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PhD Studentship Opportunities: System optimisation and decision-support for optimal future biorefineries and bioeconomy towards a net-zero UK

University of Surrey - Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Guildford
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: From £16,062 UKRI stipend (2022-23 award), home fees covered, £3,000 Research Training Support Grant and £3,000 Bench fees. Funding is for 3.5 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 25th July 2022
Closes: 25th November 2022
Reference: PGR-2122-7172

PhD Studentship Opportunities: System optimisation and decision-support for optimal future biorefineries and bioeconomy towards a net-zero UK

Conversion of biomass to fuels and value-added chemicals is key to support net-zero aspirations globally and within the UK. However, the biorefinery concept is challenged with valorisation of complex waste streams; the requirement for new, biobased supply chains; integration of biorefinery systems within established systems; and complex modelling requirements.

Dr Short’s research group uses mathematical optimisation and systems engineering to develop decision-support software and is looking for motivated candidates to work on:

  1. Optimal multi-period, flexible biorefinery process synthesis using dynamic optimisation and surrogate modelling techniques for multi-product, multi-feedstock bioproducts in the UK.
  2. The long-term impacts and optimal processing routes of global biomass supply chains will be researched in consideration of future carbon trading.

There will be opportunities to collaborate with world-class researchers at other leading academic institutions, as well as with industrial partners. We are seeking enthusiastic and motivated applicants with an interest in computational optimisation and process systems engineering. A degree in Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics or other engineering/science disciplines with significant computational elements, and some coding experience in a programming language (e.g., Python, GAMS, MATLAB, or Julia) are essential for the role. Experience in mathematical optimisation modelling, open-source software, and/or process simulation is desirable.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Michael Short at the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering. The department has a history of excellence in computational and process systems research. We have an interdisciplinary group of researchers working in several areas to solve global problems. The Information and Process Systems Engineering Research Theme holds regular research seminars and social events to provide a supportive and friendly team atmosphere. You will receive comprehensive research training and opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars to develop professional skills and research network.

This project is open to UK students starting in January 2023. Later start dates may be possible.

Entry requirements

Home student (UK, EU pre-settled or settled status, indefinite leave to remain) with a 2:1 or better.

English language requirements: IELTS Academic 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category, or equivalent (if not graduated from UK institution). More about our English language requirements.

How to apply

If you are interested in a particular area please send your CV and email directly to Dr Michael Short (m.short@surrey.ac.uk).

Funding

UKRI stipend (e.g. £16,062 for 2022-23), home fees covered, £3,000 Research Training Support Grant and £3,000 Bench fees. Funding is for 3.5 years. Funded by the EPSRC Doctoral Training Program and the University of Surrey.

Application deadline

25/11/2022

Enquiries

Contact Dr Michael Short (m.short@surrey.ac.uk).

Ref

PGR-2122-7172

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