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PhD Studentship: Sustainable Production of Biodegradable Microcapsules

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, December 13, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: MD001
Start date of studentship: January 2020
Closing date of advert: 13/12/2019
Interview date: 17/12/2019

Primary supervisor: Dr Marijana Dragosavac

This 3.5-year studentship is a terrific opportunity to research bioinspired novel delivery vesicles for crop protection. This PhD will develop new generation of biodegradable particles that would allow the seed protection avoiding the use of conventional pesticides.

In conventional processing formulated particles are often in the millimetre size range. However, to improve the mass transfer characteristics and process efficiency, encapsulation within smaller droplets is needed in combination with a continuous solidification step. To fulfil this aim, a novel technique - membrane emulsification (unique technology patented by Loughborough Spin-Out company coupled with reaction to produce the drops containing both water and oil soluble encapsulants will be used in combination with an oscillating reactor for solidification step.

On successful completion of the PhD there are excellent career prospects.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research and Chemical Engineering Department (, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

Find out more:

Full Project Detail

The student will investigate the influence of the rheology of the various sustainable biopolymer/oil systems, encapsulants, concentrations, interfacial phenomena, membrane pore size, as well as operating conditions (dispersed phase flowrate and shear stress) on the droplet size forming on the stainless-steel membrane reactor. Stability of the shells to keep the encapsulants will be investigated in order to understand how to optimise the shelf life of the product. Understanding the effects on performance in a range of formulation applications will be examined with the intention to obtain a free-flowing powder. Controlled release / shelf life tests will be performed too.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, at least a 2:1 Honours or a relevant Master’s degree (or equivalent) in any of the following: chemical or food engineering, chemistry, or a relevant engineering subject. Previous experience in microencapsulation will be highly beneficial.

Contact details and how to apply

Interested candidates are welcome to contact Dr Dragosavac ( or phone 01509222501) to find out more. However, all applications should be made online at
Under programme name, select Chemical Engineering

Please quote reference number: MD0001

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3.5-years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15009 per annum plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. There is a generous annual allowance to cover attendance at international conferences and an industrial placement with CRODA (View Website).

In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement View Website

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