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PhD in Assessment and development of antimicrobial resistant coated steels for indoor applications

PhD in Assessment and development of antimicrobial resistant coated steels for indoor applications


Project Overview

Tata Steel is one of Europe’s leading steel producers, with steelmaking in the UK and the Netherlands, and manufacturing plants across Europe. The company supplies high-quality steel strip products to demanding markets such as construction, automotive, packaging and engineering. Advantica® steel was developed specifically to support the aesthetic and functional requirements of modern architecture applications including office furniture, lighting, and niche construction. This steel has been coated with metallic, organic and inorganic coatings and comprises multiple layers each giving specific properties to the final coated product.

We are looking for a PhD student to join our team and work on an exciting research program to develop coatings for steels to be used indoors on high traffic areas. COVID-19 has drastically changed the perception of antimicrobials, as many look at these technologies as a much-needed safety measure. We are already seeing how COVID-19 has driven substantial interest in antimicrobial coatings. This research will involve experimental and characterisation work (including X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Raman and infrared spectroscopy, dSTORM imaging and high contaminant microbiology work). For this project we will initially test the antimicrobial properties of surfaces in simulated ‘real-life’ environments. The candidate will be able to test the antimicrobial properties of the novel surfaces using safe, non-infectious proxies for SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for COVID-19 disease, followed by high-containment studies on the final ideal candidate material.

This fully funded PhD studentship also represents an exciting opportunity to undertake research in close partnership with Tata Steel UK ( Their testing and research facilities are located within the University of Warwick Science Park (adjacent to campus). The successful candidate will be based within WMG but have access to both the Medical School and School of Life Sciences during their candidature.

Essential and desirable criteria

Candidates should have a minimum of an upper second (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant science or engineering subject, such as biomedical engineering, materials, physics, biology, chemistry or chemical engineering.
Initial general enquiries concerning the project should be directed to to Dr Tara Schiller (

Intended start date October 2021

Funding and Eligibility

Funding of £18,609 per annum is available for UK applicants for 4 years.

To be eligible for this project the successful applicant should have indefinite leave to remain in the UK and have been ordinarily resident here for 3 years prior to the project start-date, apart from occasional or temporary absences. Additional details of these criteria are available on the EPSRC website.

To apply

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Key Information:

Funding Source: EPSRC iCase

Stipend: £18,609 for 4 years

Supporting company: Tata Steel Europe

Supervisor: Dr Tara Schiller

Available to UK nationals

Start date: Oct 2021