MPhil/PhD Scholarship: Title: Towards a mechanistic understanding of additive competition and adsorption at the particle interfaces in non-aqueous dispersions

University of Greenwich - Faculty of Engineering and Science, Medway Campus

Title: Towards a mechanistic understanding of additive competition and adsorption at the particle interfaces in non-aqueous dispersions


This PhD project is in collaboration with Infineum. Infineum produce fuel and lubricant additives for transportation. The function of lubricant additives is to prevent damage to engines (e.g. abrasive and corrosive wear) and to confer beneficial properties (such as reduced emissions into the environment and improved fuel economy). A lubricant can, in many ways, be considered a mixture of surfactants, particles and polymers. The project focuses on the interface between soft matter and particles in the presence of complex surfactant systems. The aims of the project are to identify and provide mechanistic understanding of additive competition and adsorption at the solid (particle) interface as a function of (non-aqueous) solvent polarity. This project will result in the development of optimised oil formulations to improve fuel economy and provide enhanced environmental benefits.

The project will utilise NMR methodology, in particular, solvent relaxation, pulsed-gradient spin-echo NMR (PGSE-NMR) provide mechanistic understanding of the interactions between the various amphiphilic additives. These studies will be supplemented by small-angle neutron scattering experiments.

The successful candidate will join a team of comprising MSc, PhD students and postdocs with broad interests, a group that collaborates extensively with industry, and work as a closely knit unit.

For further information please contact the supervisor:

Professor Peter Griffiths (

Bursary available (subject to satisfactory performance):

Year 1: £14,553, Year 2: In line with RCUK rate, Year 3: In line with RCUK rate

In addition, the successful candidate will receive a contribution to tuition fees equivalent to the university’s Home/EU rate, currently £4,195, for the duration of their scholarship. International applicants will need to pay the remainder tuition fee, currently £8,305, for the duration of their scholarship. This fee is subject to an annual increase. Scholarships are available for three years from the date scholars first register as an MPhil/PhD student with the university. Scholarships are available for full-time study only and applicants must meet the programme entry requirements. 

For additional information about the scholarship and links to the application form please go to: 

Please read this information before making an application. Applications need to be made online via  No other form of application will be considered.

All applications must include the following information. Applications not containing these documents will not be considered.

  • Scholarship Reference Number (Ref) – included in the personal statement section together with your personal statement as to why you are applying
  • a CV including 2 referees *
  • academic qualification certificates/transcripts and IELTs/English Language certificate if you are an international applicant or if English is not your first language or you are from a country where English is not the majority spoken language as defined by the UK Border Agency *

*upload to the qualification section of the application form. Attachments need to be in PDF format.

The closing date for applications is midnight (UTC) on 9 February 2018.

The scholarship must commence before 1 April 2018.

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