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Self-Assembly of Colloidal Structures in Living Liquid Crystals

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  • Full or part time
    Dr T Shendruk
    Prof A Archer
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: TS/MA/2020
Start date of studentship: 1st January 2020
Closing date of advert: 14th November 2019

Primary supervisor: Tyler Shendruk

A studentship in Self-Assembly of Colloidal Structures in Living Liquid Crystals is available in the Intradisciplinary Centre for Mathematical Modelling at Loughborough University. Biological matter is wonderfully complex — it can often flow like a liquid, orient like a liquid crystal, spontaneously move, and produce dynamic structures on multiple scales. These are exciting properties that passive and man-made materials typically do not possess.

This research project will develop and use novel numerical algorithms to study biomimetic fluids composed of passive elements suspended in a spontaneously flowing liquid crystal. Familiarity or expressed excitement for soft condensed materials, such as colloidal suspensions or nematic liquid crystals, will be considered an asset.

Applicants should have experience with or show enthusiasm to learn numerical modelling.

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). In choosing Loughborough for your research, 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:

An ERC-funded 3-year PhD studentship in Self-Assembly of Colloidal Structures in Living Liquid Crystals is available in the Intradisciplinary Centre for Mathematical Modelling at Loughborough University with Dr Tyler Shendruk. We are seeking applied mathematics and biophysics students, who are interested in simulating intrinsically-out-of-equilibrium materials. This project will investigate the dynamics of colloids embedded in active fluids, fluids that spontaneously flow due to internal energy.

The interdisciplinary foundation of this research leverages recent discoveries in the fields of active matter and colloidal liquid crystals to realize otherwise impossible pathways to dynamics self-assembly of mesoscale structures. This work will consolidate these three exciting avenues of research. The PhD researcher will be working in a lively, collaborative and intradisciplinary environment, and will become familiar with cutting-edge numerical modelling techniques.

Their role will be to develop mathematical models and numerical simulations to understand the self-assembly in active matter. We are particularly eager to see diverse applicants who demonstrate creativity and possess or express enthusiasm to learn numerical skills for efficiently simulating flowing bio-materials.

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Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Physics, Applied Mathematics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Biophysics, statistical physics, classical field theory, hydrodynamics, soft condensed matter physics and non-equilibrium dynamics. Experience with numerical simulations and programming are assets.

Contact details

Name: Tyler Shendruk
Email address: [Email Address Removed]
Telephone number: +44 1509 22 319

How to apply

All applications should be made online at Under programme name ‘Mathematical Sciences’.

Please quote reference number: TS/MA/2020.

Funding Notes

The ERC-funded 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £15,009 per annum (in line with the standard research council rates) for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees.

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