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Experimental studies of interfacial properties of functional granular matters


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 17 April 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK and EU
Competition funded
Source of funding
Research council
Dr Ali Ghanbarzadeh and Dr Ali Hassanpour
Additional supervisors
Professor Anne Neville
School of Chemical and Process Engineering, School of Mechanical Engineering
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Granular materials refer to a class of natural and synthetic materials consisting of individual particles that interact with each other when subjected to loading. These materials behave differently from usual solids and exhibit many salient features such as dilatancy, anisotropy, pressure dependence, density dependence, and nonlinear elasticity.

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

<p>The mechanical behaviour of granular materials is a subject of long-standing interest in many fields, with both scientific fascination and practical importance such as high value manufacturing, nano-technology, pharmaceuticals, geotechnics etc. The overall response of a granular materials is highly dependent on the packing patterns and interactions of the constituent particles which are, further, closely related to the characteristics of the particles. The key particle characteristics for coarse grained soils include particle size, particle size distribution, particle shape, mineralogy and interfacial properties. Research interest has been growing in the influence of particle characteristics on the behaviour of such materials, resulting in valuable data and insights that contribute to an improved understanding in several aspects that can result in significant improvements in the performance of industrial applications.&nbsp;Despite, significant research work being conducted in the area, the in depth understanding of interfacial properties of granular matters and their influences on the collective behaviour and performance, particularly for functional surfaces and materials, nevertheless, is yet far from being fulfilled. This largely owes to the challenges involved in measurements across the scales, i.e. molecular and granular. In this project, we will tackle this challenge with a multidisciplinary experimental approach aiming at elucidating the importance of physical and chemical features of surfaces near the molecular scales and their behaviour at the interface, such as adhesion, materials transformation and tribo-electrification, under different stressing and environmental conditions. The University of Leeds&nbsp;is a pivotal place to tackle this ground breaking issue since it has two world class institutes of &ldquo;Tribology&rdquo; and &ldquo;Particle technology&rdquo; to get together the top expertise in surface characterisation and contact. This project provides great opportunity for you&nbsp;to be involved in a joint project between these two institutes. You will be working on the state-of-the-art experimental facilities at the Schools of Mechanical and Chemical and Process Engineering. There is an opportunity for you to disseminate the outcome and collaborate with a number of academics and industries in a big consortium (<a href="">Manufacture using Advanced Powder Processes</a>), researchers at the world-leading Institute of Functional Surfaces, and the opportunity for being part of a <a href="">Centre for Doctoral Training in Integrated Tribology</a>.</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&rsquo;s website</a>. Please state clearly in the research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &ldquo;Experimental studies of interfacial properties of functional granular matters&rdquo; as well as <a href="">Dr Ali Ghanbarzadeh</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>We welcome applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.</em></p>

<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.

<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.

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

<p><strong>UK/EU</strong> &ndash; Engineering &amp; Physical Sciences Research Council Studentships paying academic fees&nbsp;(&pound;4,600 for Session 2020/21), together with a maintenance grant paid at standard Research Council rates (&pound;15,285 for Session 2020/21) for 3.5 years. UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course. Funding is awarded on a competitive basis.</p>

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

<p>For further information regarding this&nbsp;project, please contact Dr Ali Ghanbarzadeh,<br /> e: <a href=""></a></p> <p>For further information regarding the application procedure, please contact Doctoral College Admissions,<br /> e:&nbsp;<a href=""></a>, t: +44 (0)113 343 5057.</p>

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