KESS-funded PhD in Chemistry - Hierarchical and Multiscale Approach to Novel Thermoelectric Materials (PhD Studentship)

Cardiff University

Duration: 3 years
Funding Amount: UK/EU tuition fees plus stipend
Regions: EU (Non UK), UK

Thermoelectric materials (TMs) are of top priority for waste energy recovery and new IT applications. Current materials top value (ZT<3) is far from the maximal theoretical efficiency set by the Carnot cycle though. The reason why TMs do not perform at the best of their theoretical capacity is because an exceptional TM is a fairly complex material.

There is therefore a deep need for a better understanding on phenomena that control the electronic and thermal transport. A combination of atomistic and multiscale simulations, and advanced manufacturing processes, will significantly improve on the current state of the art in the field resulting in advanced manufacturing techniques.

This studentship is jointly supervised by Cardiff University and a local company with a strong accent on materials discovery and materials innovation. Cardiff University offers state of the art resources and delivers first class teaching.

The company may offer employment after completion of the project.

The student will be part of the workgroup focused on energy materials, composed by academic staff and company researchers.

The focus will be on the numerical simulations of heat transport in order to improve the efficiency of thermoelectric materials, currently an highly competitive class of materials. The training opportunities are substantial.

The student must comply with the PGR regulation of Cardiff University, which monitors the progress of research according to high standards of rigour and ethics. The student is encouraged to interact with other members of the research group, attend School seminars, and acquire further knowledge and skills by participating in meetings, conferences and international schools. Furthermore, the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University is strongly promoting cross-disciplinarily with the creation of research areas, which put together scientists and research groups with different backgrounds.

Supervisors: Dr Stefano Leoni, Professor Kenneth Harris & company partner

Start date: October 2016

Number of Studentships: 1


This studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees at UK/EU rate, as well as a Doctoral Stipend matching UK Research Council National Minimum £14,296 p.a. for 2016/17.

Funded by KESS. Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.


Academic criteria: Master degree in chemistry, physics, engineering. Confidence with Unix/Linux, programming and scientific computing desired.

Residency: Open only to those within the KESS convergence area (Wales) Candidates must meet the following criteria:

  1. Have a home/work address in a Convergence area of Wales(CAW)* at the time of their application;
  2. Have the right to take up paid work in the Convergence area of Wales* on completion of the scholarship;
  3. Be classified as 'home' or 'EU' according to the University's guidelines.

*Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys - 15 local authorities: Isle of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Bridgend, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly, Blaenau Gwent, Torfaen.

How to Apply: Please submit a CV & Covering Letter to Dr Stefano Leoni

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