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Name of scholarship/program

Improving sustainability by optimising the washing of fabrics to save energy, water and detergent



Important description
The washing of fabrics in front-loader washing machines is a common but poorly understood process. As with any cleaning operation, the combination of fluid mechanics and chemistry are crucial to understanding and optimising the process. In previous work in our laboratory, we have constructed apparatus to examined the mechanisms occurring when fabrics covered in oils and other foulants and bent, stretched, twisted and had water and cleaning agents passed through them. We have also visualised the process using a state of the art microscope and image capture system. This new project will examine the effect of novel cleaners and novel methods of applying mechanical action such as gas sparging and ultrasound. This project offers the exiting possibility of helping reduce the environmental impact of an everyday process, potentially affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

The project is offered by the University of Bath and is supported by Unilever R&D Port Sunlight. The project will be based in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Bath. The successful applicant will also spend up to three months at Unilever's Port Sunlight Laboratory. The lead supervisor, Dr Mike Bird (www.bath.ac.uk/chem-eng/people/bird/index.html) is a Senior Lecturer in Biochemical Engineering. Please feel free to email Dr Mike Bird (m.r.bird@bath.ac.uk) for additional information prior to making an application. The co-supervisor of the project is Dr John Chew.

The studentship can start at any time up to October 2013, but please apply as soon as possible.

Funding Notes:

Funding Notes
This will cover the University tuition fees for up to three years with a stipend of £13,600 (tax free) in the first year with an increase in years 2 and 3 for students. Available for students with British citizenship, UK Settled status, or who are ‘ordinarily resident’ in the UK. Only University tuition fees can be covered for EU citizens. Candidates should be expecting, or already holding, a first class or upper second class degree in Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Material Science or Physics.


Eligibility and other criteria
Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)
This research project has funding attached. It is only available to UK citizens or those who have been resident in the UK for a period of 3 years or more. Some projects, which are funded by charities or by the universities themselves may have more stringent restrictions.


Application deadline
Applications accepted all year round


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