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Low carbon recovery of metal resources from material by-products of metal processing.

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Gwynn-Jones
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

This project offers an unrivalled opportunity to complete a Ph.D. on the phytoextraction of metals from industrial residues in partnership with a globally recognised industrial company. Tata Steel Strip Products UK is part of the Tata group and a flagship heavy industry site in South Wales. It is the biggest employer in the Neath Port Talbot region of Wales and supplies steel to a global market.

This Ph.D. will target the extraction of valuable heavy metals from metal processing residues on site. We will look at the potential for plants to phytostabilise materials plus the capacity to phytoextract valuable heavy metals from these residues to unlock the commercial value. The project will focus on plant rooting strategies and will use soil amendments to facilitate plant growth in these residues. This will involve manipulation of residue with nutrients and altering of pH. Plants will be harvested and growth analysed both in field and glasshouse experiments. The aim is to develop a plant system that will accumulate heavy metal for future commercial exploitation.

The objectives of this project are:
• To use plant systems to stabilise residues accumulated on site.
• To develop a plant and amendment system that has the capacity to effectively phytoextract valuable metals from residues.
• To scope the potential to commercially exploit the metal phytoextraction systems developed.
A key objective for this project is to make these processes cost effective in the short-term. A final goal of the project is to develop the experience and specific expertise locally to apply these approaches to other sites that have access to similar residues.

The prospective applicant should have a minimum of a 1st or good 2:1 in a relevant degree, and be available to take up the studentship as soon as possible. The project is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Government. KESS PhD scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners. (Applicants need only apply, they do not need to search for partners.)
To apply, please submit the following to the Postgraduate Admissions Office (address below) by 5th of February 2016:
1. A completed Research Programme Application Form, two references. Application and reference forms may be downloaded from http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/postgrad/howtoapply/.
2. A completed KESS application form (put the reference number AU10014 in the top right hand box of the application form) and an up-to-date CV. KESS application forms are available to download at the link below.
http://www.aber.ac.uk/en/rbi/staff-students/knowledge-economy-skills-scholarships/
3. A PhD proposal of up to 1,000 words where you expand on your experience and interests and describe why you are a good candidate for this research studentship. Please refer to the Project Description.
Value of Award: A stipend of £14,002 (rising in accordance with inflation for the remaining two years). Each scholarship has an additional budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training to support your research. KESS PhD Scholarship holders do not pay fees.
Length: Full-time for 3 years. (Theses must be submitted 6 months after the funded three year study period.)
Training: The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory for each KESS scholar (The PSDA is based on a 60 credit award, which is an additional award to the PhD).
Eligibility: To be eligible to apply for a KESS award, you must be resident, upon starting the scholarship, in the Convergence Area of Wales and you must be able to take paid employment in the Convergence area on completion of the scholarship.
For further student eligibility criteria related to the individual projects, please view the details of the individual project above.
Informal enquiries should be made to Dr. Dylan Gwynn-Jones at [email protected] or 01970 622318.
Address for applications:
Postgraduate Admissions Office
Recruitment & Admissions
Student Welcome Centre
Aberystwyth University
Aberystwyth
SY23 3FB
Quote Reference AU10014
Closing date for applications 5th of February 2016:


Funding Notes

Part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme. KESS PhD scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners. Each scholarship is exempt from registration fees, provides a stipend of £14,002 pa, plus a budget for travel, equipment/consumables and training. The achievement of a Postgraduate Skills Development Award (PSDA) is compulsory, and PhD Theses must be submitted 6 months after the funded three year period. Eligibility: on starting the scholarship you must be resident in the Convergence Area of Wales (https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/media/departmental/ccs/kess/convergence-map.pdf) and eligible to take paid employment in the area on completion of the scholarship.

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