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PhD Studentship opportunities in Steel research

PhD Studentship Green Hydrogen Based Steel Manufacturing

Project Overview

Steel is the most widely-used structural material in the world. If a product is not made of steel it is made using steel. Steel is at the heart of UK manufacturing sectors such as automotive, aerospace, construction, packaging and defence. It is an indispensable component of the UK’s future national infrastructure such as transport, communications and energy, and for high-tech 21st century industries, from energy-positive buildings to wind turbines and electric vehicles.

WMG are part of a large collaborative network project, SUSTAIN, which is working to transform the steel supply chain, making it cleaner, greener and smarter, and more responsive to the fast-changing needs of customers. Work within the project is concentrated on two broad areas:

  • Zero waste iron and steelmaking, with the aim of making the industry carbon-neutral by 2040: Steel is already the world’s most recycled material, but the network will investigate new ways of making the industry’s processes and products even greener, such as harvesting untapped energy sources, capturing carbon emissions and re-processing societal and industrial waste streams.


  • Smart steel processing: like any 21st century industry, steelmaking involves masses of data. SUSTAIN will develop new ways of acquiring and using these data to improve the steels produced as well as in new metallurgical processes, which can deliver bespoke high tech products.

Associated with this programme are PhD research opportunities and we are looking to recruit excellent candidates to join the team. This is an exciting opportunity to work as part of our Advanced Steel Research Centre (ASRC) at WMG, University of Warwick, an internationally leading centre for steel research. The ASRC is located in the new Advanced Manufacturing and Materials building and has benefited from a multi-million pound investment in new equipment. You will join a group of over 40 people (academic staff, research fellows and doctoral students) working on steel research and also have the opportunity to collaborate with researchers across the SUSTAIN network (core members of the Universities of Swansea and Sheffield and steel industry) and beyond.

The project area we are looking to recruit to are given below:

Green Hydrogen Based Steel Manufacturing Green hydrogen (i.e. hydrogen produced from renewable energy) as a clean fuel is being explored as a major means to decarbonise the steel industry for the net zero target. This PhD research will focus on some of the challenging and unsolved areas such as product quality of the hydrogen-based reduction process and hydrogen utilisation efficiency by a combined approach of experiment and theoretical analysis. The research will also investigate the behaviours of impurities in iron ores during hydrogen reduction and the impact of the impurities to the steelmaking process. The research will advance fundamental understanding in the use of hydrogen in steel manufacturing and help convert the steel industry to fossil-free industry.

Desired Student Background

Prospective candidates are expected to have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc, MSci) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) with 65% or above in a relevant science or engineering subject, such as materials, physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry, chemical engineering, or maths.

Funding and Eligibility

The award will cover full tuition fees and carries a stipend of £15,560 + £3k per annum for 3.5 years*
* please note that the offer of a place on the project following selection will be subject to confirmation of funding.
The PhD is available to UK nationals only.

To apply

Dr Zushu Li ( on Green Hydrogen Based Steel Manufacturing.

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:

Stipend: The award will cover full tuition fees and carries a stipend of £15,560 + £3k per annum for 3.5 years.

Supervisors: Prof Claire Davis and Dr Zushu Li

Applicants must be UK residents

Start date: Projects to start from October 2021