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  PhD Scholarship in Materials Chemistry/Geochemistry focused on the feasibility of underground hydrogen storage in New Zealand Aotearoa


   School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

  Assoc Prof Vladimir Golovko  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

PhD scholarship in Materials Chemistry/Geochemistry focused on the feasibility of underground hydrogen storage in New Zealand Aotearoa.

NZ Government funded a 5-year 11+M $NZ Research programme “Pūhiko Nukutū: a green hydrogen geostorage battery in Taranaki” in 2022.

Canterbury researchers funded $17m to solve global problems | University of Canterbury

As part of this programme, we have an opening for a motivated student to undertake a PhD study as part of a larger team aimed at assessing the feasibility of underground hydrogen storage (UHS) in New Zealand Aotearoa. The broader project is transdisciplinary and includes geology, chemistry, microbiology, reservoir modelling, cultural and economic aspects of UHS.

The advertised here PhD project will consider how hydrogen interacts with the mineralogy of volcaniclastic sedimentary rocks typical of the Taranaki basin, New Zealand. The advertised PhD will focus on characterising experimental reactions of hydrogen at various pressures and temperatures in a range of sedimentary lithologies. Experiments will also assess the impact of microbes on gas-mineral reactions under reservoir conditions or could be more geochemistry-focused (water-rock reactions etc.) depending on the strengths of the applicant.

The Candidate

Good educational background and prior experience in materials chemistry and experimental geochemistry (water-rock reactions) with strong emphasis on materials chemistry and characterisation is preferred. Understanding and expertise in materials characterisation analytical techniques (e.g. electron microscopy, XRD, XRF, Raman, XPS) and capability for numerical modelling of the findings is a bonus. Desire to learn advanced synchrotron-based characterisation techniques will be welcomed. High GPA is highly desirable!

Excellent team-working skills are required - successful candidates are expected to be comfortable working both independently and in a collaborative environment with other project PhD students.

Good time management and communication (both written reports and verbal) skills are also required.

Why University of Canterbury?

The University of Canterbury is celebrating 150 years of accessible education in 2023.

Discover our world class university in the heart of Christchurch, a unique and vibrant city on the rise!

This scholarship is aligned to efforts by University of Canterbury to make a difference with respect to sustainability, which were recently recognised by the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings for 2023, where the University of Canterbury has ranked among the top 80 universities worldwide for Global Sustainability Impact.

Funding Notes 

The position at UC includes a PhD stipend of NZ$32,000 per annum, economy airfare to NZ, full cover of tuition fees and health insurance.

A suitable candidate will be able to apply for an additional Australian$8,250 per annum via AINSE Postgraduate Research Award.

How to apply

Prospective student must meet PhD enrolment requirements by the University of Canterbury.

A curriculum vitae, cover letter, details of your English proficiency test (if you are not a native English speaker) and contact details of at least two referees should be emailed to Associate Professor Vladimir Golovko (). Please, mention in your cover letter where you have spotted advertisement for this PhD position.

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Geology (18) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

Research Programme "Pūhiko Nukutū: a green hydrogen geostorage battery in Taranaki" has received $11.8million in the latest 2022 Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) Endeavour Funding round.