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  Deep learning assisted imaging analysis and upscaling (Digital Rock Manchester)

   Department of Chemical Engineering

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  Dr L Ma  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Multi-scale and dynamic imaging techniques have been demonstrated to be one of the powerful tools in materials characterisation. However, the images cannot always satisfy the scientific of industrial requirement. Large datasets of scientific measurements (e.g. 3D/4D imaging, physical and chemical) on varied rocks have been collected to help us to understand how geothermal energy, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, and storage solutions for wind, solar and tidal energy can reduce our carbon emissions. This project aims to use machine learning based method to enhance the images resolution (super-resolution), predict the 3D microstructure of rocks, accelerate the image processing and build workflow to upscale chemical and physical properties from pore-scale to field-scale.

The student will be provided full training on the 3D/4D image acquisition and processing, and will have access to National X-ray Computed Tomography Facility (, National institute for Advanced materials research and innovation (, and Diamond light source (

More details can be found here ( and can be further discussed via email or video calls. Strong applicants will be recommended to university scholarship competition.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should have or expect to achieve at least a 2.1 honours degree (or equivalent) in earth sciences, environmental sciences, petroleum engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, materials or machine learning. Research experience in machine learning is desirable.

Successful candidates will join the ‘Digital Rock Manchester’ group and will be enrolled in the 3.5-year Ph.D. program of the School of Chemical Engineering at University of Manchester.


At Manchester we offer a range of scholarships, studentships and awards at university, faculty and department level, to support both UK and overseas postgraduate researchers. 

For more information, visit our funding page or search our funding database for specific scholarships, studentships and awards you may be eligible for. 

Before you apply 

You MUST contact the lead supervisor for this project - Dr Ma - [Email Address Removed] - before you apply. 

How to apply 

To be considered for this project you’ll need to complete a formal application through our online application portal

When applying, you’ll need to specify the full name of this project, the name of your supervisor, how you’re planning on funding your research, details of your previous study, and names and contact details of two referees

Your application will not be processed without all of the required documents submitted at the time of application, and we cannot accept responsibility for late or missed deadlines. Incomplete applications will not be considered.  

If you have any questions about making an application, please contact our admissions team by emailing [Email Address Removed]

Equality, diversity and inclusion 

Equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to the success of The University of Manchester and is at the heart of all of our activities. We know that diversity strengthens our research community, leading to enhanced research creativity, productivity and quality, and societal and economic impact.

We actively encourage applicants from diverse career paths and backgrounds and from all sections of the community, regardless of age, disability, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation and transgender status. 

We also support applications from those returning from a career break or other roles. We consider offering flexible study arrangements (including part-time: 50%, 60% or 80%, depending on the project/funder).


Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Geology (18)

Funding Notes

This is a 3.5 years PhD in Chemical Engineering with potential scholarship with competition.
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