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Understanding Solvent Effects on Epoxy Networks

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Saturday, August 31, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Applications are invited for a fully-funded PhD student to work within the Department of Chemistry at Durham University on Understanding Solvent Effects on Epoxy Networks, in collaboration with Safinah Ltd.

Epoxy resins are a hugely important class of materials, widely used in applications from coatings, adhesives and structural materials. In many of these applications, contact with solvents is inevitable but can pose significant problems if this causes swelling, delamination or build-up of stress. Understanding and controlling this process has potential for enormous impact in coatings technologies, particularly in cargo containers, where coating integrity and avoidance of cross contamination between cargos is critical to business.

The aim of this project is to better understand these interactions between solvents and epoxy coatings. This will involve developing methods to quantify ingress and egress of solvent, as well as the impact of absorbed solvent on epoxy stress and structure.

The project will take the form of an industrially supported studentship with the student primarily based at Durham University, (in the group of Dr Richard Thompson) whilst working for short industrial placement periods with Safinah throughout the PhD. This project will be an excellent opportunity for a candidate interested in an applied research career, comprising both academic and industrial placement elements within a 3 year funded study programme.

Safinah is an independent consultancy with a unique and comprehensive understanding of coatings in the chemical, marine, protective and yacht sectors, in addition, providing professional technical and engineering services to its global customer base. The company provides authoritative, expert advice and support for the chain of activities that links vessel / structure design and construction, coatings and the environment.

Entry requirements: The successful applicant should hold at least a 2:1 degree in chemistry, physics or natural sciences (preferably M.Sci or equivalent) with a strong ability in experimental materials characterisation and modification. She or he should have excellent written and oral communication skills and be able to interpret scientific literature for new insights and opportunities. A high level of numeracy and passion for science research are essential. A good understanding of surface chemistry, scattering techniques, and spectroscopy are very desirable. Full training will be provided as required. It is likely that the research programme will include opportunities use of national and international research facilities (ISIS, ILL, Diamond); therefore the successful candidate should be prepared to travel to participate in experiments, field tests and conferences as the project progresses.

Eligibility: This studentship is supported through the Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. (Funding is not dependent on any outcome of Brexit). The funds are available over 3 years and are available to cover tuition fees and a stipend in the form of a tax-free subsistence bursary in line with RCUK recommendations. Applicants from outside the UK/EU are not eligible for this award unless they are able to self-fund the difference between UK/EU domestic fees and international fees.

How to apply: Applicants can make initial informal enquiries to Dr Richard Thompson ()
If you meet the eligibility criteria, please make an application via the university applications page:

Closing date for applications: 31 August 2019.

How good is research at Durham University in Chemistry?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 40.80

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

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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