Vacancy Information

The Department of Chemical Engineering at University College London (UCL) is one of the top 30 chemical engineering departments worldwide. It is seeking an exceptional graduate student to receive a 4-year Doctoral Training Scholarship. Duties and responsibilities include to carry out research in Chemical Engineering, to contribute to the drafting and submission of articles to peer reviewed journals and to progress reports, to collaborate with research colleagues within the group, as well as externally, to prepare and present research findings to colleagues for review and collaboration purposes, to mentor undergraduate/MSc students.Studentship DescriptionNanoscale catalysts have traditionally been prepared by methods that do not provide accurate control on the catalyst structure. Colloidal routes offer improved control on nanoparticle size, shape, composition and structure. The nanoparticles are synthesised typically by the reduction of a metal salt or complex with a suitable reducing agent in the presence of capping ligands that are used to stabilise them and affect their shape and structure. The underlying synthesis consists of various steps of reactant complex formation, reactant speciation, nucleation, growth, aggregation. These steps are sensitive to reaction conditions (concentrations, pH, and temperature), whose uniformity is influenced by hydrodynamics, mass and heat transfer. This makes the scalability of such processes in batch vessels challenging, as these conditions can be nonuniform and affected by reaction vessel size. Continuous millifluidic reactors offer a technology, which can allow precise control of particle characteristics, while at the same time enable improved nanoparticle synthesis reproducibility and robustness. This research project aims to investigate millifluidic approaches for manufacturing catalytic nanoparticles. Different flow reactors will be studied to facilitate nanoparticle synthesis with reduced fouling and control of the mixing conditions. The nanoparticles will be supported on typical supports such as alumina, titania, silica and applied to catalytic reactions of relevance to pharmaceuticals or synthetic fuels.Person Specification Knowledge and Qualifications Essential:Have or expected to obtain an upper second-class Honours Master Level degree in chemical engineering, chemistry, materials science, physics or associated discipline. Skills Essential:Proficiency in conducting scientific experiments.Ability to analyse, develop and solve open-ended research problems.Ability to manage time and work to deadlines.Effective written and verbal communication skills (in English).Attention to detailDesirable:Ability to present complex information effectively to a range of audiences.Willingness to work at interdisciplinary boundaries.Ability to interact with technical staff efficiently in order to achieve objectives. Experience Essential:Prior research experience. Personal Qualities Essential:Commitment to the highest quality research.Ability to take initiative and make independent contributions to research.Commitment to UCL’s policy of equal opportunities.Ability to interact with others in a friendly and constructive way.Commitment to health & safety and the well-being of the research team. EligibilityHome and overseas applicants are eligible to apply.To apply, please submit your full application through the following link: Please nominate Prof. Asterios Gavriilidis as academic supervisor in your application form and include a statement of interest.For informal enquiries please contact Prof. Gavriilidis: [email protected]

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