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Faculty of Engineering

PhD Studentship - UK/EU

University of Leeds – Centre for Doctoral Training - Next Generation Nuclear (NGN)

A fully funded PhD studentship is available

As part of the first cohort, EPSRC has awarded 14-18 fully funded four-year PhD studentships across the partner universities of the Next Generation Nuclear centre.

This PhD is at the University of Leeds for 2014 entry.

PhD title: Solids aggregation in nuclear waste sludge

Project Overview

The accumulation of nuclear waste sludges over several decades pose huge liability for the industry. The last decade has witnessed encouraging momentum to address the legacy waste issue, presenting options to recover, treat and store safely intermediate level waste. While pathways for progression are being established, there remains a level of uncertainty.

A lack of fundamental understanding of the material (sludge) has hindered the timely progression of many sludge decommissioning programmes. Part of the complexity results from the heterogeneous make-up of the legacy waste. Containing a multitude of insoluble and soluble species, there is a lack of characterisation and rheological data to effectively support due diligence activities when formulating a solution to a problem.

To address this knowledge gap, the current research will elucidate the key physical and chemical properties that govern the flowability and stability of nuclear sludges. Research effort will be directed to better understand the preferential particle-particle interactions in mixed systems (aluminium oxide, magnesium hydroxide, zirconium hydroxide and silica), and manipulate those interactions favourably to tune sludge properties. Aggregation and heteroaggregation properties will be studied by zeta potential distribution measurement, and sludge rheology (viscosity, viscoelasticity and yield strength) measured by conventional rotational rheometry.

For more information, please contact the project supervisor: Dr David Harbottle D.Harbottle@leeds.ac.uk.

Next Generation Nuclear
The centre’s mission is to develop the next generation of research leaders to support the UK's present and future strategic nuclear programmes - cleaning up the nuclear legacy, building new nuclear power stations, and defence and security.

This exciting opportunity will involve close collaboration with key industrial stakeholders, including secondments into industrial nuclear research centres.

Further Information
Indication of interest and initial enquiries should be made by sending a CV, a covering letter and university transcripts to Abby Ward preawa@leeds.ac.uk at the Institute of Particle Science & Engineering, School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering, University of Leeds.

Application Deadline
31st August 2014 or until the position is filled.

Entry Requirements
Applications are invited from candidates with a good first or upper second class degree in a science or Engineering discipline, such as Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Chemistry and Physics.

To be eligible for a studentship, you must either be a U.K. citizen or a European Union national who has been resident in the U.K. for at least 3 years prior to starting the course.

The NGN Centre welcomes applications from international students; however, this particular programme is funded by the Research Council which means we have limited funding opportunities for overseas students.