University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


UK/EU Studentship: Imaging Heterogeneous Catalysts Working Inside a Reactor

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals. Students must meet the eligibility criteria at the 'Higher Education' link at: Regrettably, we are not able to consider applicants who don't meet the residency criteria for this studentship.

(3-year fully-funded PhD studentship with Professor Lynn Gladden, Dr. Andrew Sederman and Dr. Mick Mantle. The studentship is funded by Shell. Project to start 1 October 2018.)

Over the past 3 years the group has designed and commissioned a tubular Fischer-Tropsch reactor which can operate at industrial conditions of pressure and temperature inside a magnetic resonance imagining (MRI) system. Magnetic resonance techniques have been developed which allow us to spatially resolve chemical composition, molecule diffusion and molecule-surface interactions inside the reactor. This information is beginning to provide new insights into what is happening inside the pore space of a catalyst during reaction. Hence, these measurements can tell us how to improve the catalyst and the reactor operating conditions.

The aims of this project will be to:

(i) To develop spatially-resolved, multi-dimensional spectroscopy techniques for the purpose of characterising product distributions in the gas and vapour phase within the reactor.

(ii) To explore the use of novel data sampling techniques (such as compressed sensing) to improve the time resolution of the MRI data.

(iii) To explore how the operating conditions of the catalyst and reactor influence the catalyst performance.

The project is based in Cambridge, but the student will have the opportunity to interact with collaborators in Shell. In particular, we will be exploring how these data can be used in developing predictive models of the real catalytic process.

Applicants for the studentship should have a First Class (or a high 2:1) degree in a relevant discipline such as chemical engineering, engineering, chemistry or physics. If your degree was taken outside the UK, please visit: to determine if your overseas qualification is equivalent to a First or high 2.1.

To apply for this studentship, please send the following to Mrs Amanda Taylor ( by noon (UK time) on 31st March 2018.

-- Include the Vacancy Reference number NQ14866 in the subject line of your email.

-- Your CV

-- Your most recent transcript (and transcripts from any previously completed degrees) to include grades/marks received in relevant examinations

Please note that late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please quote reference NQ14866 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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