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Controlling Microstructure of Metal and Polymer Aerogels via Advanced Templating Approaches


Key facts

Type of research degree
Application deadline
Friday 26 June 2020
Project start date
Thursday 1 October 2020
Country eligibility
UK only
Source of funding
Dr Robert Menzel
School of Chemistry
<h2 class="heading hide-accessible">Summary</h2>

Aerogels are highly-porous, nanostructured materials with great potential in advanced technologies including energy generation, (electro)catalysis, and sensing. This PhD studentship will develop new materials chemistry approaches to engineer aerogels with a new level of micro-structural control, currently not available through existing methodologies. To this end, the project will exploit recent advances in microfluidics and nanocarbon science to improve overall synthetic control in the fabrication of low-density metal and polymer aerogels. The resulting new aerogel materials will be characterized using advanced techniques, with focus on state-of-the-art 3D characterization of aerogel microstructure via electron microscopy and X-ray tomography. Time-permitting, the most promising aerogel materials will be tested as (electro)catalysts in sustainability-related model reactions (such as electrocatalytic CO2 reduction) in order to study fundamental structure-function relationships. The PhD project will be run in close collaboration with a commercial partner who is co-funding the research. The PhD project will also make use of state-of-the-art materials characterization laboratories at the Bragg Centre for Materials Research at Leeds (electron microscopy and spectroscopy) and the Henry-Royce Institute (X-ray CT).

<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 research information section&nbsp;that the research degree you wish to be considered for is &ldquo;Controlling Microstructure of Metal and Polymer Aerogels via Advanced Templating Approaches&rdquo; as well as&nbsp;<a href="">Dr Robert Menzel</a>&nbsp;as your proposed supervisor.</p> <p>This position is only available for UK citizens.</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. 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>A highly competitive EPSRC CASE Award scholarship offering Academic Fee at Home/EU Fee rate of &pound;4,600 plus Maintenance matching the EPSRC rate of &pound;15,285 per year together with an Industrial top-up of &pound;3,000 per year for 3.5 years.&nbsp;</p> <p>Please note that this position is available to UK citizens only.</p>

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

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

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