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UK/EU Studentship: Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Catalyst Pellet Manufacture

Project Description

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals. Students must meet the eligibility criteria at:

3-year fully-funded PhD studentship with Professor Lynn Gladden and Dr. Andy Sederman to start 1 October 2019. The industrial partner is Shell Global Solutions International B.V.

The catalyst pellet lies at the heart of any heterogeneous catalytic process. A catalyst pellet is typically a porous oxide of outer dimensions of 1-3 mm, with pore sizes of order nanometres or smaller. The catalytic performance of the pellet depends on the chemistry of the material it is made of and on the geometry and connectivity of the pore space characterising the pellet. All these properties will be influenced by the way the pellet is manufactured. The aim of this project is to use magnetic resonance imaging to understand how the performance of catalyst pellets is determined by the manufacturing process used to produce them. Central to this is to use magnetic resonance imaging to image spatial heterogeneities within the pellet that have been produced during manufacture. As well as imaging the heterogeneities in porosity within the pellets, we will also use spatially-resolved measurements of molecular diffusion to show how these heterogeneities in the physical structure of the pellet will influence the way molecules move inside the catalyst during reaction.

As an extension of this work we will also investigate:

• The development of a magnetic resonance sensor to characterise properties of the initial paste during processing through to the finished product
• Construct an in situ paste extrusion apparatus which will allow us to understand how heterogeneities in the resulting pellets are produced during manufacture.

Applicants for the studentship should have:

1.) A First Class (or a high 2:1) in all previous degrees (Bachelor’s and if applicable, Master’s or other postgraduate degrees) in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics.
2.) If your degree(s) was taken outside the UK, please visit to determine if your marks will qualify before you apply.
3.) The successful candidate will be expected to formally apply for admission to the University of Cambridge. Please see the University’s admissions requirements at:

To apply for the studentship, please send the following to by noon on Friday 8 March 2019:

1.) Include the Vacancy Reference number NQ18171 in the subject line of your email.
2.) A copy of your CV
3.) Copies of your transcripts from all previous degrees (Bachelor’s and if applicable, Master’s or other postgraduate degrees) that show the marks/grades obtained in each course.

Funding Notes

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to nationals of the United Kingdom or European Union.

Related Subjects

How good is research at University of Cambridge in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 177.20

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

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