11 Postgraduate Research (PhD/ CDT) Programmes at Imperial College London

The Imperial College London research cuts across the traditional disciplinary boundaries. The institution therefore invites applications for research leading to the PhD degree from scientists and engineers in all appropriate subjects who have an interest in any of the research areas. The main application sectors addressed by Imperial College London research are: energy conversion; environmental protection; transport; electronics/optoelectronics; and healthcare. Across all themes, the research is carried out with strong support from and involvement of industrial organisations. This close collaboration with industry, alongside our first class facilities, ensures that the Department is at the forefront of Materials Science and Engineering research.

Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs)

PhD studentship in ceramic anode materials for solid oxide fuel cells
The proposed PhD project will focus on developing highly electronically conducting perovskite electrode materials that provide high performance with hydrocarbon and sulfur containing fuels in intermediate temperature (500-700 oC) solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). The role of the PhD candidate will be to design new mixed ionic electronic conducting materials with high electrocatalytic activity for fuel oxidation. Within this area of research, you will master wet chemical methods, SOFC fabrication and measuring techniques. To gain insights into these materials advanced characterizations methods (i.e., XRD, SEM, TEM, XPS, etc.) will be applied for structural characterization of these anode materials.

Supervisors: Dr Sivaprakash SengodanProfessor Stephen Skinner

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration: 
42 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 28 February 2019

>> How to Apply

 
PhD in Mechanical Properties of Nacre-like Ceramics
The role of the PhD candidate will be to design new nacre-like ceramics to work at high temperature, to study in depth their micromechanical behavior, and to provide in the end potential materials candidates to replace ceramic used in today’s systems.
The candidate will learn during her/his stay colloids science, ceramic processing, sintering techniques, structural characterisations, and fracture mechanics along with strong skills in scientific methods, problem solving, and scientific results communications.

Supervisor: Dr Florian Bouville

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Start date: October 2019
Duration: 
36 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 15 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in water corrosion of fine-grained ceramicsPhD in water corrosion of fine-grained ceramics
Understanding of the impact of interfaces is critical to enhance their properties for the development of future industrial materials. Such materials find application in for example biomedical devices or corrosion resistant surface treatment of cooling systems.
Here we will focus on the investigations of ceramics that are exposed to high-temperature or supercritical water. Understanding the reaction mechanism at interfaces and the character variations of interfaces as a function of exposure to H2O is at the heart of these studies. The results are also applicable to reactions at conditions of the lower crustal zone and thus of interest to Earth sciences.

Supervisor: Dr Katharina Marquardt

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration: 
36 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 22 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Oxide Heterostructures
In particular, you will study the interfaces between oxides and adjacent layers of other oxides, metallisation layers, or dielectrics in heterostructures relevant to electronic devices both for applications such as memory and data storage, smart and wearable devices, and highly energy efficient power electronics. These interfaces determine the overall device behaviour and therefore it is of utmost importance to understand the local chemistry and physics. However, this is complicated as interfaces are not a simple combination of the properties of the single layers. At an interface, large numbers of completely new interactions are possible and many are still poorly understood. However, if oxides are to be successfully used in devices, we need to understand what is happening at these interfaces. 

Supervisor: Dr Anna Regoutz

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration: 
36 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 30 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in Saving the Mary Rose: Determining the structural and material properties of a Tudor shipwreck
The Mary Rose was a warship built on the orders of the famous King, Henry VIII, when he came to the throne in 1509. After 34 years of active service, the ships life came to a dramatic end during battle in 1545, where it sank off the south coast of England. The ship was salvaged in 1982; its preservation is largely attributable to the layers of sediment which provided protection from typical degradation processes. Despite the remarkable condition of the ancient wood, some degradation had occurred which threatened its stability upon excavation. Therefore, a conservation treatment was devised to ensure that the ship would be stable, which involved consolidation and careful drying. To ensure the authentic nature of the ship, a minimal intervention method has always been adopted which means that some dimensional changes in the timbers was expected. This will affect not only individual elements, but the overall structure as the original connectivity of the ship timbers may be compromised. To aid the development of conservation methods, photogrammetry and laser scans have been completed at key intervals, namely during consolidation and drying. This information is now a unique reference as to the dimensional and structural changes that have occurred throughout the years, and in response to different parts of the conservation process.

