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Catalytic processes and catalysis engineering

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  • Full or part time
    Dr C Hammond
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for this PhD studentship in the Hammond group at the Cardiff Catalysis Institute (School of Chemistry) at Cardiff University. The Hammond Catalysis Engineering (HCE) research group specialises in several aspects of catalysis, including (1) catalysis with inorganic materials, (2) selective oxidation and hydrocarbon functionalization processes, (3) acid catalysis, (4) advanced mechanistic studies of catalytic systems through in situ spectroscopic study and micro-kinetic analysis, and (5) the application of nanoparticulate materials in catalysis and biomedicine.

For further information about our research, our facilities, our recent publications and our team:

The PhD candidate will be expected to work in the area of ‘catalysis engineering’, and will principally focus upon the design, optimisation and study of various catalysts and catalytic systems with kinetic (batch, continuous flow) and spectroscopic (Raman, UV, DRIFT, XAS) techniques.

Research environment:

The CCI is a University Research Institute of the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University. The CCI is one of the premier catalysis research institutes, and is amongst the most productive, well-funded and well-equipped catalysis departments in Europe. Catalysis facilities available within our group and the department include XPS/UPS, ISS, LEED, XRD, AFM, STM, SEM-EDX, BET, TPDRO, chemisorption, TGA, Raman, FT-IR, UV-Vis, EPR, ENDOR, 2-600 MHz (MAS)NMR, analytical services (ICP-OES, HPLC-MS, GC-MS) and high pressure reaction facilities. A number of in situ cells and apparatus are available, such as DRUV-Vis, ATR-IR, DRIFTS, Raman and in situ XRD. Dedicated catalyst synthesis laboratories, and numerous catalyst testing reactors (batch, continuous flow, gas/liquid phase) are readily available. The HCE group also has access to the Diamond Synchrotron and ISIS neutron source.
Extensive opportunities to gain experience abroad in the laboratories of our collaborators also exist, as we work closely with various international research groups both in Europe and farther afield. In addition, opportunities to work with industrial partners are also available.

Person specification/qualifications:

We are seeking an exceptionally talented and motivated student to join our young, ambitious research team. Students should hold – or should soon expect to obtain – a master’s degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, chemical engineering, material science or a related subject. Successful candidates should possess excellent background knowledge in catalysis, inorganic chemistry, physical chemistry and/or chemical engineering. The HCE group at Cardiff is a multidisciplinary team focusing on several aspects of catalysis and materials chemistry (further details on our website). Accordingly, candidates with backgrounds in chemistry and/or chemical engineering are encouraged to apply. Candidates with prior knowledge of (1) chemical engineering/reactor engineering, (2) (in situ) spectroscopy, (3) computational methodologies and (4) inorganic synthesis, are particularly desired at this stage, to complement our existing team’s capabilities.

During PhD studies, the candidate will be trained to an exceptionally high level and will subsequently be expected to (1) prepare a broad range of catalysts (homogeneous and heterogeneous), (2) perform relevant catalytic experiments in both liquid and gas phase apparatus (batch and continuous flow), and (3) characterise catalysts by a variety of spectroscopic methodologies. Opportunities to collaborate with our international partners are also available.

Funding Notes

A fully funded studentship is available to UK/EU citizens for 3 years. The studentship consists of full UK/EU tuition fees, as well as a doctoral Stipend at the RCUK level (£13,726 p.a for 2014/2015 – updated annually)

Starting date: Four starts per year available 1st October, 1st January, 1st April and 1st July.

Applications will be evaluated on an on-going basis, but the studentship must begin by 1st October 2017 at the latest.


For further details and informal enquiries please contact Dr Ceri Hammond at [email protected]

Further details of the HCE team can be found at

Applicants should include a full CV with details of all University course grades to date, contact details of at least two academic referees, and a short statement/cover letter outlining (1) their suitability for a PhD position and (2) their research interests (if applicable). Specific project details will be discussed during the application/interview stage.

Cardiff University reserves the right to close applications early should sufficient applications be received.

How good is research at Cardiff University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.00

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

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