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Funding and scholarships for students

Award details

Electrokinetics for the in situ recovery of metals from fine grained industrial waste. EMPS College Home fees Studentship, PhD in Mining and Minerals Engineering. Ref: 4306

About the award

Supervisors

Lead Supervisor:

Dr Rich Crane, Camborne School of Mines, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter

Co-supervisor: 

Prof. Karen Hudson Edwards, Camborne School of Mines, Penryn Campus, University of Exeter

Location:

Department of Mining and Minerals Engineering, Penryn Campus, Cornwall, 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 January 2022 or as soon as possible thereafter. The studentship will cover Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study. 

This College studentship is open to UK and Irish nationals, who if successful in their application will receive a full studentship including payment of university tuition fees at the home fees rate.

Project Description:

The problem:

Industrial waste (including: mine waste, fly ash, metallurgical wastes) can be considered ore deposits of the future because they often contain metal concentrations approaching conventional ore grades. A fundamental challenge, however, is that conventional approaches for their reprocessing (namely physical excavation followed by ex situ reprocessing) is both energy intensive and environmentally destructive.

The solution:

This PhD project will seek to deliver a new technology for industrial waste reprocessing which will enable the recovery of metals with radically less environmental disturbance, waste generation and energy input. In particular the research will focus on developing a mechanistic understanding of how we can combine in situ leach mining with electrokinetics and other hybrid approaches (ultrasonication, microwave activity, etc.) in order to: (1) precisely control the subsurface movement of a leaching chemical; and (2) “force” it through low hydraulic conductivity sediments.

The specific aims of project are to:

(1) Collect and characterise industrial waste from across the UK which span a range of different mineralogy potentially applicable for electrokinetic in situ leach mining.
(2) Determine how we can synthesise, and optimise the application of, next generation lixiviants which are selective for target metal dissolution from ores and mine waste.
(3) Determine what electrokinetic conditions are best suited to control both lixiviant leaching efficacy and transport through porous systems.

This exciting project will benefit from the world-class facilities at the Camborne School of Mines & the Environment and Sustainability Institute, University of Exeter and will also comprise fieldwork at several interesting industrial sites in the UK.

Entry requirements

This studentship is open to UK and Irish nationals, who if successful in their application will receive a full studentship including payment of university tuition fees at the home fees rate.

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 an appropriate area of science or technology.

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 http://www.exeter.ac.uk/postgraduate/apply/english/).

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.  Please note our preferred format is PDF, each file named with your surname and the name of the document, eg. “Smith – CV.pdf”, “Smith – Cover Letter.pdf”, “Smith – Transcript.pdf”.

• CV
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior project work experience and reasons for
  wishing to undertake the project).
• 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 pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk 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.  Please see the entry requirements information above.

The closing date for applications is midnight on 24th January 2022.  Interviews will be held online on the week commencing 7th February 2022.

If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor at r.crane@exeter.ac.uk

Summary

Application deadline:24th January 2022
Value:Home tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £15,609 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.
Duration of award:per year
Contact: PGR Admissions Office pgrenquiries@exeter.ac.uk