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Understanding pastes and slurries used in emissions control catalyst manufacture

Project Description

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals. Students must meet the eligibility criteria at: Overseas nationals are not eligible and should not apply.

A studentship is available to work with Prof. Lynn Gladden and Dr. Andrew Sederman to investigate processing fluids and pastes of relevance to industrial manufacture of catalyst and materials. This is in collaboration with Johnson Matthey plc (, one of the largest catalyst manufacturers in the world. Johnson Matthey is a global leader in sustainable technologies, and wants to apply cutting-edge science to create solutions with our customers that make a real difference to the world around us.

This project focusses on the understanding the properties and processing of high solids content structured liquids, slurries and pastes using mainly nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques. This is of wide industrial relevance, in this case in the formulation, processing and characterisation of catalytic materials, in particular for exhaust gas treatment. There is an increasing need to reduce the tailpipe emissions of NOX and particulates and the understanding of these catalytic materials is key to this reduction. Of particular relevance in this project will be investigating the movement of the liquid when the system is subject to different physical gradients, i.e. shear, pressure, and temperature. This is of paramount importance for the production of high quality, consistent products. Specific industrially important applications will include: migration of the water phase in ceramic pastes during extrusion; thin film coating of slurries; drying of wet particulate structures; wetting behaviour of dry powders during the creation of slurry.

This 3 year fully funded PhD research project. The project aims to use a wide range of NMR and MRI experimental techniques but no prior NMR experience is needed and training will be given. The project will involve NMR technique development, as well as experiments under both model and realistic conditions.

Applicants for the studentship should have a First Class (or a high 2:1) degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics.

Standard admissions criteria apply; please see:

The start date for this PhD is 1st October 2020.

To apply for the studentship:

1. Please ensure that you are eligible by visiting:

2. Submit a formal application for admission to study Chemical Engineering via the University’s Graduate Admissions Office (, noting Prof Lynn Gladden and Dr Andy Sederman as the prospective supervisors and quoting reference NQ22474 in the research proposal, by 22 March 2020.

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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