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Name of scholarship/program

PhD Studentship - Molecular dynamics simulations of polylactic acid (PLA) biodegradable polymer

Important description
Funded by the European Commission FP7 Project, Cranfield University offers a PhD studentship with up to £14,500 p.a. available for three years, UK/EU fees included*

Cranfield University, as part of the European Commission FP7 project, is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake this exciting research project.

The aim of the project is to develop continuous, highly precise, metal-free polymerisation of Polylactic Acid (PLA) using alternative energies for reactive extrusion. PLA has proven to be the most attractive biodegradable polyesters and possesses excellent mechanical properties that can be broken down into non-toxic metabolites by bio-organisms.

The PhD studies will specifically focus on simulation of molecular mechanics of alternative energy impact and interactions within reaction system during PLA polymerisation. Simulation studies will cover the incorporation and the interaction between the alternative energy sources and the reaction system. The alternative energy input will be integrated into the Ludovic software to allow the simulation of incorporated alternative energy. In parallel finite element analysis will be used to understand the molecular interactions between the reaction system and the alternative energy source. Subsequently the polymerisation process will be simulated using Ludovic and the newly integrated routines. An iterative optimisation process using the results from online and off-line reaction kinetics will be conducted. Using the optimised Software a scale up strategy for the process will be given, evaluated and a materials database will be developed for use by project partners. The successful candidate will work with project partners from Germany, Belgium, France, Poland, Spain and Italy plus will have opportunities to work in partner’s laboratories in the course of the PhD studies.

For an initial discussion about the project, please contact Dr Hrushikesh Abhyankar (h.a.abhyankar@cranfield.ac.uk) or Dr James Njuguna (j.njuguna@cranfield.ac.uk)

Anticipated Start date: asap

Eligibility and other criteria
This research project has funding attached. Funding for this project is available to citizens of a number of European countries (including the UK). In most cases this will include all EU nationals. However full funding may not be available to all applicants and you should read the full department and project details for further information.

Application deadline
* 04/01/2013

Additional information, and important URL
Entry Requirements: Applicants should have a first or upper second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related subject such as Molecular simulation, Kinetic reactions, Modelling, Polymer science or Chemical engineering. A good understanding of polymer chemistry and a basic knowledge of Ludovic software is also desirable. *Applicants are eligible for a bursary of up to £14,500 p.a. for the duration of the award dependent upon qualifications and experience. This studentship will cover the tuition fees for qualified UK/EU students only. Non UK/EU students are required to pay Cranfield University Tuition Fees, find out more at www.cranfield.ac.uk/sas/fees/

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