PhD Studentship: Photoreactor modelling, design and fabrication

PhD Studentship: Photoreactor modelling, design and fabrication

Royaume-Uni 31 août 2023
Université de Southampton

Université de Southampton

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Université étatique
Pays hôte
Date limite
31 août 2023
Niveau d'études
Type d'opportunité
Financement d'opportunité
Financement complet
Pays éligibles
Cette opportunité est destiné à tous les pays
Région éligible
Toutes les régions

Supervisory Team:           Dr Pier Sazio (ZI), Dr Matthew Potter (Chem) Dr Lindsay Armstrong (Eng)

Project description

A PhD position is available as part of a new Centre of Excellence called Light and Electrochemical Activated Processes for Chemical Industries (LEAP). The intention of LEAP is to coordinate the University of Southampton’s distinctive strengths in photonic materials and chemistry to tackle the challenge of decarbonising the chemical industry. The initiative brings together academics from Chemistry, Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and the Zepler Institute that will improve our fundamental understanding of these complex processes and develop engineered solutions that can be applied at scale.

As we transition towards a net-zero carbon future, there is a need to make chemical transformations more efficient. Thermally controlled processes that are ubiquitous in the chemical industry have an inherent inefficiency, regardless of how well macroscopic heat management demands are controlled. Photo/electrochemical technologies – reactions that are driven by light or directly by electricity - represent an alternative approach to produce both commodity and fine chemicals that have the potential to be significantly more efficient.

Photocatalysis in particular represents a unique opportunity to efficiently transform free solar photons into a versatile form of ‘chemical energy’ that can be used for energy storage (e.g. maritime transportation, grid-energy storage) or the production of commodity chemicals (e.g. ammonia, methanol). This studentship project builds on our successful recent development of photocatalytic reactors using optical fibre technologies (e.g. ACS Photonics, 2020, 7, 714-722). Specifically, we will leverage the highly advanced and scalable photonics technologies developed at the Zepler Institute in order to precisely engineer photonic states coupled with optimal structuring and management of light with photocatalysts inside our state of the art reactor designs. This will require significant numerical simulation effort to guide experimental fabrication alongside in-depth optical characterization and optimisation.

This multifaceted project targets the development of an all-in-one photoreactor described using multi-phase chemical models to incorporate the kinetics of photocatalysts, reactant flow and photon behaviour. It is thus supported by a highly multidisciplinary team with expertise in photonic devices (Dr Pier Sazio) and modelling alongside material deposition (Dr Geoff Hyett), photocatalyst design and development (Dr Matt Potter) and multi-phase chemical models (Dr. Lindsay Armstrong) to realise these advanced systems.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Pier Sazio, Email:

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date : Applications are accepted throughout the year and several start dates throughout the year are possible. Applications for the typical Sept./Oct. 2023 start should be received no later than 31 August 2023.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £20,000 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Apply online: PhD Application | Research | University of Southampton . Select programme type (Research), 2023/24, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD ORC (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Pier Sazio

Applications should include:

  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Two reference letters
  • Degree Transcripts/Certificates to date

For further information please contact:

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