Postgraduate research opportunities

PhD Non-thermal transient plasma discharges for environmental applications

A three year PhD investigating the efficiency of transient non-thermal plasma discharges for different environmental applications is offered by the High Voltage Technologies (HVT) Research group within the Institute for Energy & Environment.

Number of places



1 June 2017


Three years


To be considered for the project, candidates should:

  • Possess a first class or Upper second BEng (Hons), MEng ofr Msc in Electronic / Electrical Engineering, physics or a relavent engineering/technology related discipline
  • Have a strong background in the principles of electro-magnetism and electrical circuits
  • Be a Home, EU, RUk or International self-funded student

No previous practical experience in working with non-thermal pasla is required, but the project will include both analytical and experimental elements, so it is desirable for candidates to have some laboratory experience.  Experience in modelling using MATLAB and COMSOL software will also be an advantage. 

Project Details

Low temperature atmospheric plasma produces significant oxidation and bactericidal effects. As a result, multiple practical applications based on non-thermal plasma discharges are now being developed, these applications and technologies include non-thermal plasma discharges for surface cleaning and decontamination, water treatment, bio-decontamination, wound treatment and sterilisation, and stimulation of plant growth. Based on the progress in the plasma technology new research fields have been established in recent years: plasma for environmental applications, plasma medicine and plasma agriculture. However, the exact mechanisms of the biological and chemical effects of low temperature atmospheric plasma discharges are still not fully known. 

The main objective of this project is to continue development and optimisation of non-thermal, plasma-based systems started at Strathclyde and investigation of the efficiency of transient non-thermal plasma discharges for different environmental applications. The research programme will be focused on plasma oxidation, biological effects of plasma and potentially on plasma stimulation of plants will be investigated. The originality of the proposed approach is in the use of very short, sub-microsecond impulsive non-thermal atmospheric air plasma discharges, which are capable of the efficient generation of chemically active species and in the efficient transfer of electric charge. 

Support will be provided by experienced members of staff at the High Voltage Technologies (HVT) Research Group within the Institute for Energy & Environment.  The researcher will conduct studies at the frontiers of low-temperature science and engineering (plasma for environmental, medical and agricultural applications). They will also work in close cooperation with electrical engineers, physicists and microbiologists which provides a unique opportunity to conduct multi-disciplinary plasma-based research project.

Funding Details

The project is open to self-funded Home, EU, RUK and International students.

Contact us

How to apply

To apply, candidates should email a full Cv and covering letter, quoting the name of the project to Ms Maureen Cooper.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please email Dr Igor Timoshkin or t: + 44 (0)141 548 2071