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Sustainable Bio-Based Composite Materials


Project Description

The Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies (CSCT) http://www.csct.ac.uk/ at the University of Bath focuses on developing new molecules, materials, processes and systems from the lab right through to industrial application, with an emphasis on practical sustainability. We train scientists and engineers to work together with industry to meet the needs of current and future generations.

All PhD students in the Centre will have the opportunity to take part in an extensive training programme including public engagement, sustainable technology, design of experiments, patents and entrepreneurship training sessions. Students will also have the opportunity to take part in Student Symposia, the CSCT Summer Showcase and public engagement opportunities such as the popular Festival of Nature.

We are now accepting applications to work with our industrial partner, the National Composites Centre https://www.nccuk.com/, on this exciting PhD project.

Supervisory team:

Professor Matthew Davidson (lead supervisor, Department of Chemistry) https://researchportal.bath.ac.uk/en/persons/matthew-davidson
Professor Marcelle McManus (co-supervisor, Department of Mechanical Engineering)
Dr Sophie Parsons (co-supervisor, Department of Mechanical Engineering)
Dr Tim Young and Dr Ffion Martin (National Composites Centre)

Project summary:

Fibre-reinforced polymer composite materials are lightweight, strong and durable so have a wide range of applications including in transport, construction and renewable energy. While these materials often have strong sustainability credentials in use, their sustainability remains a challenge during manufacture and at end of life.

These composite materials use a fossil-derived polymer matrix. Alternatively, bio-based polymers offer a promising route towards a low-carbon economy and away from non-renewable materials use. This multidisciplinary project will address the sustainability of composite materials across their whole life cycle by developing new bio-based thermoplastic polyamides and polyester, investigating their potential use as composite materials and considering their end-of-life options, including chemical recycling. Given the importance in understanding system-wide impacts, throughout the project direction will be informed by life-cycle assessment to ensure that materials and processes are designed for sustainability.

The project will encompass aspects of: (i) polymer synthesis and characterisation; (ii) polymer and composite processing and testing; and (iii) sustainability and life-cycle assessment. The project will be based in the multidisciplinary Centre for Sustainable Chemical Technologies at Bath but close collaboration with the nearby National Composites Centre in Bristol will mean that significant periods will be spent using their state-of-the-art composite manufacturing facilities.

Applications & enquiries:

We invite applications from Science and Engineering graduates who have, or expect to obtain, a first or upper second class degree and have a strong interest in Sustainable Chemical Technologies.

Informal enquiries about the research project should be directed to Prof Matthew Davidson on .

Enquiries about the application process should be sent to .

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Chemistry: https://samis.bath.ac.uk/urd/sits.urd/run/siw_ipp_lgn.login?process=siw_ipp_app&code1=RDUCH-FP01&code2=0013

Please ensure that you quote CSCT in the Finance section and the supervisor’s name and project title in the ‘Your research interests’ section.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here: https://www.bath.ac.uk/guides/how-to-apply-for-doctoral-study/

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019 (or as soon as possible thereafter).

Funding Notes

UK and EU citizens applying for this project will be considered for a studentship covering UK/EU tuition fees and a stipend at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019/20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.

Candidates who are classed as Overseas for tuition fee purposes are unfortunately not eligible for funding.

How good is research at University of Bath in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 33.10

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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