3 Year Enterprise-Led Funded PhD: Novel Applications for the Random Column Packing “Dixon Rings”

Lancaster University - Croft Filters Ltd

Dixon Rings are commonly used as a random packing for columns of process units such as distillation, absorption, stripping, adsorption, etc. They offer a high surface area, high mass transfer efficiency along with a low pressure drop. When used for mass transfer, there can be a reduction in the size of the plant required which offers additional benefits.

This project will extend utilisation of Dixon Rings to reactive packing for a number of applications, taking place in gas/liquid intensified processes. Characteristics of flow dynamics of the Dixon ring packing with and without catalyst will be experimentally examined. In addition, different types of catalyst impregnations will be considered including sol-gel, electroplating and in-situ development of catalytic polymer or resin. Experimental results will be implemented in the database of the commercial process simulations, promoting applications of Dixon rings for various gas/liquid processes.

Applicants should have a first class or upper second degree in Chemical or Process or Mechanical Engineering or related disciplines.

Enterprise and collaborative partners

The PhD is a collaborative research project between Lancaster University with supervision by Dr Vesna Najdanovic, Dr Farid Aiouache, Dr Allan Rennie, and Croft Filters Limited.     

Croft Filters Ltd has been manufacturing bespoke filtration solutions for over 31 years with the experience and knowledge gained through research and practice. Their extensive expertise includes filter manufacturing solutions in any shape or design, including basket strainers, duplex filters, vacuum filters, cone filters, cylinder filters, and screen filters in perforated plate, woven wire mesh, and expanded metal.

Why apply?

By joining the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, you will:

  • Receive £15,000 tax free per year.
  • Have your postgraduate tuition fees paid for by your partner business, worth c£4,195/year [fees for Non-EU/UK graduates are subsidised from £17,510/year to £13,315/year]. See Lancaster University website for published rates by year of entry.
  • Become part of a cohort of graduates working with an award-winning team on business-led R&D.
  • Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

This post is subject to confirmation of funding.


Application deadline

28th August 2017

Provisional Interview Date: 6th/7th of September 2017
Start date: October 2017

How to apply

To apply for this opportunity please email graduate-applications@cgeinnovation.org with:

The Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

This doctoral research project is one of a cohort of industry-led funded research projects from the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation, an international alliance supporting university-business collaboration. The Centre delivers high quality, business-led research to create eco-innovative technologies, products, and services.

At the heart of the Centre are people who are researching, developing, and innovating to address global challenges, including energy, water, natural capital, resource efficiency, food, and waste, to deliver economic, social, and environmental benefits. Launched in 2012 the Centre and has won two national awards for its ground breaking approach to sustainable R&D and knowledge exchange.


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Northern England