Postgraduate research opportunities

Design of sustainable biocomposites

This project aims to use molecular dynamics simulations to understand how the interaction between filler, coupling agent and polymer influence the composite properties.

Number of places

One

Opens

25 June 2020

Duration

3 years

Eligibility

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

Project Details

Plastic waste has a hugely detrimental impact on the environment and there is mounting pressure on industry to replace traditional polluting petrochemical polymers with sustainably-sourced biopolymers. However, for many applications, sustainably-sourced polymers do not yet reach the performance of oil-derived polymers. The performance of polymers can be improved by the addition of filler particles to form a composite material. The fillers are usually coated with a coupling agent, to help disperse the filler and make the polymer easier to process. While the nature of the polymer-filler interface plays an important role in the overall composite properties, the interface properties are often overlooked, due to the fact that it is challenging to characterise the interface experimentally. Molecular simulations can provide valuable insight into the interface structure and dynamics and predict how the composite performance depends on the interface properties. This project aims to use molecular dynamics simulations to understand how the interaction between filler, coupling agent and polymer influence the composite properties.

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.

Information about the host department can be found by visiting:

www.strath.ac.uk/engineering/chemicalprocessengineering

www.strath.ac.uk/courses/research/chemicalprocessengineering/

 

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 may be considered for a University scholarship.

Contact us

Miss Ewa Kosciuk

+44(0) 141 548 2835

chemeng-pg-admissions@strath.ac.uk

James Weir Building, 75 Montrose Street, Glasgow, G1 1XJ

How to apply

Apply for this project here – 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

Your application and offer

Application System Guide

Fees and funding