All polymer composites is a growing area of research and development in which the Leeds Soft Matter Physics group has been one of the foremost pioneers. Research to date, on melt processable polymer systems, has led to a number of major patents and via a University spin-off company, to commercial applications. In the view of replacing synthetic polymers by renewable matter, all-natural based composites have great potential. In this project we shall manufacture and study all-natural composites using green processing routes. Selective surface solvation of the biopolymer fibres via an ionic liquid will be used. Preliminary studies (using flax and hemp fibres) have shown that excellent bonding can be achieved, but composite morphology and mechanical properties are not yet understood. The composition of the solvent (type of ionic liquid and fraction of cosolvent), pre-activation of cellulose fibres (distilled water / caustic soda), the fibre type and hence properties (different biopolymer sources), the fibre arrangement (unidirectional, woven, weave) and processing variables (solvation time and pressure) will be varied. The mechanical properties (tensile, bending, impact) of the composites will be studied and correlated with their structures (WAXS, NMR, SEM).<br /> <br /> We are consuming fossil fuels at an ever increasing rate with this finite resource expected to be effectively exhausted before the end of this century. Therefore we need to develop sustainable processing systems that can generate bio-based products with less environmental impact. All-natural-composites have the potential to have excellent material characteristics due to the improved binding between matrix and fibre. As these materials will be formed entirely from one material their recyclability is greatly simplified, with this being an important consideration for the product lifetime.<br /> <br /> This work will then be expanded to incorporate natural biopolymers such as cellulose, silk and keratin, to form a variety of all-natural-composites.
<p>Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the <a href="https://www.leeds.ac.uk/research-applying/doc/applying-research-degrees">University's website</a>. Please state clearly in the Planned Course of Study that you are applying for <em><strong>PHD Physics & Astronomy FT</strong></em> and in the research information section that the research degree you wish to be considered for is <em><strong>All Natural Composites</strong></em> as well as <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/physics/staff/4130/dr-mike-ries">Dr Michael E Ries</a> as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University'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. Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the supervisors for an informal discussion before making a formal application. 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 at the point you submit your application:</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 including any alternative sources of funding that you are applying for or if you are able to pay your own fees and maintenance</li> </ul> <p> </p>
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.
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.
<p style="margin-bottom:12px"><strong>Self-Funded or externally sponsored students are welcome to apply.</strong></p> <p><strong>UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/209-leeds-doctoral-scholarships-2022">Leeds Doctoral Scholarships</a> and <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/234-leeds-opportunity-research-scholarship-2022">Leeds Opportunity Research Scholarship</a> are available to UK applicants. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a> is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Non-UK</strong> – The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/102-bell-burnell-scholarship-award-awarded-by-the-iop">Bell Burnell Scholarship Award</a> is available to support applicants who are from groups that are currently under-represented in physics (awarded by the IOP). The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/48-china-scholarship-council-university-of-leeds-scholarships-2021">China Scholarship Council - University of Leeds Scholarship</a> is available to nationals of China. The <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/73-leeds-marshall-scholarship">Leeds Marshall Scholarship</a> is available to support US citizens. <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk/funding/60-alumni-bursary">Alumni Bursary</a> is available to graduates of the University of Leeds.</p> <p><strong>Important:</strong> 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="https://www.ukcisa.org.uk/">UKCISA</a> website for information regarding Fee Status for Non-UK Nationals.</p>
<p>For further information about your application, please contact Doctoral College Admissions: e: <a href="mailto:EMAIL@leeds.ac.uk">m</a><a href="mailto:email@example.com">firstname.lastname@example.org</a></p> <p>For further information about this project, please contact Dr Michael Ries by email: <a href="mailto:M.E.Ries@leeds.ac.uk">M.E.Ries@leeds.ac.uk</a></p> <p> </p>