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One man’s waste is another man’s treasure; Scattering-contrast Computed Tomography of Fischer-Tropsch Catalysts


Department of Chemistry

Applications accepted all year round Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

This project is 1 of 3

Interested in the topic of chemical imaging of functional inorganic materials? But what is it you ask? Well chemical imaging makes use of bright light sources (X-rays & laser beams – all very Sci-Fi!) and we use it to study catalysts as they perform their function leading to unprecedented insight into why catalytic materials work or fail. As proof of just how exciting & relevant the topic is, a leading catalyst company in collaboration with EPSRC have teamed up with UCL to use techniques such as X-ray diffraction and pair distribution function computed tomography we will be providing underpinning characterisation information to the exciting BP Fulcrum venture, turning domestic waste into liquid fuels. A chance to influence a future green technology!

Key challenges in the PhD include establishing setups and protocols for studying the catalysts under reaction conditions and data processing. The successful student should possess a background/interest in physical sciences or engineering. Research experience in the area of catalysis, imaging, spectroscopy or scattering methods, using X-rays or optical techniques would be an advantage. But a willingness to learn is more important.

The projects will all be hosted by UCL Chemistry at the Catalysis Hub based in the Research Complex @ Harwell (see http://www.rc-harwell.ac.uk/home.html for location). Being based at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories, you will have unique access to the UK’s synchrotron, Diamond Light Source, the UK’s neutron facility, ISIS, as well as on site supercomputing and visualisation suites. In addition, project activities will be more widely supported by collaborations at the various light sources, international research centres and universities and our start-up company Finden Ltd.

Interested? Please email Prof. Andrew M. Beale () Beale ideally with a copy of an up-to-date CV. Applicants require a good Masters/Bachelors degree in physical sciences or engineering.

Funding Notes

The successful candidate will receive a stipend (including London allowance) of at least ~ £17009 per annuum, in addition to covering tuition fees. Due to restrictions on funding, this studentship is only open to UK and EU candidates who meet 3 year residency criteria.

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