PhD Studentship - Microbial Biofilms – Substratum Interaction and Reduction

Imperial College London

A 3.5 year EPSRC PhD Studentship is available for a suitably qualified or experienced candidate to conduct world class research leading to the award of a PhD degree in the field of Chemical Engineering from Imperial College London working in collaboration with a large global industrial consumer products company.  

The research is of an interdisciplinary nature and lies at the interface of chemical engineering, and microbiology and will explore the development and implementation of advanced novel surface topographies and chemistries for use in real world biofilm applications. Surface associated bacteria such as biofilms, costs the UK economy billions of pounds each year in product contamination, energy losses, and increases the prevalence of hospital acquired infections. The creation of novel surface topographies and chemistries that limit microbial-surface attachment and enhance clean ability would aid increased industrial production efficiency whilst potentially reducing infections and helping to curtail the global threat of antimicrobial resistance. 

The project will focus on the development and evaluation of surfaces and thin-film surface modifications and their applicability within differing ‘real world’ fluid environments on microbial attachment coupled with their effect on mature biofilm removal. A number of advanced surface physiochemical characterisation techniques will be used as well as world leading microbial biofilm 2D and 3D quantification methodologies. Understanding both single and complex multi bacterial species biofilm responses to engineered surfaces is of upmost importance, and will also be a key area of investigation. 

The candidate should be a graduate in chemical engineering, or a related discipline such as chemistry or physics with an interest in microbiology, molecular biology or vice versa, who would like to develop their professional career via paid PhD study. They would be based in the SPEL group in the Chemical Engineering Department:

Please email your Curriculum Vitae, and cover letter to Informal enquiries are also welcome.

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