Food waste is a serious problem, especially in developing countries where almost 50% of agricultural produce can be lost during transit to market. This results in a loss of revenue for farmers and adds to financial hardship and poverty especially in countries where access to food is limited. The effect of food waste on fossil fuel and CO2 emissions is substantial, because up to twice as much fertiliser, farming processes, water and transport are necessary to get a given amount of produce to market.
The aim of the proposed PhD is to develop simple methods to create packaging materials from agricultural waste and by-products (e.g. straw or the remains of a banana tree). This includes the development and fabrication of packaging concepts, micro- and macro-mechanical modelling of concepts, material properties and packaging performance testing, and packaging optimisation. The project is closely linked to research in the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (www.csrf.ac.uk ).
Applicant should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2:1 or 1st class degree, and preferably a Masters degree in mechanical engineering (or related subject), specialising in materials and solid mechanics. A good knowledge of experimental test methods and experience of Vibration modelling would be helpful as would be an interest in appropriate technology for developing countries.
This studentship will cover all University fees and a maintenance allowance of at least £14.582 per year for UK students. EU students are eligible for a fees only award. Overseas students are not eligible and should not apply.
Applications for graduate study should be submitted via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions web pages http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/students/gradadmissions/prospec/apply/, David Cebon identified as the potential supervisor
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