PhD Studentship: Transparent Organic/Inorganic Nanocomposites for Protection Manufactured with Engineered Protein Templates

Loughborough University

Start date: 1 October 2017

Interview date: 11 September 2017


Primary supervisor: Dr Houzheng Wu

Secondary supervisor: Dr Tao Sun, Prof Mo Song & Dr Helen Willcock

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Full Project Detail:

The aim of this PhD research is to develop transparent organic/inorganic nanocomposites through manufacturing processes based on synthetic biology. Current manufacture technology of such type of materials has only limited control of nano-constituents in 1/2/3D dimension and provides a small window only for performance optimisation. Templating technology based on synthetic biology can interact and assemble nano-constituents at different dimensional scales with great reproducibility, providing great opportunity for manufacturing new transparent nanocomposites with much better and highly desired engineering performance, as the Nature has so eloquently demonstrated. Through this PhD research, you are expected to study bio-template synthesis including DNA modification and cloning; design and modification of surfaces of proteins and material constituents; development of material building blocks with bio-templates including bio-mineralisation; and consolidation of building blocks into 1/2/3D transparent nanocomposites.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, an upper 2:1 or 1st class Honours degree (or equivalent) in one of these areas: materials science and engineering, chemistry including biochemistry, or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in molecular biology or microbiology will be an advantage.

Funding information:

This project is funded by SynbiCITE at Imperial College London. The studentship is for 3.5 years and provides a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per annum (17/18 academic year) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. The stipend will increase in line with EPSRC recommended rates. International (non EU) students may apply, however, the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Contact details:

Name: Dr Houzheng Wu

Email address:

Telephone number: 01509 223342

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name - Materials  

Please quote reference number: MP-HW-1721

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Midlands of England