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Cutting-edge optical spectroscopy for sensing particulate pollutants in aquatic systems


Funded PhD


3 years (full-time)

Application deadline:

Wednesday 23 January 2019

About this project

Particulate pollution in aquatic systems, in the form of turbidity and microplastics, are a key and growing concern, and is at the forefront of political and policy attention. To understand the impact and spread of particulates, such as microplastics, there is a need for sensing not only of the number of particles, but also their chemical composition.

The PhD student will approach this challenge by building on Hull expertise in nano-plasmonics and Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) sensors to obtain sensitive readout for chemical fingerprinting.

Ultimately, this knowledge will be coupled with flow filtration and pre-concentration systems (from project 3), supported by fluid modelling (COMSOL). 

Project supervisors:

The University's Postgraduate Training Scheme (PGTS) provides a range of generic and discipline-specific modules to support research students through their programme. 

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The library has an exclusive lounge for postgraduate research students and a dedicated Skills Team to provide a wide range of study and research skills help.

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The Graduate School provides support to postgraduate research students. Offering skills development opportunities and dedicated facilities, the school is here to help you achieve your potential. 

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Research at Hull tackles big challenges and makes an impact on lives globally, every day. Our current research portfolio spans everything from health to habitats, food to flooding and supply chains to slavery. 

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The studentships will include full fees and maintenance (£14,777 in 2018/19) for three years, depending on satisfactory progress.

Entry requirements

Applicants for all projects should have a 1st class undergraduate degree and Masters level qualification in physical, engineering or environmental sciences, or a related discipline, together with relevant research experience. A 2:1 may be considered, if combined with relevant experience.

The project would be suited to a candidate with a degree in Physics or a related discipline and an interest nano-optical sensing approaches.