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Computer simulations of surfactant self-assembly, adsorption, and friction in oil-based lubricants

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

Project Description

Academic Supervisor: Professor Philip J. Camp, School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh
Industrial Supervisor: Dr Beatrice N. Cattoz and Professor Peter J. Dowding, Infineum UK Ltd

A 42-month PhD studentship, funded by Infineum UK Ltd and EPSRC, is available in the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Professor Philip J. Camp, Dr Beatrice N. Cattoz, and Professor Peter J. Dowding. The project will involve atomistic molecular-dynamics simulations of surfactant-like molecules in the bulk-liquid phase and at liquid-solid interfaces under quiescent and shear conditions. The particular focus is the self-assembly, adsorption, rheology, and tribological properties of surfactant-like additives in oil-based lubricants. The simulations will be used to calculate structural and dynamical properties to complement tribological and neutron/X-ray scattering/reflectivity experiments coordinated by Infineum, and to feed in to the development of new molecules. The student will work within an Infineum network involving two other UK universities. The project will incorporate an induction and an internship at Infineum, and the opportunity for participation in experiments at central facilities.

A full description of the Edinburgh group’s activities and published work is given here:

The successful candidate will possess, or expect to obtain, a first or upper-second class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, physics, or chemical engineering. Essential qualities include strong numerical skills, a basic knowledge of statistical thermodynamics and the properties of matter, and familiarity with a programming language such as C/C++, Fortran, or Python. Some prior experience or exposure to molecular-simulation techniques and an interest in GPU computing are desirable. Other essential attributes are good presentation and communication skills (written and oral). In the first instance, informal enquiries (accompanied by a CV) should be directed to:

Professor Philip J. Camp
School of Chemistry, University of Edinburgh, David Brewster Road, Edinburgh EH9 3FJ, Scotland
Tel: +44 131 650 4763

Formal applications are made through the University’s EUCLID system, as outlined here:

The position will remain open until filled.

The School of Chemistry holds a Silver Athena SWAN award in recognition of our commitment to advance gender equality in higher education. The University is a member of the Race Equality Charter and is a Stonewall Scotland Diversity Champion, actively promoting LGBT equality. The University has a range of initiatives to support a family friendly working environment. See our University Initiatives website for further information:

Funding Notes

The studentship is fully funded for 42 months from September 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter, and covers tuition fees and an annual stipend (starting at £15,009) for a UK/EU candidate satisfying EPSRC’s eligibility criteria,
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How good is research at University of Edinburgh in Chemistry?
(joint submission with University of St Andrews)

FTE Category A staff submitted: 43.30

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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