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PhD studentship in Next Generation Gas Separation Membranes for a Low-Carbon Future

Project Description

Number of awards


Start date and duration

October 1 2020 for 3 years.


Separation processes use ~15% of the world’s energy consumption. To meet the demands of a low-carbon future, they must evolve to become more sustainable, economical and energy-efficient. In principle, membranes can achieve this if they are designed to offer high throughput and high selectivity with long operational lifetime.

Current work in our laboratory is related to supported molten-salt membranes https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlelanding/2019/ta/c9ta01979k#!divAbstract . Recently, we have developed: self-healing membranes; membranes that surpass the targets for economically-competitive carbon dioxide capture; and totally new routes to overcome traditional limitations of membranes (including “uphill” permeation - opening the door to exciting new opportunities in e.g. hydrogen production and direct air capture of carbon dioxide). By exploring the potential for membranes in technologies for a low-carbon future, the successful candidate will be positioned to become a future leader in industry or academia at the cutting-edge of separation science.

This project will involve the design and synthesis of new high-temperature ceramic membranes and permeation testing using our unparalleled gas separation laboratory. In our laboratory and through our extensive collaborative network, the candidate can access innovative characterisation and computational approaches to support their work, including e.g. X-ray computed tomography, density functional theory calculations and in-situ spectroscopic and diffraction methods.

Our research group is pioneering, well-funded and active in key UK research consortia (e,g, SynFabFun https://bit.ly/2O6vEMw, CAM-IES https://www.energy.cam.ac.uk/cam-ies, and H2FC SUPERGEN http://www.h2fcsupergen.com/). We regularly present at leading international conferences and publish in top journals. The successful candidate will be supervised by a Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT) Fellow (Dr Greg A. Mutch) and a Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Technologies (Professor Ian S Metcalfe).


Newcastle University Academic Track (NUAcT)

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Greg A Mutch https://bit.ly/2s15H8t
Professor Ian S Metcalfe https://bit.ly/33a3zbk

Eligibility Criteria

You should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or international equivalent, in Chemical Engineering or closely related discipline (e.g. Chemistry). You should be passionate about research and able to use your initiative to drive your own project and contribute to the goals of the group.

This award is available to UK/EU and international candidates. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

Newcastle is committed to promoting diversity, and we particularly encourage applications from under-represented groups. Part-time study option are available.

How to apply

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system https://bit.ly/348STuX.

You will need to:
•insert the programme code 8030F in the programme of study section
•select ‘PhD Chemical Engineering (full time) – Chemical Engineering’ as the programme of study
•insert the studentship code eng056 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code eng056 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project
•attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

You should also send your covering letter and CV to: .


Dr Greg A. Mutch

School of Engineering https://bit.ly/2O7bqlH

Funding Notes

100% of tuition fees and annual living allowance of £15,009

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