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Development and optimisation of human skin mimicking tribological probes: Sustainable materials for use in hair care


   Department of Chemistry

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  Prof D Haddleton  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

A PhD studentship is available to start in October 2022 start as a Warwick industrial Fellowship in partnership with Unilever, Port Sunlight funded jointly by the University of Warwick and Unilever.

The successful applicant will be registered to study for a PhD at Warwick University under the supervision of Professor David Haddleton and Dr Rachel Hand at Warwick with industrial co supervision from Unilever. The student will be working alongside research fellows and students working in associated projects as part of our collaborative work with Unilever designed to increase the use of sustainable materials in hair and personal care. It is also expected that the student will contribute to outreach activities encouraging diversity in chemistry.

The studentship will be available from October 1st 2022 as 3.5 year PhD place with stipend at EPSRC standard rates which are currently £16,062 per year with awards increasing each year in line with EPSRC recommended levels. The student will work developing biotribology as a new technique for materials evaluation delivering information to improve on product properties. This use in characterising beauty and personal care (BPC) products prior to marketing will allow predictions to be made regarding tactile sensations contributing towards product preference. Tribological probes have historically been made from stiff, smooth materials, while tactile assessments of BPC products and surfaces (e.g. hair and skin) are predominantly made with human fingers, reducing correlation between quantitative and qualitative tribological studies. Hence, there is a need for a material which can bridge the gap between probe and real finger to enable robust, yet consumer relevant tribological measurements in a robust, meaningful with academic rigour. Initial work will focus on hydrogels which have been used to synthesise epidermal skin equivalent (ESE). This project will build on this research, as well as partnering with Unilever’s own R&D programme, to develop a next generation tribology probe for BPC applications giving academic rigour and establishing an acceptable reproducible and reliable measure of these important materials.

Please contact Professor David Haddleton ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Rachel Hand ([Email Address Removed]) for further details prior to application at the University application pages Submit your Application (warwick.ac.uk). We value diversity and are committed to equality of opportunity and flexible working patterns. Applications are welcome from candidates who have non-traditional academic backgrounds.

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