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PhD Studentship - TRANSCEND: Advanced Ultrasonic Characterisation of Slurry Flows

University of Leeds

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Leeds
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 9th August 2019
Closes: 31st October 2019
  • Funded PhD project: UK and EU
  • Value: A full standard studentship consists of academic fees (£4,500 in Session 2019/20), together with a maintenance grant (£15,009 in Session 2019/20) paid at standard Research Council rates.
  • Number of awards: 1
  • Supervisors: Please contact Dr. Timothy Hunter to discuss this project further informally.
Project description

We present an opportunity for STEM graduates to be a part of an exciting new consortium in nuclear waste management and decommissioning, with a fully funded PhD in advanced ultrasonic characterisation of waste slurry flows, for remote process control of nuclear waste transfers.

This project is based within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering at the University of Leeds. The UK government is committed to nuclear energy having an important role in delivering secure, low-carbon and affordable energy, with their new build programme and life extension of the existing fleet. However, a significant barrier to this vision is the nuclear legacy from past reactor programmes.

Recently, the EPSRC and UK industry have funded a brand new consortium in Transformative Science and Engineering for Nuclear Decommissioning (TRANSCEND) to solve these critical issues from past generations of nuclear power, providing a clean nuclear future. The consortium comprises key industry partners and leading academic researchers from 11 research intensive universities across the UK, to investigate various aspects of nuclear waste management, processing, decommissioning and site remediation.

This PhD award will be fully integrated into the TRANSCEND programme. Specifically, we will seek in this project to develop transformative process analytical abilities, based on ultrasonic backscatter techniques, to fully characterise waste concentration and particle size non-intrusively online.

The aim will be to integrate innovative acoustical modelling into software tools for real-time feedback of radioactive particle levels and their state of aggregation, for remote process control as they are transported as slurries. This work will include the use of novel machine learning techniques for acoustic data analysis and pattern matching, whereby the influence of a number of acoustic parameters on the backscatter signal can simultaneously be assessed using artificial neural networks (ANN), for example.

It is noted that the successful applicant will be able to link directly to industry (e.g. by undertaking placements) and engage with other PhD students in the consortium, through annual symposiums and work package meetings.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with, or expecting a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2:1) or equivalent in any STEM discipline.

How to apply

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is 'TRANSCEND: Advanced ultrasonic characterisation of slurry flows’ as well as the name of your proposed supervisor.

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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