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Advanced, Integrated Device Technology (AIDTech) for Rapid, Portable Detection of Foodborne Pathogens - from ‘Farm to Fork’

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, January 12, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

MIBTP doctoral training PhD studentship is available for a highly motivated, bright and enthusiastic candidate to conduct research leading to the award of a PhD degree in the field of Biochemical Engineering. The position offers an exciting opportunity to develop a novel, portable micro-engineered device technology, based on integrated surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) optofluidics, for low-cost, sensitive, rapid detection of food pathogens. Foodborne pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria pose a massive risk to human health; WHO estimates that 2.2 million deaths per annum are caused by foodborne and waterborne diarrhoeal diseases worldwide, and in the UK one million people are estimated to suffer from foodborne disease each year, costing the economy £2 billion per annum. Detection of pathogens in food is essential to ensure that the food we eat is safe. Detection methods must be: Rapid – so that food can be processed and shipped quickly; Cheap – to reduce overall food cost; Sensitive – to detect the small numbers of bacteria that could cause disease; High throughput – allowing testing of multiple food samples; and Simple – ideally requiring minimal human intervention. Lab-on-a-chip optofluidic SERS sensing platforms will be developed and validated for Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria detection at the point-of-interest.
The research is of an interdisciplinary nature and lies at the interface of biochemical engineering, bionanotechnology, molecular microbiology and physics. The project will focus on aspects of designing and engineering AIDTech for specific low-cost, sensitive and rapid detection through development of novel micro bionanoplatfroms. These aspects require a high level of literacy and numeracy, coupled with an ability to develop new techniques and use of unfamiliar equipment. These skills will make the graduate highly employable after the PhD.
Applications comprising a detailed CV, cover letter, the names and addresses of two referees (and any supporting transcripts, if available) should be sent by email to Dr P. G. Oppenheimer: who would also welcome informal enquiries. The successful applicant will be required subsequently to submit a standard application to the University.

Funding Notes

The candidate should be qualified to at least first degree level with an upper second or first class honours degree (high 2:1) in an appropriate branch of Engineering (e.g., Materials, Chemical, Biomedical), Exact Science (e.g., Bioscience, Physics, Chemistry) or related fields. MIBTP is a BBSRC funded Doctoral Training Partnership between the University of Warwick, the University of Birmingham, the University of Leicester, Aston University and Harper Adams University. More details are available at View Website .The studentship is funded, covering maintenance, College and University fees (UK/EU Only) and continuation of funding is subject to annual performance review.

How good is research at University of Birmingham in Aeronautical, Mechanical, Chemical and Manufacturing Engineering?
Chemical Engineering

FTE Category A staff submitted: 32.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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