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PhD Studentship in Lawn Grass Microbial Fuel Cells for Widespread Energy Harvesting

University of Nottingham - Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: Competitive Funding
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 12th January 2024
Closes: 29th February 2024
Reference: ENG1738

The University of Nottingham is offering a fully funded 42-month UK-based PhD studentship as part of the Leverhulme Trust Research Project Grant, focusing on "Lawn grass microbial fuel cells for widespread energy harvesting." Supervised by Dr. Michael P. Weir, Dr. Alison Tidy, and Dr. Helena I. Gomes across the School of Physics and Astronomy, the School of Biosciences, and the Faculty of Engineering, the project addresses the pressing need for clean energy sources amidst climate change.

The research targets Plant Microbial Fuel Cells (P-MFC) as a sustainable, carbon-negative energy solution integral to generating clean electricity while supporting plant growth, wastewater remediation, and soil pollutant removal. The successful applicant will engage in growing P-MFCs, creating prototypes, studying variable effects on electrical output and plant/microbial health, and constructing a demonstrator model with an energy harvesting circuit.

This interdisciplinary opportunity encompasses diverse skills—from plant science and electrode function to data analysis, electrochemistry, and electronics. The training across departments fosters collaboration, team-building, and diverse skill acquisition, including Python coding, data analysis tools like Fiji and RStudio, and specialised bioelectrochemistry and statistical skills. Beyond scientific expertise, the programme hones teamwork, critical thinking, and time management, offering scholarly exchanges within a vibrant PhD community. This comprehensive skill set equips candidates for diverse career opportunities upon programme completion.

For informal enquiries about the role, please contact Dr. Michael P. Weir (Physics) (Michael.Weir@nottingham.ac.uk), Dr. Alison Tidy (Biosciences/Plant Sciences) (Alison.Tidy@nottingham.ac.uk) or Dr. Helena I. Gomes (Engineering) (Helena.Gomes1@nottingham.ac.uk).

To apply for this PhD opportunity, please submit the following documents to Michael.Weir@nottingham.ac.uk:

  • Cover letter outlining your research interests and motivation to pursue this project.
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) detailing your academic background, research experience, and relevant skills.
  • Academic transcripts of your previous degrees.
  • Contact information for two professional references.

Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. Applications will be evaluated on a rolling basis until a suitable candidate is appointed. Due to funding constraints, this project is only open to applicants with home (U.K.) fee status.

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