University of Liverpool PhD Studentship, UK

Publish Date: Dec 21, 2015

Deadline: Jan 31, 2016

University of Liverpool PhD Studentship

Understandng the mobility behaviour of radionuclides in plasma virification of ILW Surrogate

£14,000 stipend plus approximately £4,052 to cover all tuition fees

School of Electrical Engineering, electronics and Computer Science

Location: University Campus


Closing date for receipt of applications: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 17:00:00 GMT

Applications are invited for a graduate to join the Technological Plasma Group in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Electronics at the University of Liverpool for a 4-year PhD position fully funded by the EPSRC Next Generation Nuclear (NGN) Doctoral Training Centre, starting from September/October 2016.

Next Generation Nuclear is a four year programme leading to a PhD and run jointly by the Universities of Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. Its mission is to develop the next generation of research leaders to support the UK’s present and future strategic nuclear programmes- cleaning up the nuclear legacy, building new nuclear power stations, and defence and security. It will work with all the UK’s major industrial and regulatory stakeholders, including Amec, Areva, AWE, EDF, the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the National Nuclear Laboratory, Rolls-Royce, and Sellafield Ltd, and with leading overseas institutions.

The aim of this project is to get a better understanding of thermal plasma vitrification process for the treatment of ILW (intermediate level waste) surrogate to bridge the gap between key science and technology. Particular emphasis will be placed on the investigation of the effect of different operating parameters and plasma generated species on the mobility and transition behaviour of radionuclides in the plasma vitrification of ILW surrogate by optical diagnostics, gas analysis and a wide range of material characterisation techniques (e.g. XRD, XRF, ICP, SEM, leaching test, etc).

Plasma is the fourth state of matter, distinct from the solid, liquid and gaseous states, and has been widely used in many industrial fields including plasma vitrification of waste. Plasma vitrification has been regarded as an alternative and promising process that uses high temperature (1500-2000°C) generated by thermal plasma to rapidly melt nuclear waste (e.g. ILW) with or without additive glasses/ceramics, producing a homogenous and stable slag, into which radionuclides can be encapsulated and immobilised. In this process, organic components in the waste are completely destroyed by the high temperature, energetic electrons and reactive species generated by plasma. Plasma vitrification process could significantly reduce the volume (up to 90%) and weight of nuclear waste, minimise secondary wastes and discharges (e.g. exhaust gas) and enhance the stability and durability of the final wasteform for safe and long-term storage, transport and eventual disposal, with the ultimate goal of reducing the overall cost of managing nuclear waste.

More detailed information can be found here  

We welcome applications from graduates who have, or expect to obtain, a good degree (first class or upper second) in Physics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or related subjects. To be eligible for a studentship, you must either be a U.K. citizen or a European Union national who has been resident in the U.K. for at least 3 years prior to starting the course. We welcome applications from good students of all nationalities, but we are only able to offer financial support to students that fulfill the above criteria.

The Successful student will be funded for a total of 4 years. This will include all tuition fees (Approximately £4,052 per year) plus a maintenance stipend of approximately £14,000 per year. Students will spend their first year taking a range of modules and training that will lead to a PGDip qualification, before registering onto a PhD for the remainder of their studentship.

The NGN Centre welcomes applications from international students however; this particular programme is funded by the Research Council which means we have limited funding opportunities for overseas students.

If you have any questions or need more detailed information, please contact Dr Xin Tu (

The closing date for applications is 31st January 2016. Please apply online via our website & quote the Ref: NGNTU. The application form can be found here:

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:

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