PhD Studentship: Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher - Localised NMR Measurements of Sorption to Separate Spatio-Temporal Effects

University of Surrey - Department of Physics

A PhD funded by the MC initial training network ERICA (GA no. 764691) is available in the Department of Physics at the University of Surrey.

The title of the PhD is “Localised NMR measurements of Sorption to Separate Spatio-Temporal Effects”.

The objective is to explain previously inexplicable and contradictory features of sorption in cement hydrates that show deviations from the t0:5 dependence expected from pure diffusion / capillary action control. The project starts from the premise that water sorption hysteresis arises from both “conventional” concepts of pore blocking (“ink-bottle effect”) and also from “new effects” associated with the reversible and irreversible changes in nano porosity. These processes will be separated by careful measurement of porosity evolution around water drying and wetting fronts passing a fixed depth in a sample using GARField MRI (spatial resolution 10-50 microns).

Further details including a description of the ERICA project is available at

Nanocem - MSC ETN ERICA:

These posts are part of “Engineered Calcium-Silicate-Hydrates for Applications”, a project funded by the European Union under the. Horizon 2020 – Marie Sklodowska-Curie - Innovative Training Network.

The student taking this project can expect:

  • To receive broad spectrum advanced training in materials science and engineering appropriate to cement based materials.
  • To receive broad spectrum training in professional skills relevant to a research career either in academia or industry.
  • To engage actively with the European wide cement science consortium Nanocem that will present opportunities for networking leading to future career enhancement.
  • To benefit from travel to and placements at partner organisations throughout the course of the PhD that will advance the research and researcher experience.

The project is funded by the EC Marie Curie Training network ERICA. For each project, full funding according to Horizon 2020 work programme 2016-2017 for Marie Curie Sklodowska-Curie action (PDF) is available for at least 3 years for eligible candidates. Full eligibility criteria can be found at, but in most cases EC students may take a project in a country other than their own country / country of first degree.

Applications are welcomed from prospective students with a good Masters Level degree or equivalent in any of Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Computer Science, Civil Engineering or related subject.

Further details including a description of all the projects are available at

Applications should be received by 8th September 2017. Recruitment events will be held in October 2017 for project starts between November 2017 and January 2018.

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