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Digitising chemistry: bring digital technologies into Chemical Engineering caves

School of Engineering, University of Warwick1

Application deadline: 17 February 2019
Start date: 30 September 2019
Duration: 3 years

The project:

The main aim of the project is to demonstrate that digital technologies have a lot of unrealised potential in experimental Chemical Engineering – in developing processes and catalysts; in studying and developing chemical reactors. Importantly, all of these can be done affordably with open-access software and open-access hardware like Arduino.Keeping broadly within the topic of automation in chemical engineering, the project has several alternative directions selected with the candidate depending on the preference.

One option focuses on discovery, development, and optimisation of heterogeneous catalysts – finding optimal strategies to identify, screen, and validate heterogeneous catalysts among innumerable possibilities.
Another option focuses on using a novel area of plasma catalysis – using non-thermal plasma sources in combination with heterogeneous catalysts to unlock thermodynamically-prohibited chemical transformations.


Candidates must have a 1st or 2.1 honours degree. You should have a strong record in chemistry or chemical engineering, be familiar (or a strong desire to learn) programming in C (eg Arduino), Matlab, Python, Labview or others. You will be also involved in communications with end-users such as pharma and fine chemical companies.


The annual stipend will be £14,777 (tax free), for 3 years, with university fees paid at the UK/EU rate. The full scholarship is for UK/EU students only.

How to Apply:

Email a full CV, academic transcripts, and cover letter, explaining your interest in pursuing a PhD in this area to: with ‘PhD Application’ in the subject line. If you are successful at the interview you will be required to submit a formal application for study and fulfil the entry requirements set by the University of Warwick. As soon as you have a University ID number you will be invited to upload your degree certificate, transcripts, and a personal statement that explains your specific research interests and why you should be considered for this award. To make a formal application you must complete the online application form and quote scholarship NC-Chem. Details of how to make a formal application can be found here