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PhD Studentship: Materials for Zero Carbon Energy Systems

University of Bristol - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st December 2019
Closes: 1st March 2020

Funding amount Minimum £15,009 p.a. for 3.5 yrs up to a maximum £17,000 p.a. subject to contracts

The project:

The UK has recently become the first major economy to commit to net zero greenhouse gas emissions, aiming to achieve this by 2050. To support this ambition, nuclear energy systems are very likely to be required. This will involve extending the lifetime of current nuclear reactors and development of new types of nuclear energy systems, including nuclear fusion.

Nuclear energy systems experience extremes of temperature, pressure and irradiation; materials within the reactor must be capable of surviving such physical conditions. Materials for nuclear energy systems is a significant research topic in the UK and worldwide, with University of Bristol (UoB) having a long track record in this area.

A PhD opportunity is available, involving developing new materials for nuclear energy systems and improving understanding and performance of existing materials. There is sufficient flexibility within the UoB research programme to carry out both modelling and experimental work. There is also opportunity for you to design, plan and then deliver experiments at central X-ray and neutron facilities in the UK and internationally. Your research work may result in significant industrial benefit – helping towards the UK’s zero carbon aims.

You will join the Solid Mechanics Research Group (SMRG) at UoB, which currently has eight academic staff and approximately twenty researchers (postdoctoral staff and research students). SMRG has substantial laboratory capabilities at Bristol, including the support of two full-time technicians. You will join a highly dynamic and well-resourced research group; you will receive excellent support for technical training, personal development and opportunities to attend international conferences.

This is an excellent platform for future career prospects: many former PhD students in UoB SMRG have gone on to work in significant academic and industrial positions.

URL for further information:

How to apply:

To apply, please submit a PhD application using our online application system ( Select PhD Mechanical Engineering on the Programme Choice page. Enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form with the name of the supervisor.

Person specification: 

We are looking for a committed and highly motivated PhD student holding (or close to completing) a minimum of a master’s degree (or international equivalent) in Engineering. Physical Sciences, Material Science, Mathematical Sciences.

The candidate will have a strong understanding of principles of nuclear and / or thermal power generation.

If English is not your first language, please provide a recognised English language qualification at Profile E. Further information:


  • Full UK/EU (EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to 1st September 2019) PhD tuition fees plus an industrial top-up.
  • EU nationals resident in the EU may also apply but will only qualify for PhD tuition fees.


For informal enquiries, please email Prof Chris Truman, or Dr Mahmoud Mostafavi,  

For general enquiries, please email

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