FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes
FindA University Ltd Featured PhD Programmes

Soft actuators and energy-responsive systems based on 2D materials

School of Engineering and Materials Science

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Dr D Papageorgiou No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Queen Mary University of London is launching a miniCDT in graphene materials with significant co-funding from the EU Graphene Core 3 Flagship programme. QMUL will establish this new activity with a cohort of five fully funded PhD studentships in the School of Engineering and Materials from September 2020.

Polymer composites are widely used for the manufacture of macroscale components with enhanced properties. For example, the combination of carbon fillers or nanofibers with polymeric materials is used extensively to create versatile, light-weight and high-strength materials, for applications in aerospace, automotive, renewable energy and sports equipment sectors. Two-dimensional nanomaterials such as graphene offer significant potential when incorporated into novel polymer nanocomposites due to their exceptional intrinsic mechanical, thermal, electrical and barrier properties.

The range of projects will suit graduates from a wide range of chemistry, physics, chemical engineering, engineering or materials science backgrounds. In particular applicants with an interest in nanocomposites, graphene materials, polymers and materials engineering are encouraged to apply. The projects will be based at the London campus of QMUL. A supervisory group of 9 academics has been established under the leadership of Prof James Busfield and Prof Nicola Pugno.

Project 1 Details: Soft actuators and energy-responsive systems based on 2D materials (Dr Dimitrios Papageorgiou, Dr Emiliano Bilotti & Prof Nicola Pugno)

Soft materials that respond to external stimuli such as electric current or pressure and then deform are of significant interest in the fields of smart systems and devices. These systems can adjust to changing environments, are tough and compliant and suitable for mass production. As a result, these materials are excellent candidates for wearable devices, energy harvesting, smart manufacturing and products such as artificial muscles and minimally invasive surgical robots. QMUL research will explore the production and use of novel nanocomposite materials utilising multifunctional reinforcements. The use of two-dimensional (2D) materials will efficiently couple stimuli to soft, responsive polymeric matrices to realise soft actuators that respond to electricity, heat, light or other forms of energy. New processing techniques will be developed to gain precision, control and material design over the actuation performance.

QMUL Research Studentship Details
Available to Home/EU Applicants only.
Full Time programme only
Applicant required to start in September 2020
The studentship arrangement will cover tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set as £17,285 in 2020/21).

The minimum requirement for these studentship opportunities is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.

If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
Please note that this studentship is only available to Home/EU Applicants. (See: for details)

Supervisor Contact Details:
For informal enquiries about these positions, please contact Dr Dimitrios Papageorgiou via E-mail: [Email Address Removed]

Application Method:
To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the Materials Science programme (Full Time) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Materials:

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2020 SEMS Graphene CDT 1’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.
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