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KESS 2 East Research Masters Scholarship: Characterisation of Wool as a high-performance fibre for novel technologies

   The BioComposites Centre

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  Dr G Ormondroyd, Dr S Curling  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Project ID: BUK2E084

Annual Stipend: £11,937 p.a.

Application Deadline: 1st August 2022

This project is part of a larger project with British Wool that addresses current barriers to the use of natural sheeps wool as a reinforcement fibre in the production of structural composites. One of the current barriers is a lack of technical material data for wool which is directly comparable to synthetic and cellulosic based fibres for Welsh and UK wool species that have been processed for these new and novel applications. The over-arching objective of the research project is to address the lack of data in this area. In turn this project will be a corner stone of a larger programme of collaborative work between Bangor University andto introduce wool fibre into the composites sector.

You will address this lack of data by categorising a range of wools from different breeds for mechanical properties using BC’s universal testing machines. Further research will be undertaken using visual techniques such as light and scanning electron microscopy to assess degree and type of medullation of the fibre. Once the differing wools have been categorised a selection exercise will be performed to select a smaller number of wool types covering the range of properties to use in manufacturing composites. You will manufacture lab scale composites using both vacuum infusion and compression moulding. Finally, you will test the composite materials for mechanical and physical properties and the relevant thermal insulation or electrical conductance properties

Seeking applicants with a science or technology degree in a suitable field (Materials science, Biological Science, Chemistry, physics or similar) and an interest in applying science and technology principles to this challenging research field. Relevant skills include a scientific approach to work, problem solving, familiarity with an analytical, engineering or design environment, laboratory or workshop practical experiments, experimental design, communication and reporting experiments.

The expected start date for this work is no later than October 2022.

The project is supported by British Wool, from the Newtown depot, and the company supervisor will be Mrs Haldi Kranisch-Wood, who has worked for British Wool for 6 years, and has built up a knowledge of British wool fibre and the industry which is unique in the company.

Both academic supervisors for this project are experienced researchers, working with wool and other bio-based materials, often in industrial contexts. Dr Simon Curling works with renewable materials, analysis and testing of materials and microscopic imaging. Dr Graham Ormondroyd is head of Materials Research at the BioComposites Centre, and manages a large portfolio of research work, including, renewable materials such as wool and wood, energy efficient structures and decarbonisation of industrial processes.

For informal enquiries please contact : Simon Curling : [Email Address Removed] or Graham Ormondroyd : [Email Address Removed].

To apply, send a CV and covering letter to Simon Curling : [Email Address Removed] or Graham Ormondroyd : [Email Address Removed]. and cc Penny Dowdney ([Email Address Removed]) by August 1st. 2022.

KESS 2 East is a pan-Wales higher level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the HE sector in Wales. It is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for East Wales.

Due to ESF funding, eligibility restrictions apply to this scholarship. To be eligible, the successful candidate will need to be resident in the East Wales on University registration, and must have the right to work in the region on qualification.


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