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Industrially Funded PhD Studentship in Sustainable Chemistry

School of Engineering & Physical Sciences

About the Project

A fully funded PhD studentship (42 months) is available starting 1st October 2021 in the group of Dr Stephen Mansell in the Institute of Chemical Sciences, Heriot-Watt University ( This PhD position is part of the EaSI-Cat doctoral training programme ( and is in collaboration with Lubrizol, who is committed to sustainability by helping the world to Move Cleaner, Create Smarter and Live Better.

Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers at Lubrizol, we will establish new catalytic processes for more sustainable synthesis of important molecules and materials starting from alcohols. The successful applicant will enrol on the EaSI-Cat programme, which includes additional skills training, an industry focussed project, and an industrial-placement component, helping you to build skills and a wider network that will be of immense value in your future career. You will investigate the use of homogeneous catalysts using organometallic compounds and compare these with heterogeneous catalysts. The reactions will be in batch and also, in collaboration with the group of Dr Vilela, in continuous flow using state-of-the-art equipment and in-line analysis. Your day-to-day work will involve synthesis and data interpretation in well-equipped research laboratories for homogeneous / organometallic chemistry and flow chemistry. As part of your PhD studies, you will write reports and engage in discussions with industry and participate in Lubrizol’s PhD student network. The successful candidate will be well grounded in concepts in catalysis and will be interested in applying these concepts to industrially relevant problems as well as being keen to solve problems as and when they appear. The ability to work in a team and meet deadlines is also crucial.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, a first-class or upper second-class honours MChem degree (or equivalent) in chemistry. Experience and interest in one or more of the following would be desirable: homogeneous catalysis, heterogeneous catalysis, organometallic chemistry, flow-chemistry, GC/HPLC.

Find out more:

For informal discussions, please contact Dr Stephen Mansell ().

Apply here:

Funding Notes

This fully funded project will run for 42 months and will attract a stipend of £15,000 per annum (with fees waived) and is available to UK applicants only.

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