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Biomimetic low-friction antifouling coatings


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Ongoing deadline
Project start date
Tuesday 1 October 2024
Country eligibility
International (open to all nationalities, including the UK)
Dr Sepideh Khodaparast
School of Mechanical Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

External surfaces in plants and animals are decorated by complex nano- and micro-structures that promote multifunctionality. Such natural examples offer sources of inspiration toward biomimetic engineering of novel materials with advanced physico-chemical properties for applications ranging from photonics to biomedicine. In particular, the epicuticular wax-based coatings on plant leaves and insect bodies will be the main source of inspiration for the research during this PhD. The research will be conducted in four main areas: <br /> <br /> (i) The project will characterise the nano/micro-scale topographies of various natural patterned surfaces. A range of analytical and advanced microscopy tools will be employed for these characterisations.<br /> (ii) Friction reduction and antifouling performance of natural surfaces will be analysed in the vicinity of contaminated water sources and wet environments. Continuous flow and isolated impacting droplets of pure and contaminated water solutions will be investigated experimentally in this step. <br /> (iii) Inspired by the chemical and physical composition of the analysed natural surfaces, biomimetic sustainable coatings will be fabricated. Diverse natural and purified waxes will be used in the fabrication of the coatings.<br /> (iv) Finally, antifouling performance and mechanical/chemical durability of the manufactured coatings will be tested using the methods developed for the natural surfaces.<br /> <br /> Findings of this project will not only enrich our limited understanding of complex natural surfaces and their functionality but advance the design and fabrication of novel sustainable functional coatings.

<h2 class="heading">How to apply</h2>

<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the&nbsp;<a href="">University&#39;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study section that you are applying for<em><strong> PhD Mechanical Engineering FT,</strong></em>&nbsp;in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>Biomimetic low-friction antifouling coatings</strong></em>&nbsp;as well as <a href="">Dr Sepideh Khodaparast</a> as your proposed supervisor&nbsp;and in the finance section, please state clearly&nbsp;<em><strong>the funding that you are applying for, if you are self-funding or externally sponsored</strong></em>.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University&#39;s minimum English language requirements (below).</p> <p style="margin-bottom:11px"><em>As an international research-intensive university, we welcome students from all walks of life and from across the world. We foster an inclusive environment where all can flourish and prosper, and we are proud of our strong commitment to student education. Across all Faculties we are dedicated to diversifying our community and we welcome the unique contributions that individuals can bring, and particularly encourage applications from, but not limited to Black, Asian, people who belong to a minority ethnic community, people who identify as LGBT+ and people with disabilities. Applicants will always be selected based on merit and ability.</em></p> <p class="MsoNoSpacing">Applications will be considered on an ongoing basis. &nbsp;Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. &nbsp;We also advise that you apply at the earliest opportunity as the application and selection process may close early, should we receive a sufficient number of applications or that a suitable candidate is appointed.</p> <p>Please note that you must provide the following documents in support of your application by the closing date of 3 April 2024 for Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship or 8 April 2024 for Leeds Doctoral Scholarship:</p> <ul> <li>Full Transcripts of all degree study or if in final year of study, full transcripts to date</li> <li>Personal Statement outlining your interest in the project</li> <li>CV</li> </ul>

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">Entry requirements</h2>

Applicants to research degree programmes should normally have at least a first class or an upper second class British Bachelors Honours degree (or equivalent) in an appropriate discipline. The criteria for entry for some research degrees may be higher, for example, several faculties, also require a Masters degree. Applicants are advised to check with the relevant School prior to making an application. Applicants who are uncertain about the requirements for a particular research degree are advised to contact the School or Graduate School prior to making an application.

<h2 class="heading heading--sm">English language requirements</h2>

The minimum English language entry requirement for research postgraduate research study is an IELTS of 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in each component (reading, writing, listening and speaking) or equivalent. The test must be dated within two years of the start date of the course in order to be valid. Some schools and faculties have a higher requirement.

<h2 class="heading">Funding on offer</h2>

<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong>&nbsp;&ndash;&nbsp;The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants (open from October 2023). <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> &ndash;The&nbsp;<a href="">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to nationals of China (now closed for 2024/25 entry). The&nbsp;<a href="">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a>&nbsp;is available to support US citizens. <a href="">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong>&nbsp; Any costs associated with your arrival at the University of Leeds to start your PhD including flights, immigration health surcharge/medical insurance and Visa costs are <strong>not</strong> covered under these studentships.</p> <p>Please refer to the <a href="">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>

<h2 class="heading">Contact details</h2>

<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions at&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contacr Dr Sepideh Khodaparast at <a href=""></a></p>

<h3 class="heading heading--sm">Linked research areas</h3>