PhD Studentship in Engineering Solutions to Reduce the Environmental Impact of the Energy Sector
University College London Department of Chemical Engineering
United Kingdom

UCL Department / DivisionDepartment of Chemical Engineering
Location of position: London
Stipend: £17,000 per annum + UK/EU fees

Vacancy Information

The Department of Chemical Engineering at University College London (UCL) is among the leading research-intensive departments across the world. It hosts over 24 academics whose research is collaborative, ground-breaking and focused on solving societal problems.

Within the Molecular and Engineering Thermodynamics group, the Chemical Engineering Department is seeking an enthusiastic and dedicated post-graduate student to research how to reduce the environmental impact of the energy sector. The post-holder will collaborate with international groups in North America, as well as across Europe. More specifically, the research fits the scope of the consortium Science 4 Clean Energy, funded by Horizon 2020 with a €10M grant.

Understanding of classical thermodynamics, statistical mechanics, molecular simulations are desired, but not essential, as it will be developed during the project. The post-holder will have the opportunity of sharing results and ideas with several industrial partners.

The post is fully funded (stipend and fees) for 3.5 years and is available as of October 2019.
Studentship Description
The focus of this studentship is the energy sector, and in particular CO2 sequestration in geological repositories and/or the extraction of hydrocarbons from unconventional reservoirs. Potentially, the results of the research could identify conditions at which CO2 sequestration could be attained alongside enhanced oil recovery. While the scope of the studentship is practical and will lead to solving a societal challenge (producing affordable energy while reducing the environmental footprint), the research is exquisitely fundamental.

The basic fundamental question to be addressed concerns how fluid properties change in confinement under various experimentally-relevant conditions. The project will start by a quantification of water contact angle on various mineral substrates in the presence of high levels of salinity, high CO2 concentrations, and traces of hydrocarbons.

The successful candidate will be trained to conduct computational research, specifically using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, and to interpret experimental results. The techniques are transferable to other technological problems among various sectors, including the cosmetics and food industries. The post holder will have the opportunity to interact with several industrial collaborators among different sectors and in different countries.

This studentship is an international collaboration, fully funded for 3.5 years. The post holder will present the research results at international conferences and in peer-reviewed journal articles.

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Person Specification
The successful candidate will have completed a first-class degree at the MEng or MSc level in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Physics or related disciplines.

The successful candidate is a dedicated student, preferably with advanced understanding of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and research methods.

Willingness to perform independently, yet within a collaborative environment, within a world-class competitive and highly demanding environment are a must.

Demonstrable prior knowledge of research methods and molecular simulations approaches are desirable, but not necessary requirements.
First-class degree at the MEng or MSc level is required.

Funds are only available to cover EU/UK fees.

Overseas students will be considered but are only eligible for stipend.
Contact nameProf. Alberto Striolo
UCL Taking Action for Equality
Closing Date30 Sep 2019
Latest time for the submission of applications23:59
Interview dateTBC
Studentship Start Date01/10/2019

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