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Industrial CASE PhD studentship: Mathematical Modelling and Analysis of Industrially-Important Flows of Liquid Crystals: Spreading and Channel Filling

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  • Full or part time
    Prof S K Wilson
    Prof N J Mottram
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

In conjunction with Merck Chemicals Ltd (Merck), the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow is offering a fully funded Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial CASE PhD studentship. The project will be supported by the Smith Institute for Industrial Mathematics and System Engineering.

Jointly funded by EPSRC and Merck, the studentship will cover fees at Home/EU rates and will provide a stipend of at least £14,200 per year. There will also be provision for travel funds, particularly for the costs associated with regular research visits to Merck in Southampton. The studentship will be funded for 4 years and will start in October 2016.

Project Background: Liquid crystal displays are now ubiquitous as displays in modern electronic devices, such as flat large-screen televisions, laptops, mobile phones, digital cameras and electronic toys. However, as the number and scale of display technology applications continue to grow the technical demands grow alongside them, and with 40 years of experience in the field of liquid crystals Merck are at the cutting edge of developing new and more efficient displays and the techniques for manufacturing them more cheaply and efficiently (sometimes called “process intensification”). Liquid crystal display manufacturing is a multi-billion pound international industry, and so even relatively small scientific and technological improvements can have substantial economic benefits both to the companies involved (in terms of increased profits) and to wider society (in terms of more widespread access to more affordable and more reliable devices).

The University of Strathclyde in Glasgow has a well-established track record in the theoretical analysis of liquid crystals, dating back to the pioneering work by Professor Frank Leslie FRS who, together with Professor Jerry Ericksen, formulated the famous and widely-studied Ericksen-Leslie equations for nematic liquid crystals. The Continuum Mechanics and Industrial Mathematics (CMIM) research group at Strathclyde (led by Professor Wilson) has particular expertise in studying the flow of complex fluids (and, in particular, liquid crystals) and a wide variety of thin-film flows.

Project Aims: The aim of the proposed project is to use a combination of analytical and numerical techniques to bring new insight and understanding to fundamental scientific problems associated with the manufacturing of liquid crystal display technologies, specifically the spreading of a liquid crystal over a physically and/or chemically heterogeneous substrate, and the filling of a narrow channel with a liquid crystal.

The project will be supervised by Professors Stephen Wilson and Nigel Mottram in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics at the University of Strathclyde and Dr Rachel Tuffin of Merck in Southampton. The student will be based at Strathclyde, with regular visits to Southampton.

Entry requirements: Students applying should normally have (or expect to achieve) a minimum 2.1 undergraduate degree in mathematics, physics or other relevant subject, and be highly motivated to undertake multidisciplinary research. Candidates with a background in mathematical modelling, fluid dynamics and/or numerical methods are strongly encouraged to apply. Experience with mathematical software packages such as MAPLE and/or Mathematica and MATLAB is desirable but not essential.

Funding Notes

This four-year PhD studentship will cover Home/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of at least £14,200 per annum.
If you wish to apply please email a covering letter, full Curriculum Vitae and the names and contact details of at least two academic referees to Professor Stephen Wilson ([email protected]).

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