Open PhD position (water purification)

Title: Novel, inorganic membrane technologies for clean water production.

Introduction: Clean water is the world’s most precious resource. Yet, a significant and increasing fraction of the world’s population do not have access toe an adequate supply of safe drinking water. The overall aim of this project is to develop novel technologies by which contaminated groundwater can be purified in both an economical and scalable manner.

Outline of PhD: This PhD will focus on the study of the decontamination of heavy-metal-contaminated groundwater through membrane technologies. Primarily, inorganic matrices such as zeolites (inorganic and natural) and carbon-based materials will be explored as potential membranes for the removal of heavy metals from aqueous streams (via pervaporative distillation or pressurised membrane methods), or alternatively as materials for metal removal through continuous ion-exchange. The project will focus on intrinsic material design (i.e. zeolite synthesis and design), in order to develop more selective membranes, and also reaction engineering, to optimise the utilisation of existing membranes with hitherto unexplored methods). The primary focal point of this study is to develop novel, scalable and economically-viable membrane methods for the decontamination of ground water in developing countries.

The project will entail a wide range of methods, including material preparation and modification, membrane reactor development and utilisation, analytical chemistry and (in situ) spectroscopy.

In addition, PhD students in the Hammond group are encouraged to participate in multiple side projects. As such, opportunities to utilise the skills developed during this project in other challenges of catalytic science will also be explored.

Candidate description: We are seeking exceptionally talented and motivated students to join our young, ambitious research team. Students should hold – or expect to obtain – a first class or upper second class – degree (or related qualification). The candidate should have a very good knowledge of fundamental chemistry, ideally some knowledge of chemical reaction engineering, some experience with inorganic materials chemistry. Candidates with prior experience of separation science / membrane technologies are especially preferred.

Application procedure: Candidates should send a CV and a personal statement directly to Ceri Hammond (hammondc4 at cardiff dot ac dot uk). The personal statement should include the rational for applying for the position, a summary of previous research experience, and an overview of their suitability for the position.

Funding situation: Full three year PhD studentship (RCUK stipend rates + fees) available to UK/EU candidates.


Further information and online application details can be found here.