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Sustainable Materials for Green Hydrogen Generation and Storage


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  Prof D Fermin  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Programme coordinators: 

David J. Fermin, School of Chemistry, Faculty of Science

Jemma Rowlandson, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering


Faculty of Engineering: Alberto Gambaruto, Sebastien Rochat, Valeska Ting

Faculty of Science: Charl Faul, Paul May, Neil Fox, Tomas Martin


Motivation: Deployment and integration of green hydrogen (GH) to key sectors of the economy such as transport and sustainable manufacturing is one of the major challenges towards achieving net zero. These challenges require highly skilled scientists and entrepreneurs with an understanding of the fundamental steps ranging from GH production (water electrolysis) and storage to energy systems and life-cycle analysis. These two strategic PhD studentships funded by the University of Bristol will develop cross-disciplinary research focusing on sustainable materials, bringing together a community of established and early-career scientist across the faculties of Science and Engineering.

Programme: is strongly aligned with the UoB Research Strategy, which focuses on sustainability, climate change and building a fairer society through education, research, civic engagement, and advocacy. The PhD students will engage with industrial partners in the hydrogen sector (including Siemens, Airbus, Supercritical Solutions, Zero Aviation), with the aim of establishing an innovation ‘mini-hub’ for sustainable material development. This aspect also addresses one of the overarching UoB Research Strategy goals, namely promoting regional and national growth and productivity through partnerships with industry, leading to rapid development of ideas into products and markets.

The programme builds on two key pillars:

1-     Generating new fundamental knowledge on the structure-performance relationships of materials for GH generation and storage.

2-     Embed sustainability principles in material design, considering material scarcity, supply chain, recycling, and life-cycle analysis.

We will facilitate a space for the two students to build a strong partnership with the various research groups working together across the two faculties. Our team of academics brings a range of expertise ensuring high-quality cross-disciplinary research: electrodes and electrocatalysts for hydrogen generation and fuel cells (Fermin, May), porous material for hydrogen storage (Ting, Rowlandson, Rochat, Faul), material characterization and multiscale modelling (Martin, Fox, Gambaruto), sustainable manufacturing and life-cycle assessment (Rowlandson, Fermin).

Applicants: The studentships are opened to UK residents and overseas. Candidates are expected to have a First or Upper Second-Class UK MSci degree (or equivalent awarded outside the UK) in Material Science, Chemistry, Physics, or Engineering. Strong communicational skills and commitment to cross-disciplinary research in materials for GH technologies are essential. A strong case for the applicant suitability to these positions should be made in the personal statement.

Applications should be made via the University admission portal which can be accessed through this link. Please use Materials for Green Hydrogen Technologies PhD Studentships as reference in your application and Prof. David J. Fermin as ‘primary supervisor’. Applicants for overseas should fulfil English language requirements.

Application Deadline: 15th February 2023

Funding: The duration of both studentships will be of 4 years, including tuition fees and stipend. Studentships can start as early as 18th September 2023.

Further information: Queries about the scope of the research programme could be directed to Dr Jemma Rowlandson ([Email Address Removed]) and Prof. David J. Fermin ([Email Address Removed]). Questions concerning to the formal application procedure should be addressed to the Chemistry Postgraduate Admission Team ([Email Address Removed]).

School of Chemistry (SoC) and the Faculty of Science (FoS): The SoC was ranked 1st in the UK based on outcome of the Research Excellence Framework REF 2021, with an outstanding track record in developing early career researchers. The FoS was also ranked 1st in the UK, with each individual Schools ranked in the top five.

Department of Mechanical Engineering (DoME) and the Faculty of Engineering (FoE): The DoME is one of the main engineering research departments in the UK with world-leading programme in advanced materials, and engineering systems and design. Analysis of the REF 2021 ranked the FoE 6th in the UK.

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

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