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Analysing radioactive laser cutting emissions

Project Description

Application details

Reference number: LJ2019#2
Start Date: 01 October 2020
Closing date of advert: 2 December 2019

Primary supervisor: Dr Lewis Jones
Secondary supervisor: Dr Ed Long, Professor John Tyrer


This PhD programme offers the candidate the opportunity to take part in critical research related to the safe and effective use of lasers in Nuclear Decommissioning. The work will utilise world-leading laser and optical diagnostic testing equipment at Loughborough University and will work in partnership with National Nuclear Laboratory to access testing facilities on non-active materials, and for the first-time novel processing of radioactive materials. The project will also provide opportunities to attend academic conferences, industrial visits and other training courses to develop a wide variety of technical and transferrable skills throughout the project.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Full Project Detail

There is a considerable challenge in the development of new technologies for the safe decommissioning of contaminated radioactive infrastructure. Laser cutting has been selected as one of the suitable methods due to the fine detail of cutting and process control that can be achieved with remotely controllable process. However, these processes generate large amounts of highly energised nano-particulate and unknown potentially radioactive hazards.

The aim of this PhD research project is to characterise, analyse and experimentally validate the fluid and particulate emissions generated during laser cutting for the purpose of understanding the hazard potential during radioactive facility decommissioning. It is expected that work will involve significant experimental studies to combine laser processing equipment with the state-of-the-art optical diagnostic labs at Loughborough University to generate models of the process and conduct analysis on the chemo-toxic impact potential. This work is critical to the safety of nuclear decommissioning and will have significant national and international impact to all laser processing industries.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Laser processing, optical diagnostics, nuclear engineering. In your application please provide a personal statement of how your skills are suited to this project. Applications for this position will be processed as soon as they are received.

Contact details

Name: Dr Lewis Jones
Email address:
Telephone number: +44 (0)1509 227594

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’.

Please quote reference: LJ2019#2

Funding Notes

Funded in partnership by the Wolfson School and Nuclear Decommission Authority this UK/EU studentship provides a 3-year tax-free stipend of £18,009 per annum plus UK/EU tuition fees. This is 1 of 2 fully funded studentships in collaboration with National Nuclear Laboratory for which applicants will be considered. While we welcome applications from non-EU nationals, please be advised that it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the International rate and no stipend will be available.

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