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Smart Membranes for Protection of Sustainable and Natural Materials in the Built Environment

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Wednesday, January 08, 2020
  • Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding
    Awaiting Funding Decision/Possible External Funding

Project Description

Applications are invited from UK/EU candidates only.

For further information and informal enquiries, please contact Dr Juliana Holley,

The BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials (, in the Department of Architecture & Civil Engineering, is seeking eligible applicants for an PhD studentship. This project is one of a number that are in competition for funding.


This PhD will develop a new approach for the protection of natural materials such as stone and clay used in heritage buildings and new build. Natural materials can be particularly vulnerable to the effects of pollution and weathering. Many of the treatments currently available which offer a consolidation effect and water repellence also reduce surface porosity and permeability. This can detrimentally restrict the movement of moisture leading to further damage from processes such as freeze-thaw and salt crystallisation. This project proposes an exciting approach employing sol-gel technology to create breathable membranes with precisely controlled the nanostructures. Functionalisation of the structure with various organic and inorganic groups will allow (for example) physical (contact angle) and chemical (Photocatalytic/biocidal) properties to be engineered.


Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, an undergraduate Masters first class degree or MSc distinction (or non-UK equivalent). English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see


Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Architecture & Civil Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: TBC

Funding Notes

Applications are invited from UK/EU candidates only. The ‘Michael Dickson’ studentship, subject to confirmation of funding, is expected to be fully funded by the BRE Trust and will cover tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and maintenance in line with the UKRI Doctoral stipend rate (£15,009 per annum, 2019/20 rate) for up to 3.5 years full-time study. The studentship is also expected to include an allowance for travel and subsistence as well as some funds for project expenditure to acquire essential materials and minor equipment.

How good is research at University of Bath in Architecture, Built Environment and Planning?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 28.38

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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