PhD studentship (36 months): Tuning impact sensitivities of new energetic materials

The University of Edinburgh - School of Chemistry

A PhD studentship is available in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Dr. Carole Morrison and Prof. Colin Pulham.

Impact sensitivity – literally a measure of how hard you need to hit a material to cause detonation – is an important material property in the design of safer energetic materials. It is a difficult measurement to record reliably, however, as it is highly dependent on the crystalline form and environmental conditions. Recent work in our research groups have indicated that it is possible to predict impact sensitivities using first principles (DFT) condensed matter simulations, which presents an exciting development in the rational design of safer energetic materials. In addition to further developing the model to improve impact sensitivity prediction, in this project you will also use simulation to guide the preparation of new energetic materials with controlled impact sensitivity behaviour.

The studentship is fully funded for 36 months and covers tuition fees and an annual stipend (starting at £14.5k per annum) for a candidate satisfying EPSRC’s criteria.

The successful candidate will possess, or expect to obtain, a first class or upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in chemistry or physics. Essential qualities include basic knowledge of quantum mechanics, while some prior experience or exposure to molecular simulation techniques and basic material preparation techniques, X-ray crystallography and an interest in HPC are desirable. Other essential attributes are good presentation and communication skills (written and oral). In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to:

Dr. Carole Morrison

School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, UK.


Formal applications are made through the University’s EUCLID system.

The position will remain open until filled.

The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information. University Initiatives website:

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