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Funded Masters by Research Opportunity: Oxygen Scavengers for Recyclable Plastic Bottles

Manchester Metropolitan University

Location: Manchester
Salary: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 17th May 2022
Closes: 15th August 2022

Project contact: Dr Ian Ingram (i.ingram@mmu.ac.uk)

Funding info: Fully-funded Master’s by Research

Mode of study: Full-time

Eligibility: Fully-funded for home students, overseas students will need to pay the difference between home and overseas fees.

Key dates:

Closing 15/8/2022

October 2022 start

Project summary

Although single-use plastic packaging has its drawbacks, it also has a huge role to play in a more sustainable future through the prevention of food waste. Plastic food packaging is also lightweight, reducing the impacts of transport, and recyclable in an energy-efficient way not possible with competing technologies such as glass.

This project seeks to understand how oxygen scavengers work, focusing on copolymers of Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and associated additives. By understanding how oxygen scavengers in PET works we can develop more efficient and recyclable plastic packaging that maintains food freshness and prevents food waste.

The project is sponsored by industry partner, Avient and the successful applicant will be based within Manchester Met’s Advanced Materials and Surface Engineering research centre. The candidate will receive a bursary for the project and all Home student fees will be paid. The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to gain skills and training in the workplace.

This opportunity would suit final year / graduates seeking to enhance their knowledge of (but not exclusively) materials science, polymer processing and environmental implications of materials.

Aims and objectives 

The aim of the project is to establish knowledge of the organic mechanisms that take place during processing using a range of analytical techniques to characterise structure and morphology. The objectives are to sample and analyse the PET-copolymer at different stages of its production. To achieve this the successful applicant will have the opportunity to spend time in the polymer processing and analytical laboratories of the industry partner. Training on campus at Manchester Met will be provided in more advanced techniques of spectroscopy, microscopy and surface analysis. A comprehensive review of the literature will also be required at the start of the project to set the context for the work.  

Specific requirements of the project 

The qualifications, skills, knowledge and experience applicants should have for this project, in addition to our standard entry requirements and (a minimum of an honours degree at first or upper second class level).

Essential 

  • Strong organic chemistry and/or polymer chemistry skills
  • Experience of collecting and analysing qualitative and quantitative data.
  • Good written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Desirable: 

  • Basic knowledge of polymer processing (though this will not be assumed, and training will be provided both at the company and university)
  • Appreciation of Health and Safety and Risk Assessments

How to apply

https://www.mmu.ac.uk/research/research-study/scholarships#ai-57347-4 

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