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Optimisation and system design for bespoke dual function materials for direct air carbon capture and utilisation


   Department of Chemical and Process Engineering

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  Dr Michael Short, Dr M Duyar  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Direct Air Capture (DAC) is an exciting technology that will play a large part in the transition to net-zero by capturing carbon directly from the air for storage or utilisation. Currently DAC presents high costs due to the dilute CO2 concentration in air. New dual function materials (DFMs) are being developed at the University of Surrey that allow for carbon capture and catalytic conversion to higher-value chemicals in a single reactor. Applied to DAC, this approach can enable the production of carbon negative chemicals directly from the air, also providing a potential revenue stream to offset the costs of DAC. As part of an EPSRC Adventurous Energy project, this work will use deterministic optimisation techniques, surrogate modelling and process systems engineering to help assess, design, and guide future directions in DAC technologies using bespoke DFMs for high-value chemical synthesis.

We are seeking motivated applicants with interests in computational optimisation and process systems engineering. There will be opportunities to collaborate with world-class researchers at other leading academic institutions and industrial partners. A degree in Chemical Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics or other engineering/science disciplines, and some coding experience in a programming language (e.g., Python, GAMS, MATLAB, etc.) are essential. Experience in mathematical optimisation modelling, open-source software, and/or process simulation is desirable.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Michael Short and Dr Melis Duyar. The Department has a long history of excellence in computational and process systems research. We have a vibrant, interdisciplinary group of researchers working in a variety of areas to solve global. The Information and Process Systems Engineering Research Theme holds regular research seminars and social events to provide a supportive and friendly team atmosphere. You will receive comprehensive research training and opportunities to participate in conferences, workshops, and seminars to develop professional skills and research network.

This project is open to UK students starting in October 2022. Excellent international students are encouraged to apply, and full funding can be obtained depending on the quality of the application.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to hold a first or upper-second class degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent overseas qualification), or a lower second plus a good Masters degree (distinction normally required).

English language requirements: International applicants may also require an IELTS (English-language test) score of 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category. More about our English language requirements.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV and cover letter to Dr Michael Short ([Email Address Removed]). Please clearly state the studentship title and supervisor on your application.


Funding Notes

Full tuition fee waiver p.a. (UK and international students) and stipend at UKRI rates p.a. (currently at £15,609). Funded by the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering. Excellent international students are encouraged to apply, and full funding can be obtained depending on the quality of the application.
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