Supervisor: Dr Finn Giluliani

>> Find out more‌(pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration: 
42 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: Until position is filled

How to apply: 

Stage 1: Send a full CV, including the marks (%) for all (undergraduate) modules completed to date, the names and contact details of two referees, as well as a covering letter, to the CDT at admin@cdt-acm.org with the project title in the subject line. Applications that do not provide all this information will not be considered.

Stage 2: Suitable applicants will be interviewed and, if successful, invited to make a formal application.

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in Electrocatalysis for the Synthesis of Renewable Fuels and Chemicals
The proposed PhD project is focused on the synthesis and characterisation of advanced electrocatalysts for the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels and the electrochemical conversion of bio-derived molecules. Within this area of research, you will master advanced wet chemistry and physical deposition methods for the preparation of model and nanostructured catalysts. Advanced characterisation methods (i.e., TEM, SEM, XPS, etc.) will be applied for the physico-chemical characterisation of the electrodes. An array of advanced electrochemical methods coupled with analytical quantification techniques will be employed to assess the selectivity, activity and stability of the catalysts.

Supervisor: Dr Stefano Mezzavilla

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Start date: October 2019
Duration: 
36 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: Until position is filled

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in Adhesion strength of environmental barrier coatings on SiC/SiC CMCs for aerospace ‌
This PhD project aims to study the adhesion strength of environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) applied on silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) to develop the next generation of gas turbines that are faster, cheaper, lighter, more efficient and less pollutant.

Supervisor: Dr Nasrin Al Nasiri

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Start date: as soon as possible (starting date can be agreed with supervisor)
Duration: 
42 months 
Position available: 
1

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: until position is filled

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
Room Temperature Masers
At Imperial we’ve solved the 60 year old mystery: we have a maser that functions at room temperature, and without the need for an external magnet.  Potential applications for the maser include more sensitive medical scanners; chemical sensors for remotely detecting explosives; advanced quantum computer components; and better radio astronomy devices.  Our maser uses pentacene in a P terphenyl host matrix and we are looking for other molecules.  We are also interested in inorganic materials – possibly using defect centres in diamond for example.

Supervisor: Professor Neil Alford MBE FREng

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: Flexible
Duration: 
36 months

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in Development of New Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine
This project aims to synthesise polymer-based materials designed according to the requisites in bone or cardiovascular tissue engineering. A major goal will be the elucidation of the physical and chemical properties at the cell-material interface using state of the art materials-based characterisation techniques. The key features of the materials’ properties on the influence of cells in 2D and 3D culture will then be assessed.
Supervisor: 
Professor Molly Stevens FREng
Start date: Flexible
Duration: 
36 months

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in Development of New Biomaterials for Biosensing
This project will focus on the development of new nanomaterial-based assays that detect biomarkers specific to cancer and infectious diseases according to relevant biomarker concentrations and cost-amenability. The physical proper ties of the assay will need to be completely characterised to understand the effects of agglomeration and influence of surrounding proteins. This project includes preclinical tests using patient samples.

Supervisor: Professor Molly Stevens FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration: 
36 months

Funding: Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents
PhD in In-situ studies of deformation in semi-solid steels
This project will study the fundamental microstructural response to load in partially-solid alloys by time-resolved synchrotron X-ray video microscopy.  We will use concepts from soil and magma mechanics to measure individual grain displacements during l oading, the coupling of grain motion and liquid flow and develop new insight into defect formation in the casting of steels.

Supervisor:  Dr Chris Gourlay

Start date: Flexible
Duration: 
36 months

Funding: UK students – bursary and fees. EU students – fees only. International students must be self-funded

Deadline: Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table’s contents

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