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Cleaner Futures: Electron microscopy of catalysts for renewable transformations

   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof M J Rosseinsky, Prof N Browning  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

This PhD studentship: is an exciting opportunity to join a large project involving academic and industrial partners to study new catalysts for sustainable transformation using cutting edge electron microscopy techniques. Imaging, compositional analysis and electron diffraction will be used to investigate the structure and morphology of supported catalysts that will be developed by project team members. In situ microscopy experiments will be performed to study the formation and the stability of the catalytically active phases. The project will require strong collaboration with the team members that will perform catalysts synthesis, advanced characterisation and catalysis testing. The successful candidate will also develop skills in teamwork and scientific communication as part of a team of researchers that work closely together.

This is a multi-disciplinary PhD that sits at the interface between Chemistry, Materials Science and Manufacturing. The student will be based in the state-of-the-art laboratories of the Materials Innovation Factory ( and have access to the new EPSRC funded FIB and 300kV aberration corrected STEM in the Albert Crewe Centre for Electron Microscopy ( at the University of Liverpool, as part of a larger project involving teams at University of Oxford and in industry. The MIF is not only home to outstanding University research facilities but is also the permanent base for many industrial scientists.           

Wider context: This PhD studentship is part of a large project that aims to provide the scientific foundation that will allow the UK consumer chemical sector to become sustainable and carbon neutral. The consumer chemical industry makes products that go into cosmetics, vitamins and health supplements, soaps, detergents, household chemicals, perfumes and foods. While some steps have already been taken to make this sector more sustainable, the use of virgin petrochemicals and other non-sustainable and/or polluting feedstocks remains prevalent. The project will develop routes to synthesise (and recycle) feedstock chemicals that do not depend on virgin petrochemicals. These new materials will not only need to be sustainable and carbon neutral, they also need to offer high performance, be cost effective to produce in bulk quantities and must not have long-term persistence in the environment after use. This will require new catalysts and catalytic processes.

For informal enquiries regarding this studentship please e-mail Dr Alexandros Katsoulidis [Email Address Removed]  

To apply for this opportunity, please visit: and click on the 'Ready to apply? Apply online' button. Please ensure you quote the following reference on your application: Reference CCPR042 - Electron microscopy of catalysts for renewable transformations.

Funding Notes

The award will pay full tuition fees and a maintenance grant for 3.5 years. The maintenance grant is £15,609 pa for 2021/22, with the possibility of an increase for 2022/23. The Studentship is funded by the EPSRC as part of a business-led research collaboration between leading UK businesses and their long-term strategic University partners. The eligibility details of both are below.
EPSRC eligibility
Applications from candidates meeting the eligibility requirements of the EPSRC are welcome – please refer to the EPSRC website:
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