PhD Studentship: PhD Opportunity Title Nanoscale modelling of amine blush in protective coatings, Natural Sciences – PhD (Funded)

Updated: 4 months ago
Location: Exeter, ENGLAND
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 09 Mar 2023

The University of Exeter’s Department of Physics and Astronomy is inviting applications for a PhD studentship fully-funded by AkzoNobel and University of Exeter to commence on 25 September 2023 or as soon as possible thereafter.  The student would be based in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Project Description:

Protective organic coatings are all around us, from largescale metal structures such as wind turbines and bridges, through decorative paint on the walls to the interior of food containers. These coatings are necessary to protect the lifespan of the underlying material from corrosion and degradation which currently costs the UK around £80 bn a year due to premature asset loss. The UK coatings industry contributes over £11 bn to the economy and supports manufacturing worth over £150 bn. Protective organic coatings are complex formulated products tailored for each application, however the underlying links between product formulation and performance are still not fully resolved.

This research focuses on understanding the fundamental relationships between product formulation and amine blush. Amine blush is an undesirable waxy biproduct that can form on curing epoxy-amine coatings which is both unsightly and can affect bonding of further coating layers. The work will develop a nanoscale model of a simple coating using state-of-the-art computational approaches to unravel the fundamental science behind the causes of amine blush. This project crosses multiple traditional disciplines including chemistry, physics, materials science, and computer science and will provide the successful candidate with the opportunity to broaden their scientific knowledge and communication skills across a range of scientific disciplines. This research makes use of the University of Exeter’s high performance computing (HPC) facility, ISCA, and access to regional, national, and international HPC resources as required. 

This project is co-funded by AkzoNobel, one of the world’s largest protective coating manufacturers. The successful candidate will work within a multi-disciplinary group and have the opportunity to work closely with the industrial sponsor, forging a close working relationship and industrial contacts.

We are seeking a motivated and resourceful student with an interest in Computational Chemistry/Physics and Materials. A familiarity with programming languages (e.g. python) and HPC environments is desirable. We welcome enquiries from all interested candidates.

For informal enquiries please contact Dr Charlie Wand ( ).

This award provides annual funding to cover Home tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay Home tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £17,668 per year tax-free stipend.  Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. 

The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence on 25th September 2023. The collaboration with the named project partner is subject to contract.  Please note full details of the project partner’s contribution and involvement with the project is still to be confirmed and may change during the course of contract negotiations.  Full details will be confirmed at offer stage.

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