Postgraduate research opportunities Designing colloidal films and membranes with complex interactions


Key facts

  • Opens: Wednesday 24 February 2021
  • Number of places: One
  • Duration: 3 years


Many applications rely on structured films and membranes, such as selective filters, adsorbents, and biological systems. The project will use computer modelling to analyse how particles with complex interactions aggregate to form films with complex structure and complex time-evolution.
Back to opportunity


Students applying should have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in a relevant engineering/science or education discipline, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
Back to opportunity

Project Details

Porous films and membranes are important for applications such as adsorbing, separating and storing gases, cleaning water and soils, sensor devices and many others. Biology is also dependent on film and membrane structure eg in cell membranes. Complex structures can be formed from particulate or colloidal ingredients via phase separation or aggregation. How the structure of the film and the kinetics of its structural evolution over time depend on the interparticle interaction is not well understood, limiting our ability to design films with bespoke requirements for eg pore size distributions and shapes, permeability, physical properties such as mechanical strength, and so on. The project will use computer simulations of the growth process from particle suspension film, exploring systematically how different interactions (attractions and repulsions of different strengths at different length scales) determine structure and kinetics, building on previous work to employ various novel structural measures such as using Voronoi statistics to characterise void space.

In addition to undertaking cutting edge research, students are also registered for the Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Development (PGCert), which is a supplementary qualification that develops a student’s skills, networks and career prospects.

Back to opportunity

Funding details

This PhD project is initially offered on a self-funding basis. It is open to applicants with their own funding, or those applying to funding sources. However, excellent candidates will be eligible to be considered for a University scholarship.

Back to opportunity


Dr Mark Haw

Senior Lecturer
Chemical and Process Engineering

View profile
Back to course


Please quote the project title in your application.

During the application you'll be asked for the following information and evidence uploaded to the application:

  • your full contact details
  • transcripts and certificates of all degrees
  • proof of English language proficiency if you are not from a majority English-speaking country as recognised by UKVI
  • two references, one of which must be academic. Please see our guidance on referees
  • funding or scholarship information
  • international students must declare any previous UK study

By filling these details out as fully as possible, you'll avoid any delay to your application being processed by the University.

Useful resources

Back to course

Contact us

James Weir Building
75 Montrose Street
Glasgow, G1 1XJ