The focus of this studentship is the energy sector, and in particular CO2 sequestration in geological repositories and/or the extraction of hydrocarbons from unconventional reservoirs. Potentially, the results of the research could identify conditions at which CO2 sequestration could be attained alongside enhanced oil recovery. While the scope of the studentship is practical and will lead to solving a societal challenge (producing affordable energy while reducing the environmental footprint), the research is exquisitely fundamental. The basic fundamental question to be addressed concerns how fluid properties change in confinement under various experimentally-relevant conditions. The project will start by a quantification of water contact angle on various mineral substrates in the presence of high levels of salinity, high CO2 concentrations, and traces of hydrocarbons. The successful candidate will be trained to conduct computational research, specifically using atomistic molecular dynamics simulations, and to interpret experimental results. The techniques are transferable to other technological problems among various sectors, including the cosmetics and food industries. The post holder will have the opportunity to interact with several industrial collaborators among different sectors and in different countries. This studentship is an international collaboration, fully funded for 3.5 years. The post holder will present the research results at international conferences and in peer-reviewed journal articles.
The successful candidate will have completed a first-class degree at the MEng or MSc level in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials Sciences, Physics or related disciplines. The successful candidate is a dedicated student, preferably with advanced understanding of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, and research methods. Willingness to perform independently, yet within a collaborative environment, within a world-class competitive and highly demanding environment are a must. Demonstrable prior knowledge of research methods and molecular simulations approaches are desirable, but not necessary requirements.
Funds are only available to cover EU/UK fees. Overseas students will be considered but are only eligible for stipend.