STAR. In addition, A*STAR will provide the student with one-off relocation allowance. Please note that, due to funding restrictions, only UK/EU citizens are eligible for this studentship.

Conducting polymers (CPs) are a unique type of organic materials that exhibit electrical and optical properties similar to those of inorganic semiconductors or, in selected cases, metals. Classical CPs, e.g. polythiophene, are intrinsically water-insoluble and difficult to functionalise, hindering their applications in biomedical applications. Conventional approach of introducing water-solublity and bespoke functional groups to CPs often involves functionalisation of monomers prior to polymerisation which is cumbersome and challenging to perform.

This PhD project aims to design and synthesise stimuli-responsive, multifunctional CP systems for biosensing and nanophotonic applications, which will synergise with other experimental effort led by the Lee group. In particular, highly fluorescent and biocompatible PC nanocomposites will be achieved by engineering the combinatorics of pendant functional groups on the polymer chains which is only possible via a mix-and-match supramolecular approach developed by our group. The project aims to pave the way towards modular design of aqueous CP nanocomposites for printable electronics and sensor chips for biomedical applications.

Please visit the group website for more details about our research: http://tungchunlee.weebly.com/

The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve 1st  or 2:1 class Integrated Masters degree (MSci, MChem, etc.) or 2:1 minimum BSc plus stand-alone Masters degree with Merit in Chemistry, Physics, Materials Science, or a related discipline. The successful applicant will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the ability to think analytically and creatively. Good computer skills, plus good presentation and writing skills in English, are required. Previous research experience in contributing to a collaborative interdisciplinary research environment is highly desirable but not necessary as training will be provided. Please contact Dr. Tung Chun Lee (tungchun.lee@ucl.ac.uk) for further details or to express an interest. Applications will be accepted until 15 July 2019 but the position will be filled as soon as an appropriate candidate is found.

A 3-year PhD studentship in Experimental Chemistry/Materials Science: local atomic and nanometric structure-property correlations in Na-ion and K-ion battery materials (D/L:31/07/2019) 

A fully funded PhD studentship is available for a highly motivated applicant who will work under the
supervision of Dr. Yang Xu at the Department of Chemistry.
The quest for alternatives of Li-ion batteries (LIBs) has been an active area of battery research. Na-ion
batteries (NIBs) and K-ion batteries (KIBs) are considered to be promising alternatives, as from a
theoretical perspective (regardless of the performance of available materials), they have comparable
specific energy and energy density to LIBs with respect to the weight of various components in a
common battery form. The focus of our research is to investigate local atomic and nanometric structureproperty
correlations and to demonstrate design principles for emerging energy materials and devices in
NIBs and KIBs, through rational synthesis and in-depth characterizations combined with computational
methods. We pay special attention to utilizing defects in the materials to facilitate charge
transfer/transport and understanding the underlying mechanisms. We are interested in the fundamental
science at the solid-liquid/solid-solid interfaces and the interplay between the interfaces and local
electrochemical reactivity. Details of the research activities of Dr. Xu can be found at:
https://scholar.google.de/citations?user=0rjWUboAAAAJ&hl=en.
The successful applicant should have or expect to achieve a good honours degree (first or upper second)
in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Materials Science or a related subject. The successful applicant
will demonstrate strong interest and self-motivation in the subject, good experimental practice and the
ability to think creatively and rigorously. An enquiring and exploring approach to research as well as
excellent team-work, observational and communication skills (both presentation and writing skills in
English) is also essential. Previous research experience in battery research is highly desirable.
UK/EU students are eligible for this studentship, which will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate plus a
stipend (tax free) for three years. The start date for the PhD position is September 23rd, 2019. The
deadline for application is July 31st, with interviews to be held, but the position will be filled as soon
as a suitable applicant is selected.
Applicants should email a letter of motivation, a degree transcript, an up-to-date CV and contact info
for two referees directly to Dr. Xu (
y.xu.1@ucl.ac.uk), who may also be approached for informal
enquiries. The suitable candidate will be required to complete an electronic application form at:
https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/apply. Any admission queries should be directed
to Dr. Jadranka Butorac (j.butorac@ucl.ac.uk)
.