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PhD Studentship: Systems Modelling for Concentrated Crystallizing Systems

The University of Manchester

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Manchester
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments as per standard RCUK stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 22nd May 2019
Expires: 22nd August 2019

Applications will be reviewed as they are received until a candidate is selected; therefore, candidates are encouraged to apply early.

Supervisors: Dr Thomas Vetter

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully funded 3.5 year PhD studentship to be conducted in the School of Chemical Engineering & Analytical Science in the University of Manchester. This post is part of a large collaborative project involving the University of Cambridge, University of Manchester, ISIS and Unilever and aims to develop an understanding of non-Newtonian fluids used in formulated home and personal care products. By combining theoretical and experimental methods, the project will obtain an understanding of the relationship between the process history of the materials and their structure-property relationships. Further details about the overall project can be found at 

This PhD project will focus on systems modelling of concentrated crystallizing systems that occur in the area of personal care products, for example, soap bars. In the manufacturing process of soaps, reactions, heat and mass transfer, as well as emulsification and eventually crystallization occur simultaneously. Since the processing fluids are highly concentrated and exhibit non-Newtonian rheology, the fundamental processes mentioned above are strongly affected. The overarching theme of this project is to establish a modelling methodology that allows to connect the fluid phase properties with a mechanistic model accounting for the major phenomena involved in the manufacturing process of soaps. The project is envisioned to be purely simulation driven on the academic side with experimental data originating from an industrial context.

The PhD student on this project will join the Crystal Chemistry and Particle Process Engineering research group at the University of Manchester ( and will benefit from world-class research facilities at the University of Manchester. This project also benefits with direct collaboration with industrial partners.

Applicants must have obtained, or be about to obtain, at least a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) or Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering or a closely related discipline. Previous experience with multi-phase systems (crystallization, liquid-liquid separation, emulsions, etc.) and programming experience (MATLAB, FORTRAN, C++) are highly desirable.

The School is committed to Athena SWAN principles to promote women in science and engineering. The University of Manchester values a diverse workforce and welcomes applications from all sections of the community.

This project is offered through The Centre in Advanced Fluid Engineering for Digital Manufacturing (CAFE4DM) (, a large project between The University of Manchester and Unilever and may involve the student spending time at Unilever facilities in the UK.

Full studentship for a UK/EU student only

Funding covers tuition fees and annual maintenance payments as per standard RCUK stipend (typically, at least £14,777 a year)

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Thomas Vetter at

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