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PhD Studentship: Particles, Pollutants and Microplastics: Particle Tracking for Environmental Solutions

Loughborough University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Loughborough University, Loughborough
Funding for: UK Students, International Students
Funding amount: £17,668 tax-free stipend per annum
Hours: Full Time, Part Time
Placed On: 25th November 2022
Closes: 11th January 2023
Reference: CENTA23-LU5
 

Overview:

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF 2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

The School of Social Sciences and Humanities is composed of five divisions: Communication and Media; Criminology, Sociology and Social Policy; English; Geography and Environment; and International Relations, Politics and History. It is a partner in the Central England NERC Training Alliance (CENTA) for doctoral training and the Midlands Graduate School ESRC Doctoral training Partnership.

The School is committed to undertaking initiatives which support under-represented groups to pursue educational and research opportunities across our disciplines. Analysis has shown that only small numbers of UK racialised minority students are undertaking post graduate research degrees within the School. To take steps to address this structural inequality, School-funded studentships have been ring-fenced for UK applicants who identify as being from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background as part of our wider work to support underrepresented groups within our disciplines.

Project details:

In 2019 around 90% of the world population was exposed to concentrations of fine particles (less than 2.5 µm diameter) that exceeded World Health Organisation air quality guidelines. The sources of these fine particles can be natural, for example caused by wind erosion of agricultural lands and dust storms, or anthropogenic, for example resulting from the burning of fuelwood and road traffic emissions.

This project focuses on the resuspension of particles where the action of moving air causes them to move and interact with each other via in-air collision and impact other objects such as surfaces (e.g. rocks, roads) which in turn can cause breakdown by abrasion or wear creating smaller particles. These very small particles dominate air pollution and there is a need for better understanding and prediction of fine particle production and distribution to determine their impact on, and implications for environmental systems. This includes not only the atmosphere but also terrestrial and marine ecological systems when particles are deposited.

This project will involve laboratory simulations of particle interactions under a range of environmental conditions. A key component will be using optical measurement techniques to track particle trajectories and determine impact and ejection velocities and angles and energy partitioning for given collisions.

Project code: CENTA23-LU5

Funding

The studentship is funded for 3.5 years starting from October 2023 and provides a tax-free stipend of £17,668 per annum (in 2022/23) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK rate (£4,596 in 2022/23) and a Research Training Support Grant (RTSG) of £8,000. Further guidance about eligibility is available at UKRI Terms and Conditions. International students (including EU) are eligible to apply and there will be a fee waiver in place covering the difference between Home and International fees for successful candidates. Please note that studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project. Funding decisions will not be confirmed until after the 20th February 2023.

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