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Dust capturing: Design and implementation of Solid Nanoparticulate Materials for Air Filtration (Advert Reference: RDF18-R/MCE/ZABIEGAJ)

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  • Full or part time
    Dr D Zabiegaj
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Dust pose serious risks to human health and an increasing number of associations are now being reported between air particulates and a range of health problems and diseases. Inhalable particles can penetrate deep into the lung, where potentially harmful components (metals, organic substances, carbon, soot, microbes and other allergens) can readily migrate into the blood stream, causing adverse health effects such as increased incidences of strokes, Alzheimer’s, respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

This multidisciplinary project will focus on the interaction between lipids/lung surfactant and dust/waste particles/fibres, to better understand the behaviour and interfacial properties of monolayers composed of human alveolar fluids-dust particle mixtures. The research will deepen understanding of the behaviour and characteristics of air particles at the liquid-air interface, under static and dynamic conditions.

Outcomes of the project are applicable to dust dispersion research and are of relevance to improvement of design and fabrication of a smart hierarchical materials with unique adsorptive properties that are able to encapsulate dust particulates. It is expected that this material would then be incorporated into air particulate devices found mainly in the automotive, waste treatment, combustion or gas separation industries.

The successful candidate will be part of the multidisciplinary research group ‘Smart Materials and Surfaces’ with links across the Department of Mathematics, Physics & Electrical Engineering, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences.

Enquiries regarding this studentship should be made to:
Dr Dominika Zabiegaj
[Email Address Removed]
Tel: +44 (0)191 349 5076

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see:

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RDF18-R/MCE/ZABIEGAJ) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2019 or 1 June 2019

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This studentship includes a full stipend, paid for three years at RCUK rates (for 2018/9, this is £14,777 p.a.) and fees.


1. D. Zabiegaj, D. Giuranno, M. T. Buscaglia, L. Liggieri, F. Ravera, Activated carbon monoliths from particle stabilized foams, Microporous and Mesoporous Materials 239 (2017) 45-53
2. D. Zabiegaj, E. Santini, E. Guzman, M. Ferrari, L. Liggieri, F. Ravera,, Carbon Soot–Ionic Surfactant Mixed Layers at Water/Air Interfaces, American Scientific Publishers: Journal of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology 14 (2014) 1–8
3. E. Guzman, E. Santini, D. Zabiegaj, M. Ferrari, L. Liggieri, F. Ravera, Interaction of Carbon Black Particles and DPPC at the Air/Water Interface: Thermodynamics and Rheology, The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 119 [48] (2015) 26937–26947
4. Boisa, N., Elom, N., Dean, J., Deary, M.l, Bird, G. and Entwistle, J., Development and application of an inhalation bioaccessibility method (IBM) for lead in the PM10 size fraction of soil. Environment International, 70 (2014)132-142

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