University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


UK/EU Studentship: Scaling up from bench-scale chemistry to continuous catalytic process using in situ magnetic resonance imaging

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.

(4-year fully-funded EPSRC industrial CASE studentship with Professor Lynn Gladden and Dr. Mick Mantle; industrial partner Syngenta. Project to start 1 October 2018.)

Heterogeneous catalysis using precious metal supported catalysts is used routinely across the fine chemical, pharmaceutical and agrochemical industries. The chemical formulation of a given catalyst and its physical structure determine its catalytic performance. In particular, the catalyst needs to have good activity but, more importantly, high selectivity so that the production of side-products is minimised. The challenge is that while catalyst properties can be optimised at bench-scale in the development phase, the performance of the catalyst deteriorates when it is used under industrial process conditions. This is because the physical processes determining how chemical species move into and out of the catalyst, and indeed within the catalyst, change when the catalyst is used in the reactor environment and at industrial process conditions.

The aim of this project is to apply the new magnetic resonance imaging measurements developed in our group to spatially map chemical conversion and the rate at which molecules move with the catalyst and reactor and to use these data to understand how these factors influence the selectivity of the reaction. This level of understanding has the potential to transform our ability to design 'greener' and more efficient catalysts for industrial processes.

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 NQ14871 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 NQ14871 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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