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PhD in Chemistry - DIGINERT: Automated Controlled Atmosphere Chemistry for the Investigation of Nuclear Materials

   College of Science and Engineering

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  Dr Nicola Bell  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

Enthusiastic, self-motivated candidates are invited to apply for a 3.5 year PhD position in the School of Chemistry, available to commence from the 1st Oct 2023 in the newly formed Bell Group, as part of the Digital Chemistry Hub at the University of Glasgow.

Automation & robotics are revolutionising chemistry by increasing safety, throughput and reproducibility of a wide range of processes. However, automated chemistry under controlled gas environments (required for example when the substrate reacts with air) cannot yet be automated. This is a particular concern in the nuclear industry where remote handling and robotics could dramatically increase operator safety but where the materials in use require handling under inert gases.

This project is part of the EPSRC funded DIGINERT Fellowship which will focus on the development of a system for automating inert atmosphere synthesis and analysis for safe handling of highly reactive materials and will involve collaboration with Sellafield Ltd. The PhD student will develop systems specifically to allow closed loop off-gas analysis from reactions using our recently developed automated gas and liquid handling system (AUTOSCHLENK) which we have shown can handle the most air sensitive chemistries.

The ideal candidate will hold (or expect to hold) a 1st or upper 2nd class MSc/MChem/BSc or equivalent and have experience of chemical synthesis along with either Schlenk & glovebox technique or coding using Python. The student can expect to become an expert in the automation of chemistry and handling highly reactive species. Through the projects collaboration with Sellafield Ltd the student can expect to engage with the Nuclear industry at large and therefore should be capable of engaging with a broad audience.

Prospective candidates should contact Dr Bell directly by email – [Email Address Removed] - as soon as possible and supply a CV and covering letter. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until 17th February 2023. 

It is the University of Glasgow’s mission to foster an inclusive climate, which ensures equality in our working, learning, research and teaching environment.

We strongly endorse the principles of Athena SWAN, including a supportive and flexible working environment, with commitment from all levels of the organisation in promoting gender equality.

As an Athena SWAN Bronze Award holder, the School of Chemistry has equality, diversity and inclusion at its heart, and actively supports applications from all sections of society.

More details of the School’s Athena SWAN activities can be found here:

Please refer to the following website for details on how to apply:

Funding Notes

Funding is available to cover tuition fees for UK applicants for 3.5 years, as well as paying a stipend at the Research Council rate (£18,022 for Session 2023-24).
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