Our research cuts across the traditional disciplinary boundaries, and we therefore invite applications for research leading to the PhD degree from scientists and engineers in all appropriate subjects who have an interest in any of our research areas. The main application sectors addressed by our research are: energy conversion; environmental protection; transport; electronics/optoelectronics; and healthcare. Across all themes the research is carried out with strong support from and involvement of industrial organisations. This close collaboration with industry, alongside our first class facilities, ensures that the Department is at the forefront of Materials Science and Engineering research.

Postgraduate Research Courses

PhDs

PhD studentship in ceramic anode materials for solid oxide fuel cells 

The proposed PhD project will focus on developing highly electronically conducting perovskite electrode materials that provide high performance with hydrocarbon and sulfur containing fuels in intermediate temperature (500-700 oC) solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs). The role of the PhD candidate will be to design new mixed ionic electronic conducting materials with high electrocatalytic activity for fuel oxidation. Within this area of research, you will master wet chemical methods, SOFC fabrication and measuring techniques. To gain insights into these materials advanced characterizations methods (i.e., XRD, SEM, TEM, XPS, etc.) will be applied for structural characterization of these anode materials.

Supervisors:
Dr Sivaprakash Sengodan, Professor Stephen Skinner

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
42 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
28 February 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Mechanical Properties of Nacre-like Ceramics 

The role of the PhD candidate will be to design new nacre-like ceramics to work at high temperature, to study in depth their micromechanical behavior, and to provide in the end potential materials candidates to replace ceramic used in today’s systems.
The candidate will learn during her/his stay colloids science, ceramic processing, sintering techniques, structural characterisations, and fracture mechanics along with strong skills in scientific methods, problem solving, and scientific results communications.

Supervisor:
Dr Florian Bouville

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
15 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in water corrosion of fine-grained ceramics

Understanding of the impact of interfaces is critical to enhance their properties for the development of future industrial materials. Such materials find application in for example biomedical devices or corrosion resistant surface treatment of cooling systems.
Here we will focus on the investigations of ceramics that are exposed to high-temperature or supercritical water. Understanding the reaction mechanism at interfaces and the character variations of interfaces as a function of exposure to H2O is at the heart of these studies. The results are also applicable to reactions at conditions of the lower crustal zone and thus of interest to Earth sciences.

Supervisor:
Dr Katharina Marquardt

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
22 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Photoelectron Spectroscopy of Oxide Heterostructures 


In particular, you will study the interfaces between oxides and adjacent layers of other oxides, metallisation layers, or dielectrics in heterostructures relevant to electronic devices both for applications such as memory and data storage, smart and wearable devices, and highly energy efficient power electronics. These interfaces determine the overall device behaviour and therefore it is of utmost importance to understand the local chemistry and physics. However, this is complicated as interfaces are not a simple combination of the properties of the single layers. At an interface, large numbers of completely new interactions are possible and many are still poorly understood. However, if oxides are to be successfully used in devices, we need to understand what is happening at these interfaces.

Supervisor:
Dr Anna Regoutz

>> Find out more ‌(pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
30 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Design of Multi-functional Metamaterials Enabled by 3D Printing 


This PhD studentship will explore many more exciting opportunities offered by this approach. The qualified candidate will use various computer software to mimic microstructure found in nature to design new meta-materials that are not only mechanical robust, but also smart. S/he will use advanced 3D printing and material characterisation techniques to fabricate and study the behaviour of designed materials. S/he needs to team up with other students and effectively collaborate with our key academic and industrial partners in UK and USA. 

Supervisor:
Dr Minh-Son Pham

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
7 May 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Saving the Mary Rose: Determining the structural and material properties of a Tudor shipwreck 

The Mary Rose was a warship built on the orders of the famous King, Henry VIII, when he came to the throne in 1509. After 34 years of active service, the ships life came to a dramatic end during battle in 1545, where it sank off the south coast of England. The ship was salvaged in 1982; its preservation is largely attributable to the layers of sediment which provided protection from typical degradation processes. Despite the remarkable condition of the ancient wood, some degradation had occurred which threatened its stability upon excavation. Therefore, a conservation treatment was devised to ensure that the ship would be stable, which involved consolidation and careful drying. To ensure the authentic nature of the ship, a minimal intervention method has always been adopted which means that some dimensional changes in the timbers was expected. This will affect not only individual elements, but the overall structure as the original connectivity of the ship timbers may be compromised. To aid the development of conservation methods, photogrammetry and laser scans have been completed at key intervals, namely during consolidation and drying. This information is now a unique reference as to the dimensional and structural changes that have occurred throughout the years, and in response to different parts of the conservation process.

