PhD Studentship: Catalysts and Chemical Reactors for the 4th Industrial Revolution

University of Bath - Chemical Engineering

Supervisor name: Dr Alfred Hill (

Overview of the research

As we move into the 4th industrial revolution we require our manufacturing industries to be small-scale, flexible, robotised, and located in close proximity to the end user. Flexibility will be of particular importance as industry learns to tailor its energy consumption in response to variable energy supply from renewable sources. In contrast to this, the chemicals manufacturing industry is stuck in the old model of large volume processes designed to operate at steady state for 365 days per year. Bridging this gap will require a step change in technology focused on highly intensive, responsive, and controllable chemical reactors paired with new generations of catalysts.

In this project you will explore the potential of induction heating for the direct heating of catalysts. By providing heat directly the place where it is required for the reaction, induction heating promises a much enhanced controllability of the reaction, improved energy efficiency (and lower carbon footprint), and a step change in process intensification by integrating the heat transfer and reaction steps. 

You will unlock the potential of induction heating by developing new catalyst systems that combine the activity for the desired reaction with the magnetic properties that will allow the catalyst to be heated to the desired temperature within a high frequency magnetic field. This focus on catalysis requires a student with a strong background in chemistry or chemical engineering and a desire to bring creativity and innovative approaches to bear on this important problem.


A Home/EU award will provide full tuition fees, an annual Training Support Fee of £1,000, and a tax-free maintenance payment of £14,553 (2017-8 rate) for up to 3.5 years.

The successful applicant will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent).

English language requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding.

We also welcome applications from self or externally funded students all year round.

Preferred start date: 2nd October 2017.

Application Deadline: 30th August.

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South West England