PhD opportunities

09 Jan 2017 8:58 AM | Anonymous

Dear Colleagues,

I would be grateful if you could make suitable students aware of the following three funded PhD opportunities linked to the Smart Materials & Surfaces Laboratory here at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle, UK ( and as part of our University’s RDF Studentships scheme. The projects include a theory/simulation project, a combined experimental/theory project and an experimental project:

  1. High density ratio Lattice Boltzmann simulations of binary and ternary systems (RDF17/MPEE/SEMPREBON) – Primary Supervisor: Dr. Ciro Semprebon

  1. The dynamics of hygrotactic fronts – from fundamentals of soft-matter systems to smart materials engineering applications (RDF17/MPEE/LEDESMA-AGUILAR) – Primary Supervisor: Dr. Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar

  1. Dewetting on Textured and Slippery Surfaces (RDF17/MPEE/MCHALE) – Primary Supervisor: Professor Glen McHale

These projects are fully-funded for Home/EU students with tuition fees and a stipend for living costs. For international students, 50% international fees and a stipend for living costs is provided. Depending on circumstances it may be possible to provide 100% international fees for suitable international students. The above projects are suitable for students with good Bachelors or Masters degrees in any one of a range of areas including Mathematics, Physics, Materials or Engineering.

The closing date for applications is 20 January 2017 with a start date of 2 October 2017. For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Over recent years the University has made a substantial investment in excellent research and according to the Times Higher Education was the largest riser in ranking (by 30 places) by research power of any UK University in the recent Research Excellence Framework (REF2014). The Faculty has just completed a £6.7M infrastructure investment in facilities including a new/extended Smart Materials and Surfaces Laboratory, a Materials Imaging/Characterisation Suite including SEM/SIMS/AFM, Rapid Prototyping and CNC facilities, Structures and Geotechnics Laboratories, and Engine Test Cell and Vehicle Aerodynamics/Wind Tunnel equipment. The Faculty has also recently purchased High Performance Computing (HPC) facilities and will complete a new Computer and Information Sciences building in 2017.

Examples of recent research outputs from colleagues working in the Smart Materials & Surfaces Research area include:

  1. Apparent contact angle and contact angle hysteresis on liquid infused surfaces, Semprebon, C., et al., Soft Matter 13, 101–110 (2017).
  2. Not spreading in reverse: The dewetting of a liquid film into a single drop, Edwards, A. M. J., et al., Sci. Adv. 2, e1600183–e1600183 (2016).
  3. Low friction droplet transportation on a substrate with a selective Leidenfrost effect, Dodd, L. E., et al., ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 8, 22658–22663 (2016).
  4. A sublimation heat engine, Wells et al., Nature Communications   6 , art. 6390 (2015).
  5. Superconfinement tailors fluid flow at microscales,  Setu, S. A. et al., Nature Communications 6, 7297 (2015).
  6. Voltage-induced spreading and superspreading of liquids, McHale et al., Nature Communications 4, art. 1605, (2013).

Best regards,



Glen McHale BSc (H), PhD, FInstP, FHEA, SMIEEE

Professor of Applied & Materials Physics and

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Faculty of Engineering & Environment

T:    +44 (0)191 227 3660

PA:  +44 (0)191 227 4397


Room 105, Ellison D Block, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 8ST, United Kingdom



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