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EPSRC supported PhD Studentship with Integrated Studies: Development of Innovative Additives Targeting Glazed Ceramic Surfaces

University of Birmingham

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £17,800 p.a. plus fees paid
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 28th November 2018
Closes: 31st January 2019

Company title(s): Innospec

Academic supervisor(s): Prof. Peter Fryer & Dr Zhenyu J. Zhang

Tax free bursary of £17,800 p.a. plus fees paid

Glazed ceramic products are widely used in domestic environments. These items are predominantly located in kitchen, bathroom, and utility room where surface cleanliness is a critical need by consumers. It is therefore desirable to develop an effective strategy to coat the aforementioned ceramic surfaces, resulting in excellent repellence to dirt/soil without altering the optical properties of the surface underneath. Currently, there is no commercial product available that could effectively repel dirt and minimise soil attachment from a clean surface.

One of the most viable options is the application of a thin polymeric film that is transparent and can be implemented relatively easily in household cleaning practice. It is expected that the polymers to be developed will satisfy the following requirements:

  • Remain stable and active in a complex detergent matrix
  • Coat a glazed ceramic surface within a short period of time
  • Form a layer, with a controlled areal density, effectively and efficiently
  • Won’t accumulate on the surface upon repeated applications
  • The layer must be robust – cannot be removed readily
  • The formed layer will render excellent repellence to dirt whilst being transparent
  • The molecules could selectively target the breaks/irregularities where dirt/stain tend to accumulate

To be eligible for EPSRC funding candidates must have at least a 2(1) in an Engineering or Scientific discipline or a 2(2) plus MSc. Please email your c.v. to For more details on the Engineering Doctorate scheme please visit

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