University of Exeter funding: Novel Preparation of Micro

Novel Preparation of Micro/Macro Porous Ceramics for Demanding Applications, Engineering – PhD (Funded) Ref: 3612

About the award


Professor Shaowei Zhang, University of Exeter

Professor Fayyaz Memon, University of Exeter

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in September 2019 or as soon as possible thereafter.  For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,009 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.

Ceramics with tailored or controlled porosity level and pore structure are very promising materials for a range of important applications such as waste (water) treatment, aerospace, catalysis, refractories, and tissue engineering. Several conventional techniques have been used to prepare them, including partial sintering, sacrificial fugitives, replica templates and direct foaming. In this project, these techniques will be further developed and subsequently used, along with other newly-developed novel techniques (e.g., 3D printing), to prepare several important types of oxide and non-oxide porous ceramics for low (e.g., waste water treatment) and high temperature (e.g., refractories and aerospace) applications. Microstructures of as-prepared materials will be investigated using modern characterisation techniques including XRD, SEM, TEM, Raman, and X-ray CT, and their properties and performances examined by following the standardised procedures with the support from industrial partners. The successful candidate is expected to develop cost effective materials and demonstrate their application as a sustainable water/wastewater treatment solution to remove complex pollutants in developing countries. The candidate will also get opportunities to interact with an international NERC funded project FAME.

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £15,009 per year tax-free stipend.  Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend.

Entry requirements

Applicants for this studentship must have obtained, or be about to obtain, a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in materials science/chemistry/physics/engineering.

If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.
• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Research proposal
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 15th September 2019.  Interviews will be held on the University of Exeter Streatham Campus the date to be confirmed.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730 or +44 (0)1392 725150.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor.


Application deadline:15th September 2019
Value:£15,009 per year for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: STEMM PGR Admissions +44 (0)1392 722730 / 5150