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Expansive Evolution of Nuclear Legacy Sludge and its Impact on Confined Storage


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 30 June 2023
Project start date
Sunday 1 October 2023
Country eligibility
UK only
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Timothy Hunter
School of Chemical and Process Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

We are looking for an enthusiastic graduate with 1st class honours or a 2:1 in an Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Science or related discipline, for a 3.5-year funded PhD, as part of an EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) project. You will join the University of Leeds Nuclear Engineering Group within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering (please see link below). As part of one of the most prominent nuclear research groups in the UK, you will have access to world leading research facilities in the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, as well as the opportunity to undertake an industrial research placement with Sellafield Ltd (the UK&rsquo;s largest nuclear site operator).<br /> <br /> As the UK prepares to invest in new operational nuclear power plants, industry and research organisations are also looking to decommission the UK&rsquo;s existing nuclear legacy facilities. Fuel cladding, and corrosion products thereof, represent one of the major challenges to waste retrievals and storage at Sellafield and the wider nuclear industry. Waste is currently housed in aged storage facilities pressing retrieval and interim storage prior to immobilisation and geological storage. The volume and porosity changes arising are complex, and overall porosity increase and volume expansion is observed in unconfined cases, where reaction rates are appreciable. This PhD project will work alongside leading teams within the University of Leeds and Sellafield Ltd, to investigate the nature of waste evolution under storage conditions in order to predict volume changes and resulting forces generated on confinement packaging. This is an exciting interdisciplinary project, combining chemistry and civil engineering with soil mechanics and geotechnics. It will also involve a close working relationship with the nuclear industry. <br />

<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Full description</h2>

<p style="margin-top:16px; margin-bottom:11px"><a href="">University of Leeds Nuclear Engineering Group</a>&nbsp;(School of Chemical and Process Engineering)</p>

<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 Chemical &amp; Process Engineering </strong></em>and in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <strong><em>Expansive Evolution of Nuclear Legacy Sludge and its Impact on Confined Storag</em>e</strong> as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Timothy Hunter</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</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><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 30 June 2023:</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> <li>Funding information: EPSRC Doctoral Training Studentship</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 class="MsoNoSpacing">A highly competitive EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship consisting of the award of fees with a maintenance grant (currently &pound;17,668 for session 2022/23) for 3.5 years.</p> <p>This opportunity is open to UK applicants only.&nbsp; All candidates will be placed into the EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership Studentship Competition and selection is based on academic merit.</p> <p>Please refer to the&nbsp;<a href="">UKCISA</a>&nbsp;website for&nbsp;information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

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

<p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Timothy Hunter<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 2790.</p> <p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a></p>

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