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Can we create an optimal graphene membrane fuel cell?

Centre for Global Eco-Innovation

Dr R Dawson , Dr H Lin Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Get paid to do a PhD with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation ( at Lancaster University (

Funded PhD linked with Low Dee Membranes Ltd. Ref. No. LU-014
• Get paid £1,455 per month tax-free till June 2023.
• Your UK/EU tuition fees are paid (international candidates will need to pay remaining fees).
• Be part of the multi award winning Centre for Global Eco-Innovation ( within a cohort of talented graduates working on exciting business-led research. The Centre was declared “The outstanding knowledge exchange and commercialisation initiative in the UK”.
• This project is based at Lancaster University (, so you will gain your PhD from a Top Ten University, recognised as The Times and Sunday Times University of the Year 2018 and International University of the Year 2020. You will also work alongside colleagues at partner institutions across the North West.
• Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

Hydrogen is increasingly seen as an important energy vector in emerging clean energy systems heavily reliant on renewable energy, where it can be used as a form of stored energy to be reconverted back to electricity when needed. Key to completing this storage cycle are efficient hydrogen energy conversion devices such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. Although commercial products are available that use these devices, they are still relatively uncommon as technical and commercial challenges remain. This PhD will address limitations in the performance of the polymer membrane within the cell as these membranes are limited by conductivity and impermeability performance, as well as operational issues around water management.

This research at Lancaster University aims to understand how graphene membranes can be best incorporated into a fuel cell, the performance thereof and quality attributes leading to highest fuel cell operational performance.

The successful candidate will have a 2:1 or first degree in physical sciences/engineering, especially in Chemical or Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or Materials Science, with demonstrated interests in clean and sustainable energy or nanotechnologies.

This PhD will be supervised by two experienced academics from Lancaster Universitys Engineering Department, Richard Dawson and Hungyen Lin.

Low Dee Membranes Limited is commercialising new graphene technologies, developed under Nobel laureate Andre Geim, to improve proton exchange membranes for hydrogen fuel cells.

This project is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and is subject to funding confirmation.


Funding Notes

• Get paid £1,455 per month tax-free till June 2023.
• Your UK/EU tuition fees are paid (international candidates will need to pay remaining fees).
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