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PhD Studentship: Nanoengineered smart surfaces

(UK or Home students only)

A fully-funded PhD studentship for research in the area of nanotechnology for smart surface applications is available at the Departments of Electronic and Electrical Engineering (Dr. Ioannis Papakonstantinou), Mechanical Engineering (Dr. Manish K. Tiwari) and Chemistry (Prof. Ivan Parkin) at University College London (UCL). The project aims to develop a new class of smart nanoengineered surfaces.

Background:  The work in this project seeks to introduce an entirely new class of smart nanoengineered surfaces for passive, energy efficient manipulation of liquid repellency, water condensation, ice-nucleation and optical properties. These smart surfaces will improve the energy efficiency of industrial processes, automobiles, planes and ships as well as buildings. The supervisory-team have recently established – publications in Science, Nature Communication, Nano Letters, PNAS, EPSRC press releases and other – a need for surfaces with precise nanoscale features for a wide ranging smart-surface applications. Such surfaces can enable: i) ultra-low adhesion to both water and oils and excellent resistance to high speed droplet impact (e.g. in rain drop impacts of plane moving through clouds); ii) control of water condensation and freezing; iii) manipulation of light properties (transmittance/emissivity) required for efficient solar cells and heat control in smart buildings; and, iv) surface property tunability by external stimuli (temperature or light activation) upon conformal smart coating of these nanostructures. The potential for smart nanoengineered surfaces is clearly enormous.

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PhD Studentship:  The studentship is available for 4 years with start date of 25th September 2017. The award will cover tuition fees (UK/Home only) and a tax-free stipend (including top-up) which is currently £16,296 per annum. Candidates should have received, or expect to receive, a first, or equivalent, in their first degree in Physics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical/ Electronic Engineering, Chemistry or similar, or an equivalent MSc degree. Exposure to nanotechnology fabrication processes and application of coatings is desirable but not necessary. Candidates should have an independent and proactive working style, good communication skills and the ability to work in a team.

Please note that, due to funding restrictions, only UK and Home students (residents in the UK) are eligible for this studentship.

To apply, please send a CV, a cover letter and contact details of at least two referees to Dr. Ioannis Papakonstantinou ( and Dr. Manish K. Tiwari ( quoting “EPSRC  PhD studentship – smart surfaces” in the email subject line.

Informal queries can be addressed also to Dr Papakonstantinou and Dr Tiwari at the same email addresses and with the same subject line.

Closing date is 1st of June 2017 but applications will be considered throughout this period and the position will be available until it is filled.