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Sustainable Production of Bioinspired Vesicles for Crop Protection

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, March 17, 2020
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Application details:
Reference number: CG-MD-2002
Start date of studentship: 1 April 2020
Closing date of advert: 17 March 2020
Interview date: 20 March 2020

Primary supervisor: Dr Marijana Dragosavac
Secondary supervisor: to be agreed upon the start of the project

This 3.5-year studentship (in collaboration with CRODA ( is a terrific opportunity to research bioinspired novel delivery vesicles for crop protection. This PhD will develop new generation of biodegradable vesicles that would allow the seed protection avoiding the use of conventional pesticides.

In conventional processing formulated particles are often in the millimetre size range. However, to improve the mass transfer characteristics and process efficiency, encapsulation within smaller droplets is needed in combination with a continuous solidification step. To fulfil this aim, a novel technique - membrane emulsification (unique technology patented by Loughborough Spin-Out company coupled with reaction to produce the drops containing both water and oil soluble encapsulants will be used in combination with an oscillating reactor for solidification step.

On successful completion of the PhD there are excellent career prospects.

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

Full Project Detail:
The student will investigate the influence of the rheology of the various sustainable biopolymer/oil systems, encapsulants, concentrations, interfacial phenomena, membrane pore size, as well as operating conditions (dispersed phase flowrate and shear stress) on the droplet size forming on the stainless-steel membrane reactor. Stability of the shells to keep the encapsulants will be investigated in order to understand how to optimise the shelf life of the product. Understanding the effects on performance in a range of formulation applications will be examined with the intention to obtain a free-flowing powder. Controlled release / shelf life tests will be performed too.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have, at least a 2:1 Honours or a relevant Master’s degree (or equivalent) in any of the following: chemical or food engineering, chemistry, or a relevant engineering subject. Previous experience in microencapsulation will be highly beneficial.

Contact details and how to apply:
Interested candidates are welcome to contact Dr Dragosavac or phone 01509222501) to find out more. However, all applications should be made online at

Under programme name, select: Chemical Engineering

Please quote reference number: CG-MD-2002

Funding Notes

The studentship is for 3.5-years and provides a tax-free stipend of £15k per annum plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. There is a generous annual allowance to cover attendance at international conferences and an industrial placement with CRODA (View Website).

In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement (View Website).

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