PhD Studentship: Multi-scale modelling of packed column reactors

University of Leeds - Chemical & Process Engineering

Packed columns are widely used as chemical reactors. Particle-level (low-level) computer models exist that link catalyst pellet geometry to packing structure and uniformity in the column. This is already happening in industry. Flow field inside the packing can also be calculated. The next link is to reactor performance. High-level (whole column scale) phenomenological models are available to map concentration of one or more reactants/products, but the models tend to involve many empirically determined parameters. A particle (or low) level model can in principle provide values for these parameters. In this project, your task will be to adapt an existing particle-level mass transfer model designed for packed beds to include heat transfer and more rigorous reaction kinetics, and to link the low-level and high-level models together for practical applications. It will involve model development, software implementation and code and model validation.

Project start date: The successful candidate will be expected to start between 01/10/2017 and 01/04/2018

Duration of funding: 3.5 years

Residency Requirements due to Funding restrictions

Due to EPSRC funding restrictions only candidates who are EU/UK nationals and have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to their start date are permitted to be considered for this award

Minimum academic requirements


  • 2(1), or equivalent, in Applied Math or any Chemical Engineering discipline
  • MSc in Applied Math or any Chemical Engineering discipline

English language

If English is not your first language, then candidates must also meet the University’s English language requirements full details can be found on the following link:

How to apply

Please complete an application form which can be accessed via the following link:

Please remember to include the project title in your application

Further Information:

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

Financial Information:

For PhD study, fees may rise during the course of your candidature - this will be by no more than the rate of inflation, calculated according to the Retail Price Index. Maintenance rates (set annually at Research Council standard rates) may also rise. Further information can be found at:

UK applicants will be eligible for a full award paying tuition fees and maintenance. European Union applicants will be eligible for an award paying tuition fees only, except in exceptional circumstances, or where residency has been established for more than 3 years prior to the start of the course.

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