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

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 applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or EU nationals

Deadline:
30 April 2019

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Exsolved Nanoparticles for Catalytic Applications 


As part of a very large EPSRC-funded “Critical Mass” grant, the successful candidate will become a member of the consortium of universities studying different aspects of this phenomenon, including the Universities of St Andrews, Bath, Newcastle and Ulster. We will perform a wide range of cutting-edge characterisation measurements including high-pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (HPXPS) (currently available in the laboratory of Dr Payne), as well as Photoelectron Emission Microscopy (PEEM), hard X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and environmental Transmission electron microscopy (eTEM) – the latter at Arizona State University, USA. This exciting project will enable wide ranging collaboration and travel, in an area of future clean energy technologies.

Supervisor:
Dr David Payne

>> ‌Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2018
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

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

Deadline:
until position is filled

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Low-Temperature Recycling of Lead-acid Batteries 

The project will focus on the mechanism of metal deposition from a battery waste/DES solution, including charge transfer processes, speciation of metal cations, stability of the solvents and understanding processes at the electrodes. The electrochemical and characterisation studies will involve cycling voltammetry, chronoamperometry, impedance spectroscopy, rotating disc electrode, electron microscopy, NMR, XPS and EXAFS. The PhD candidate will also work closely with our collaborators and industrial partner on scaling-up strategies and minimising process energy requirement.

Supervisor:
Dr David Payne

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2018
Duration:
36 months
Position available:
1

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

Deadline:
until position is filled

>> How to Apply

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Processing and characterisation of 3D interpenetrating polycrystalline super-hard materials 

Polycrystalline diamond (PCD) and polycrystalline cubic boron nitride (PcBN) are widely used in applications of earth boring, road planning, mining and machining as super-hard materials. These materials are typically sintered under high-pressure - high-temperature (HPHT) conditions over 5.5 GPa and 1400 ºC. Both PCD and PcBN can be made from diamond or cBN with various grain sizes, depending on the applications. The aim of this project is to develop novel products with 3D interpenetrating “composite” structures of PCD or PcBN with different grain sizes. Unlike traditional composites having one continuous phase and one discrete phase, interpenetrating composites are a new type of composite structures where both phases are continuous and 3D interpenetrating into each other. They mimic many natural materials such as bone and bamboo, enabling superior multifunctional characteristics and properties.
This project is in collaboration with Element Six.

Supervisor:
Professor Eduardo Saiz

>> Find out moreFind out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2018
Duration:
48 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Available to all applicants

Deadline: 
18 March 2018

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 Educardo Saiz. 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: www.imperial.ac.uk/pgprospectus. Please contact Mrs Fiona Thomson, Head of Student Administration in Materials for further information.

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Performance SiC/SiC composites for aerospace application 

SiC/SiC composites are typically produced by a multistep process, combining continuous ceramic fibres in a predominantly ceramic matrix. The toughness of the composite is achieved by the application of a fibre interphase coating during the CVI coating and rigidisation step. The fibre coating provides a weak interface that allows for cracks to deviate from the matrix and travel along this interface. By virtue of their chemical composition these CMCs are susceptible to oxidising environments. Over time the composite as a whole, and the interphase coating in particular, can degrade due to cyclic loading and environmental exposures. This can result in reduced mechanical properties and changes in damage or failure mechanisms, in regions that are embrittled or for the composite as a whole. This project is in collaboration with Rolls Royce.

Supervisor:
Professor Eduardo Saiz

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2018
Duration:
48 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Available to all applicants

Deadline: 
18 March 2018

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 Educardo Saiz. 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: www.imperial.ac.uk/pgprospectus. Please contact Mrs Fiona Thomson, Head of Student Administration in Materials for further information.

