PhD Studentship in Bioengineering
University of Southampton School of Engineering
United Kingdom


PhD Studentship - Biochemical and microbial interactions with advanced coatings and sealants in industrial biotechology applications

School of Engineering
Location: Highfield Campus
Closing Date: Monday 31 August 2020
Reference: 1243820DA
Supervisor: Prof Sonia Heaven & Dr Yue Zhang (WEEG)

Project description

Industrial and environmental biotechnology is a rapidly developing field that covers both well-established sectors such as anaerobic digestion and wastewater treatment, and innovative processes needed to underpin an emerging circular bioeconomy. Advances in materials science are delivering new materials, coatings and sealants for the containment solutions required for these processes. The research challenge is to understand how these may interact with the physical and biochemical conditions encountered in new applications and markets.

The first stage will look at a defined range of products and materials, testing them to see their performance and endeavouring to determine key factors affecting durability and life expectancy. The work builds on Southampton's extensive expertise in both anaerobic digestion and materials testing, and conditions found in anaerobic digestion plants will be taken as a model system in the first instance. One aim will be to develop a suite of testing approaches that could in future become the basis for industry-wide standards.

The research will then move on to look at novel materials and testing methodologies under a range of conditions relevant to future applications in industrial biotechology. This will involve different disciplines, bringing together knowledge of the chemical and microbiological characteristics of these systems with advanced materials properties and testing methods.

The project offers the chance to work closely with an industrial partner who has a worldleading reputation for quality and innovation in its products, and a strong track record of environmentally-responsible manufacturing.

Key Skills: Engineering, chemistry, biology, materials

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 31 August 2020 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: full tuition fees for EU/UK students plus for UK students, an enhanced stipend of £15,009 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years.

How To Apply

Applications should be made online here selecting “PhD Eng & Env (Full time)” as the programme. Please enter Prof Sonia Heaven under the proposed supervisor.

Applications should include:

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact:


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