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Fully Funded KESS II MSc by Research Scholarship: An Electrochemical Biosensor for In-situ Detection of Methyl-isoborneol (MIB) in Water

Swansea University - Chemical Engineering

Location: Swansea
Salary: £11,937 p.a.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 11th January 2022
Closes: 25th February 2022

Start date: April 2022

Methyl-isoborneol (MIB) is a naturally occurring compound released in water when algae die off. Its occurrence in drinking water results in customer complaints and unsatisfaction due to the unpleasant taste that MIB imparts to the water. The raw water concentrations can reach up to 800 ng/L whilst the taste threshold concentrations are extremely low ranging from 4 to 15 ng/L depending on the individual. The current methods for MIB detection rely on complicated protocols that involve several steps including sampling, sample preparation (e.g. extraction), and off-site analysis using very expensive laboratory equipment making MIB analysis time-consuming, labour intensive, and expensive. Therefore, an alternative highly selective and sensitive method for in-situ detection of MIB at the ng/L levels is highly desirable.

This project will develop a single ultrafast biosensor for in-situ detection of MIB using various electrochemical methods. Low cost carbon sensor electrodes with properties of enhanced electron transfer and surface area will be fabricated using flexographic printing. More importantly, specific innovations are embodied in the novel implementation of non-conventional metal porphyrins as recognition elements. They will generate characteristic electrochemical signals upon interaction with MIB in water that are distinct from those caused by non-specific adsorption. This will provide an essential step towards label free, direct and easy-to-use in situ monitoring devices.

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with 3 months period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 40 credit award.

Eligibility

Academic requirements:

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Engineering or a related subject.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit - http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/

Residency criteria:

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK candidates only. Please visit our website for more information. 

Additional Salary Information

The studentship covers the full cost of UK tuition fees, plus a stipend. The bursary will be limited to a maximum of £11,937 p.a. dependent upon the applicant's financial circumstances.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses.

Please note that students receiving KESS II support are not eligible for Postgraduate Master's Degree loan.

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