GMR based detection of fouling and effective cleaning in manufacturing processes

   School of Physics, Engineering and Technology

   Thursday, February 29, 2024  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The build-up of materials on the surfaces of pipe work and process equipment can have an impact, not only the operational effectiveness (fouling of pipe work, increased energy consumption & cost), but also in the cleaning, sanitisation and repurposing of the equipment when changing between materials (transition time).

There are currently no in line measures which either indicate the build-up of fouling layers, or their effective removal on cleaning. The development and validation of such a sensor would not only negate the currently intrusive validation approaches used today, but it would also benefit the manufacturing on going by determining the need for, and effectiveness of, any applied cleaning protocols and improve the efficiency of sanitisation.

This project would look to establish a GMR based sensor capable of detecting the formation of a foulant layer and its removal- using a range of chemistries known to be either easy or difficult to clean. Determine the sensitivity, stability, and applicability of these sensors across this range of chemistries, developing a relationship between changes in refractive index (RI) over time, response changes relative to bulk chemistry RI and regimes for cleaning verification using a sensor-based approach.    

Academic entry requirements: at least a class 2:1 MSc or MPhys degree in Physics.

How to apply:

Applicants must apply via the University’s online application system at Please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process. To apply, please select the PhD in Physics for September 2024 entry. Please specify in your PhD application that you would like to be considered for this studentship.

Privacy notice:

In addition to the data sharing outlined in the University’s Privacy Notice - student applicants, applications will be shared with the industrial partner for the shortlisting process and interview panels. The industrial partner will delete details of unsuccessful applications once the selection process is complete

Engineering (12) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This PhD studentship will cover the tuition fee at the home rate (£4,712 in 2023/24), an annual stipend at the standard research council rate for a period of up to 4 years (£18,622 in 2023/24) and a research training and support grant (RTSG). A limited number of full studentships are available for exceptional candidates of any nationality; International applicants are therefore also welcome to apply. Please refer to UKRI website (View Website) for full eligibility criteria.

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