This research program will develop novel multifunctional protective coating technologies that can be adapted for use on a wide range of substrates including fatigues and textiles as well as assets such as military vehicles and other hardware. The novel coating system will be based on a multi-layered, hierarchical coating where the micro, nano and sub-nano structures are controlled to deliver a robust spray application, protective coating with integrated capture and self-decontaminating capability. The research will involve the synthesis and characterisation of novel molecules and particles for surface coatings developing both synthetic chemistry and coatings expertise, as well as experience in the use of advanced analytical techniques including scanning electron microscopy (SEM), AFM, infra-red, NMR, contact angle analysis and more.
We are looking for a talented chemistry or materials science graduate (or related discipline) with a passion for synthetic chemistry, polymer chemistry or surfaces science for this fully funded 4-year EPSRC, iCASE PhD project. The project will be multi-disciplinary, combining synthetic chemistry, molecule/material characterisation, surface science and prototype development/testing allowing the PhD student the unique opportunity to develop expertise across these diverse fields of science, supported by leading expert scientists from both Industry and Academia.
The successful PhD student will be primarily based at Northumbria University (Newcastle) benefiting from established expertise at this institution in the synthesis and characterisation of functional particles and coatings (www.northumbria.ac.uk/spin). The student will also spend time at Edinburgh University to access specialist facilities and expertise in the field of surface engineering and characterisation and small molecule-surface interactions. With DSTL as part of this research collaboration, the student will benefit from access to testing capabilities and expertise at the government laboratories in Porton Down where they will also spend some of their research time. Overall, this multidisciplinary project team is ideally positioned to deliver new technology and insight for CBR protection facilitated by this iCASE funding.
This collaborative PhD will provide excellent opportunities to interact with industrial experts throughout the duration of the project, delivering an ideal blend of academic and industrial training allowing the PhD student to develop industrial contacts to support future employment opportunities.