Research Fellowship in Synthetic Biology System for Lightweight Boron Carbide Composites

Brunel University London - Brunel Centre for Advanced Solidification Technology (BCAST)

16 Month Fixed Term Contract

Applications from suitably qualified and well motivated individuals are invited for the position of Research Fellow to work on a Dstl funded project to develop lightweight boron carbide composite using synthetic biology system at BCAST, Brunel University London. In collaboration with our industrial and academic partners, you will be developing the heat treatment process of the composite powder feedstock processed by synthetic biology pathway for subsequent hot consolidation using spark plasma sintering to fabricate high  performance lightweight armour ceramic. The position is for 16 months in the first instance and the starting salary is £34,714 including London Allowance, depending on qualifications, experience and research track record.

BCAST is a speciality research centre focusing on advanced material processing related research with an international reputation and is the host of the national centre of excellence in liquid metal engineering (the EPSRC Centre – LiME). BCAST is well equipped with state-of-the-art facilities for both material processing and materials characterisation. See for more information.

The successful candidate will work on the processing and characterisation of synthetic biology processed boron carbide composite powders. The research will include: (1) development of boron carbide composite powder feedstock prepared by synthetic biology pathway using chemical and heat treatments for subsequent hot consolidation technology, (2) quantification of the key synthetic biology systems and treatment conditions used, including the understanding of microstructural evolution and phase transformation and (3) evaluation of the hot consolidation behaviour of the synthetic biology processed boron carbide composite powders. He/she is also expected to interact with other researchers in Brunel University London, University of Birmingham and Dst.

The successful candidate should have a PhD degree in materials science and engineering, physics, chemistry or another suitable engineering discipline, and should have a sound background in advanced engineering ceramics. Research experience in synthesis & processing of carbide ceramic powders, practical skills in microstructural characterisation using various microscopy and spectroscopy techniques and a working knowledge of mechanical testing of ceramic materials are essential. In addition, he/she should have good communication and presentation skills and be a team player.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Prof Isaac Chang (

Closing date for receipt of applications: 4th March 2018.

For further details and to apply please visit

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