The School of Chemistry at Cardiff University are delighted to offer this fully funded EPSRC studentship starting in October 2023.
Heterogeneous catalysis plays a hugely important role in the production of the world’s chemical building blocks and is becoming increasingly important in the conversion of pollutants and greenhouse gases. The aim of this studentship is to better understand the processes used to prepare highly important heterogeneous catalysts for reactions such as the conversion of carbon dioxide to methanol. The student will use atomic-resolution electron microscopy to observe the formation of nanoparticle catalysts in-situ during calcination and reduction processes (i.e. while heating under gaseous conditions). The project will provide important insight into how catalytic nanoparticles form and enable the design of improved catalysts for a wide range of chemical reactions.
The student will work within the internationally leading Cardiff Catalysis Institute, which has recently moved into a multimillion pound new building, the Translational Research Hub. The project will primarily use a new aberration-corrected Scanning Transmission Electron Microscope to image the structure of catalytic materials at atomic resolution (i.e. observing individual atoms). As part of the new microscope, we have holders that enable gaseous and liquid conditions within the microscope, enabling us to watch the formation of metal nanoparticles and how they change under reaction conditions.
The student will join a small team of dedicated electron microscopists, but will be supported by a large cohort of PhD students across the wider institute. They will be trained in synthetic and analytical techniques for heterogeneous catalysis, in addition to training that will enable them to be a primary user of the new atomic-resolution scanning transmission electron microscope and associated in-situ systems. The student will be given the opportunity to present at international conferences and will visit industrial and academic partners both nationally and internationally.
Supervisor - Dr Thomas Slater - People - Cardiff University
Start date - 1st October 2023
Candidates should hold or expect to gain a first class degree or a good 2.1 and/or an appropriate Master’s level qualification (or their equivalent).
Applications from students with a non-traditional background are welcomed.
English Language criteria
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent) English language requirements for postgraduate students - Study - Cardiff University
How to apply
Interested applicants should provide details of their qualifications, including a CV and a brief covering letter outlining their motivation and experience for the position. A formal application must also be submitted.
Applications should be received no later than 3rd February 2023. All applications should be submitted via the online application portal, stating your supervisor’s name(s), at https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/research/programmes/programme/chemistry
Interviews will be held via Zoom or Teams w/c 20th February 2023. During the interviews, applicants should give a short (5 minute) presentation on their experience and suitability and answer a series of panel questions.
We are aiming to undertake our first round of selection with anonymized applications, to ensure that selection cannot reflect typical biases in selection processes. For this reason, please provide documents in a manner that is easy to anonymize (i.e. names and gender are used only where necessary).
For any enquiries about the project and research, please contact Dr Thomas Slater ([Email Address Removed])
For further information about the application and interview process, including informal questions, please contact the Chemistry PGR office ([Email Address Removed])