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Postgraduate Admissions


A 3.5 year Ph.D studentship is available to UK nationals with Professor Lynn Gladden, Dr. Andy Sederman and Dr Mick Mantle to start 1 October 2021.

We are seeking to appoint an outstanding Ph.D. student to work in the field of green, sustainable chemicals production. This project will be based around the development of advanced magnetic resonance techniques to study green and sustainable processes with an interest in electrochemical processes, as well as more conventional fixed bed catalysis. For example, it has recently been shown that it is now possible to synthesise kerosine from carbon dioxide and water using electrolysis, heterogeneous catalysis and hydroprocessing(

Over the past 5 years, the group has designed and commissioned fixed-bed reactors that operate at industrial conditions inside a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) system. During this period, we have developed a number of advanced magnetic resonance imaging protocols that yield spatially-resolved chemical mapping and transport measurements to learn how catalysts behave when they are working inside a reactor at operando conditions. We are now particularly interested in studying catalytic processes involving multiphase systems. This adds additional complexity to the experiments, but overcoming the additional complexities of these new challenges would have significant impact on our ability to deliver these sustainable technologies. The project will build on our work involving Fischer-Tropsch processes but with a major focus aimed at advancing our ability to produce green hydrogen, and synthetic fuels and chemicals.

The aims of this project includes: (i) Using magnetic resonance imaging methods to probe chemical and mass transfer processes occurring at electrode surfaces to advance our understanding of electrolyser technology. (ii) Developing spatially-resolved, multi-dimensional spectroscopy techniques for the purpose of characterising catalytic reactors. (iii) Explore the use of novel data sampling techniques (such as compressed sensing) to improve the time resolution of the MRI data.

The industrial partner is Shell Global Solutions International B.V.

Applicants for the studentships should have a First Class (or a high 2:1) or equivalent degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics. Applicants will also be expected to fulfil the University's entry requirements for PhD study, as the successful applicant must formally apply for admission; please see:

To apply for this studentship, please send the following to Mrs Amanda Taylor ( by noon on Friday 30 April 2021:

1.) Include the Vacancy Reference number NQ26219 in the subject line of your email.

2.) Your CV

3.) Your most recent transcript (and transcripts from any previously completed degrees) to include grades/marks received

Please quote reference NQ26219 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Key Information

Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Reference: NQ26219

Dates and deadlines:

Thursday, 1 April, 2021
Closing Date
Friday, 30 April, 2021