PhD Studentship: Surface engineering and advanced coatings for anti-icing and de-icing applications

University of Nottingham - Faculty of Engineering

Proposed start date: 1st February 2017
Min quals: (upper UG 2.1 or high merit at MSc level)
Funding details:
UK and EU students: Fully funded including stipend (£14,296 for 2016/2017).
International students: Only international tuition fees will be covered.


Applications are invited from qualified graduates for a fully funded PhD studentship on surface engineering and advanced coatings for icephobic application, within Advanced Materials Research Group (AMRG), Faculty of Engineering. According to the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, the Faculty ranked 3rd in the General Engineering panel and the University ranked 8th in the UK on a measure of ‘research power’.

The PhD Project

Flight safety and energy efficiency are heavily influenced by the accumulation of ice on aircraft surface. Applying icephobic (anti-icing and de-icing) surface is one of the promising solutions to address this issue. This research project focuses on R&D of advanced coating techniques to create icephobic surface and minimize the ice accumulation and lower the ice adhesion strength on specific substrates. The interaction and interfacial slippage mechanism between ice and the studied coating surface will be investigated, as well as the influences from materials, composition, processing, and surface topography. The work mainly includes surface treatment, material synthesis, coating processing, microstructural characterization, coating durability evaluation, and icephobicity test, etc. The project is expected to bring scientific advances in icephobic surface and to publish high-impact journal papers.


For UK/EU candidates, the studentship will cover PhD tuition fees (at the UK/EU rate) and a tax free stipend for three years (£14,296 for the 2016/2017 academic year). International students are eligible to apply but the award will cover only the international tuition fees. The studentship is expected to start on 01 February 2017.


The preferred candidate should have, or expect to obtain, a 1st class or upper 2:1 honours degree or a distinction or high merit at MSc level (or international equivalent) in polymers, materials science, chemistry, chemical engineering, physics or a relevant discipline. The successful candidate should be highly self-motivated with a disciplined work ethic and good team-working skills.

How to apply

Informal enquiries should be addressed to Dr Xianghui Hou (email: Please send a detailed CV, a cover letter, and the names and addresses of two referees to the above email address. This studentship is open until filled. Early application is strongly encouraged.

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