Exploring Crystallisation Through Flow Technologies with in Situ Monitoring

The University of Nottingham, UK is inviting excellent candidates to apply for a PhD position. The funds for this fellowship are available for 5 years. This position is closed on March 18, 2020.

This is an exciting opportunity to work with both the University of Nottingham and the UK's foremost X-Ray synchrotron, Diamond Light Source. In this project you will develop new flow technologies and analysis methods to control and understand the crystallisation mechanism of a range of materials, including active building insulation and pharmaceuticals.

Crystals are not just a collection of pretty faces, inside every crystal is a very organised network of atoms. The precise arrangement of these atoms is important for how the crystals interact with their surroundings; for example how well drugs dissolve in the stomach (and therefore what dose is delivered into the body), or how efficiently phase change materials (for active building insulation) can store and expel energy. If we can optimise these crystal arrangements, we can make the ideal crystal for each application.

Flow crystallisation is a growing area which uses the excellent mixing and temperature homogeneity of flow environments to control the crystallisation process. We have developed a series of flow crystallisers which allow us to investigate the growing crystal structure in situ and non-invasively with inline analysis.1

This exciting multidisciplinary project is joint with Diamond Light Source (Beamlines I11 and I19) and will entail the development of new flow crystallisers, new X-Ray Diffraction analysis methodology and a cheminformatics approach to materials discovery.

The successful candidate will gain skills in flow technology engineering, materials self-assembly and characterisation, crystallisation and data science.

This position will be undertaken at both the University of Nottingham and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory site (Oxfordshire) with collaborative visits to the University of Leeds.

The PhD position is available from 1st October 2020. The studentship covers both tuition fees and a tax-free student stipend at RCUK rates (15,009 per annum for 2019/20 academic year). Duration is 3.5 years.

We are seeking an enthusiastic and highly motivated person with good interpersonal skills and a keen interest in research. The candidate must have, or expect to obtain a first-class or 2:1 degree, or a distinction or high merit at MSc level (or international equivalent) in engineering, chemistry or materials science. Due to funding restrictions, this studentship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

Informal contact with Dr Karen Robertson ( before submitting an online application. Please send a brief cover letter and a copy of your CV with your up-to-date relevant experience by email. An informal Skype chat can be had prior to submitting an official application.

Online application can be made via Please quote the studentship reference and Dr Karen Robertson.

[1] A. R. Pallipurath, P.-B. Flandrin, L. E. Wayment, C. C. Wilson and K. Robertson, Mol. Syst. Des. Eng., 2020, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C9ME00103D


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