Supervisor:
Dr Finn Giluliani

>> Find out more(pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
42 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
Until position is filled

How to apply: 

Stage 1: Send a full CV, including the marks (%) for all (undergraduate) modules completed to date, the names and contact details of two referees, as well as a covering letter, to the CDT at admin@cdt-acm.org with the project title in the subject line. Applications that do not provide all this information will not be considered.

Stage 2: Suitable applicants will be interviewed and, if successful, invited to make a formal application.

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Electrocatalysis for the Synthesis of Renewable Fuels and Chemicals 


The proposed PhD project is focused on the synthesis and characterisation of advanced electrocatalysts for the electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 to fuels and the electrochemical conversion of bio-derived molecules. Within this area of research, you will master advanced wet chemistry and physical deposition methods for the preparation of model and nanostructured catalysts. Advanced characterisation methods (i.e., TEM, SEM, XPS, etc.) will be applied for the physico-chemical characterisation of the electrodes. An array of advanced electrochemical methods coupled with analytical quantification techniques will be employed to assess the selectivity, activity and stability of the catalysts.

Supervisor:
Dr Stefano Mezzavilla

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
Until position is filled

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Adhesion strength of environmental barrier coatings on SiC/SiC CMCs for aerospace ‌ 


This PhD project aims to study the adhesion strength of environmental barrier coatings (EBCs) applied on silicon carbide (SiC) ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) to develop the next generation of gas turbines that are faster, cheaper, lighter, more efficient and less pollutant.

Supervisor:
Dr Nasrin Al Nasiri

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: as soon as possible (starting date can be agreed with supervisor)
Duration:
42 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline:
until position is filled

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
Room Temperature MasersGraphene Chemistry, Characterisation, and Composites  


Intrinsically, ideal graphene and related materials (GRMs) have exceptional properties and offer the potential for fundamental improvements in a wide range of applications. The ability to manifest these properties in useful macroscopic applications is intimately linked to the manufacturing processes and modification chemistry involved, which determine the nature and quality of the GRMs produced, as well as the extent of their dispersion in solvents (for inks) or matrices (for composites). The aim of the project will be to better understand the nature of GRM based products, using advanced techniques to map the locus of functionalization, and the three dimensional dispersion/orientation within, for example, polymer matrices.


Supervisor: Professor Milo Shaffer

Start date: October 2019
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply: Stage

1: Send a full CV, including your marks (%), the names and contact details of two referees, as well as a covering letter, to Professor Milo Shaffer. Applications that do not provide all this information cannot be considered.

Stage 2: Suitable applicants will be interviewed and, if successful, invited to make a formal application.  The prospectus, entry requirements and application form (under ‘how to apply’) are available at: imperial.ac.uk/pgprospectus. Please contact Dr Alba Maria Matas Adams, Postgraduate Research Coordinator in Materials for further information.

Summary of the table's contents
Room Temperature Masers 
At Imperial we’ve solved the 60 year old mystery: we have a maser that functions at room temperature, and without the need for an external magnet.  Potential applications for the maser include more sensitive medical scanners; chemical sensors for remotely detecting explosives; advanced quantum computer components; and better radio astronomy devices.  Our maser uses pentacene in a P terphenyl host matrix and we are looking for other molecules.  We are also interested in inorganic materials – possibly using defect centres in diamond for example.


Supervisor: Professor Neil Alford MBE FREng

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Development of New Biomaterials for Regenerative Medicine 
This project aims to synthesise polymer-based materials designed according to the requisites in bone or cardiovascular tissue engineering. A major goal will be the elucidation of the physical and chemical properties at the cell-material interface using state of the art materials-based characterisation techniques. The key features of the materials’ properties on the influence of cells in 2D and 3D culture will then be assessed.


Supervisor:
Professor Molly Stevens FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply
Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Development of New Biomaterials for Biosensing 
This project will focus on the development of new nanomaterial-based assays that detect biomarkers specific to cancer and infectious diseases according to relevant biomarker concentrations and cost-amenability. The physical proper ties of the assay will need to be completely characterised to understand the effects of agglomeration and influence of surrounding proteins. This project includes preclinical tests using patient samples.

Supervisor: Professor Molly Stevens FREng

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
Only to UK and EU students who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or self-funded international students

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply
Summary of the table's contents

Centres for Doctoral Training

Centre for Doctoral Training in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials (ACM CDT) 

Imperial College London jointly with the University of London has a number of four-year fully-funded studentships available. This funding requires you to be a home student*.  Successful applicants will be registered at either Imperial College London or University College London.

The CDT ACM PhD programme offers training in the application of state-of-the-art characterisation techniques to materials challenges in key thematic areas of societal importance such as Energy, Information Technology, Nanomaterials, Healthcare, Security, Environment and Transport. 

Each project will involve experts at both University College London and Imperial College London and you will spend time at both sites during your project.  You will also have a three-month placement at a leading international university, research institute or industrial partner.  Specially designed training modules in characterisation will be interwoven with your PhD research project, and you will receive professional development training delivered by our award-winning Graduate Schools. The world-leading research that you will be involved with will be closely linked with real-world applications, as the projects will be aligned with the priorities of our network of industrial partners.  On graduation you will be ideally qualified to follow a career path either in academia or industry.  Our training philosophy is that our graduates will provide the innovation and creativity required to lead the world in the development, characterisation and manufacture of new materials, making a significant contribution to the quality of life of future generations.

This CDT seeks candidates for October 2019 entry.  You will hold, or be expected to achieve, a Master's degree in addition to a Bachelor's degree (or equivalent) at 2:1 level (or above) in a relevant subject (e.g. Materials, Physics, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical or Chemical Engineering).  Research projects on offer are diverse and successful applicants will choose a project after the initial three months of the programme, following discussions with project supervisors. Students will take taught courses at both universities during this three month period. Projects will be available in the following areas: Energy Materials, Biomaterials and Regenerative Medicine, Engineering Materials, Electronic and Magnetic Materials.

To make informal enquires please contact the CDT team on admin@cdt-acm.org

Start date: October 2019
Duration: 48 months (PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: 

Applications will be handled in two stages:

Stage 1:  :  Send a full CV, including the marks (%) for all (undergraduate) modules completed to date, the names and contact details of two referees, as well as a covering letter, to the CDT at admin@cdt-acm.org. Applications that do not provide all this information will not be considered.

Stage 2: Suitable applicants will be interviewed and, if successful, invited to make a formal application.

* European Union nationals who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for at least three years prior to starting a PhD studentship. Overseas students with full funding are welcome to apply.


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy Futures  EPSRC logo

Applications are invited for four-year fully-funded PhD studentships, there are 12 Studentships available, starting in October 2019 at either Imperial College London, University of Cambridge, University of Bristol, The Open University or Bangor University.

Nuclear power generates the largest fraction of low-carbon electricity in the UK and has a positive impact on the security and stability of our nation's energy supply. As the UK curbs fossil fuel consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, includes a greater proportion of renewable energy, and at the same time electrifies road transport and decarbonises central heating, nuclear power assumes a vital role in any future energy mix as a source of low-carbon baseload electricity.

To ensure nuclear is an important part of a greener and securer future, the skills shortage needs to be addressed, new build and decommissioning costs need to come down, geological disposal must be explored, and the UK has to have the skills to contribute meaningfully to cutting-edge technologies, such as fusion and Gen IV reacto

For more information about the programme and funding options, please visit imperial.ac.uk/nuclear-cdt/programme/, or download our pdf document‌.

Start date:
October 2019
Duration: 48 months (PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: 5 August 2019


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Plastic Electronics  EPSRC logo


The Plastic Electronics CDT academic cohort comprises over 30 academics from the Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Materials and Physics departments at Imperial, the School of Engineering and Materials Science at Queen Mary University, London, and the Physics and Materials departments at the University of Oxford. This ensures expertise in all aspects of the science of printable electronics, from material synthesis to advanced characterisation and modelling, to device design and fabrication. The PE-CDT aims to produce graduates with interdisciplinary experience and capability in the science and applications of printable electronic materials and devices, with an understanding of the associated industry, and with the ability to adapt and develop new technologies and applications.

For more information please visit the Centre for Doctoral Training in Plastic Electronics

Start date:
TBC
Duration: 48 months  (MREs +PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: For up-to-date offers, please visit the Centre for Doctoral Training in Plastic Electronics programme pages website


EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Theory and Simulation of Materials (TSM-CDT)  EPSRC logo

The 4 year PhD programme in Theory and Simulation of Materials combines the one year MSc in TSM with a 3 year PhD research project. The first year provides a rigorous training in the required theoretical methods and simulation techniques through the taught MSc programme and includes a 3-month research project which normally acts as an introduction to the PhD research project that follows.

On completion of the MSc in TSM, students undertake their PhD research project, which occupies years 2-4. Each student has at least two supervisors (one of whom may be based in industry or at another university) whose combined expertise spans multiple length- and/or time-scales of materials theory and simulation. Students do not have to make a choice of their research project until May of year 1 and there will be a large range of projects to choose from.

For more information please visit: imperial.ac.uk/theory-and-simulation-of-materials/programmes/4-year-phd/

Start date:
TBC
Duration: 48 months (MSc +PhD)
Funding: Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date
How to apply: Please visit: imperial.ac.uk/theory-and-simulation-of-materials/phd-opportunities/