Summary of the table's contents
PhD in Development and Characterisation of a Novel, biodegradable Manuka-honey supplemented Collagen biomaterial for application in the treatment of burn and chronic wounds 


There is currently a clinical need in cost-effective skin substitute materials able to actively promote wound healing, while preventing infection. Collagen has a strong history in tissue repair, while honey is an effective antimicrobial agent. The objective of this project is to develop homogenous, highly conformable, collagen-honey based materials that have the potential to address this challenge. These material platform could be used in wound healing, providing infection prevention, pH modulation, and mitigating risks associated with antibiotic resistance and use of silver. The work involves the synthesis of the materials as well as their structural, mechanical and biological evaluation. This project is in collaboration with Welland Medical.

Supervisor:
Professor Eduardo Saiz

>> Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2018
Duration:
48 months
Position available:
1

Funding:
Available to all applicants

Deadline: 
18 March 2018

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 Educardo Saiz. 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: www.imperial.ac.uk/pgprospectus. Please contact Mrs Fiona Thomson, Head of Student Administration in Materials for further information.

Summary of the table's contents
Multifunctional structural composites for electrical energy storage 

The goal of this PhD will be to devise, synthesize and characterize new structural supercapacitor architectures, with intrinsically shorter ionic diffusion distances than our existing laminated configurations. Fibre and tow level devices, involving novel nanocoatings and multifunctional matrices, will be optimized and then assembled into larger composite components. Whilst there will be considerable freedom to develop new concepts, the wider project offers opportunities to work with closely with industry to explore adoption of structural power in transportation applications, particularly aerospace. The project will suit a student with a broad interests in nanomaterials, electrochemical energy storage, and structural composites.

Supervisor:
Professor Milo Shaffer

>>Find out more (pdf)

Start date: October 2018
Duration:
36 months
Position available: 1

Funding:
Only to applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date, or EU nationals

Deadline: 
1 September 2018

>> How to Apply

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 applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

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 applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

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 applicants who have been ordinarily resident in the UK for three years prior to the start date

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply
Summary of the table's contents
PhD in In-situ studies of deformation in semi-solid steels 

This project will study the fundamental microstructural response to load in partially-solid alloys by time-resolved synchrotron X-ray video microscopy.  We will use concepts from soil and magma mechanics to measure individual grain displacements during l oading, the coupling of grain motion and liquid flow and develop new insight into defect formation in the casting of steels.

SupervisorDr Chris Gourlay

Start date: Flexible
Duration:
36 months

Funding:
UK students - bursary and fees. EU students - fees only. International students must be self-funded

Deadline: 
Enquiries can be made at any time

>> How to Apply

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Centres for Doctoral Training

EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (ICO-CDT)  EPSRC logo


Founded in 2014, the EPSRC Imperial-Cambridge-Open Centre for Doctoral Training in Nuclear Energy (ICO-CDT) was established to train civil nuclear energy leaders for global markets. In the UK, new build of Generation III reactors is imminent, a new generation of small reactors is being scoped out, and safe geological disposal of a diverse nuclear waste inventory needs to be demonstrated and implemented. The UK needs a new generation of experts in reactor design and operation, materials performance, nuclear safety and security, the nuclear fuel cycle, and waste reprocessing and disposal.

Applications are welcome from applicants who have obtained, or are expected to obtain, at least an upper-second (2.1) degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject (e.g. Materials, Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Chemical Engineering, Physics, Chemistry or Earth Sciences). To be eligible for a studentship, you must you be a UK citizen or an EU national who has been resident in the UK for the past three years. Funding is unavailable for international students: we welcome applications for qualified international students, but only if they are self-funded.

For more information please visit imperial.ac.uk/nuclear-cdt/programme/

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: Applications suspended


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

This joint CDT in the Advanced Characterisation of Materials will provide you with a PhD training programme 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 also receive professional development training delivered by our award-winning Graduate Schools. Your personal development and the world-leading research you are engaged in 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.


Start date:
TBC
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 suspended


EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Plastic Electronic Materials  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: imperial.ac.uk/plastic-electronics-cdt/postgraduate-training/projects-available-for-october-2018-start/

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: Applications suspended


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: Applications suspended