|Location:||Loughborough University, Loughborough|
|Funding for:||UK Students, EU Students, International Students|
|Funding amount:||£17,668 tax-free stipend per annum (pro rata for the part-time)|
|Hours:||Full Time, Part Time|
|Placed On:||2nd February 2023|
|Closes:||31st March 2023|
The impact that climate change is having on the world’s ecosystems affects every one of us. Our capacity to grow food, to maintain clean and safe water supplies, and our ability to do this in a way that is sustainable, is dependent upon our understanding of how soil and water are affected by our changing weather.
The EcoSENSE research cluster will develop new sensors for the accurate, sensitive and real-time monitoring of the health of water and soil systems. We will achieve this through an ambitious and exciting series of interconnected projects combining expertise in Materials Science, Chemistry, Geography and Computer Science, guided by input from key Industrial partners including MAST group Ltd and Severn Trent.
Our current patented technology is based on the dual encapsulation of luminescent probes for the detection of anions into crosslinked hydrogels. In this approach, the diffusion rate of ions into the material is restricted by the relatively low exposed surface area of the hydrogel and can be affected by the materials physical properties.
In this PhD project, we will investigate methods to optimise ion transport rate by selecting the appropriate manufacturing technique (for example fibre spinning) and material to achieve high efficiency of the sensing device. As well as further developing the patented technology, this will build on our work demonstrating the synthesis of polymer particles with tuneable size and composition (Polym. Chem., 2022, 13, 4124-4135), and the encapsulation of polymer particles into electrospun fibres (Soft Matter, 2021, 17, 3775-3783). The effect of material structure and composition on the encapsulation of the probes and diffusion of the ions will be investigated. The specific ions and probes will be guided by collaboration within the EcoSENSE cluster.
The EcoSENSE research cluster will develop a new class of advanced sensing materials for the continuous analysis of the health of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. This is key for understanding how ecosystems function allowing us to respond to the current drivers of environmental change.
EcoSENSE are committed to widening the diversity of our PhD student cohorts. We aim to guarantee interviews for Home-award-eligible students in certain groups or areas of the UK who are under represented in higher education.
More details are in the EcoSENSE application form which you can find in the how to apply section below.
How to Apply
As part of our aim to guarantee interviews for home-awarded-eligible students in certain groups or areas of the UK who are under-represented in higher education, we require you to complete and submit the EcoSENSE Studentship Application Form 2023 in addition to the general application process highlighted below.
Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Fees are reviewed annually and are likely to increase to take into account inflationary pressures.
The studentship is for three years full-time or six years part-time and provides a tax-free stipend of £17,668 per annum (pro rata for the part-time) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees. UK Home and international applicants are both eligible for this award. Please note that the studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project.
Type / Role: