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Funded PhD Opportunity

PhD Studentship on the Influence of Additives on the Processing and Properties of Polymers for Medical Device Applications

Subject: Engineering


Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (including international fees if applicable) tenable in the Faculty of Computing and Engineering at Ulster University based at the Jordanstown campus. The PhD studentship is funded as part of the EU INTERREG North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing.

Project Background: North West Centre for Advanced Manufacturing

A project supported by the EU’s PEACE IV/ INTERREG VA programme, managed by the Special EU programmes body (SEUPB). This project aims to create an Advanced Manufacturing super cluster combining the collective and complementary strengths of the Engineering Research Institute at Ulster University; the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre at Glasgow University; the PEM Centre at Sligo Institute of Technology; and CoLab at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. The project bid was co-ordinated by Catalyst Inc. This project includes themes on sustainable manufacturing of advanced polymers, additive manufacturing, and manufacturing technology for nanoscience applications.  The project will enable regional Health & Life Sciences companies, predominately based in the North West, to develop new products and processes; thereby, strengthening the Regional economy.


Polymeric materials are used in a huge number of products today. Various additives may be introduced into the polymer during processing to add colour, enhance tensile properties and so on. When such materials are added to the polymer they may change the processability of the material and also may have a detrimental impact on other performance characteristics such as impact strength. In order to ensure consistency of product quality it is therefore important to understand why and how these properties change and to dteremine how to minimise or prevent unintended effects of such additives.

Project Details

This project is in collaboration with a local medical device manufacturer and will focus on identifying how key additives such as the pigments used in polymer processing affect the processability and properties of the end product. It will then identify methods to minimise or eliminate unwanted effects such as inconsistent part shrinkage. The work will be carried out using state of the art processing and characterisation facilities at Ulster University and also in NIACE, The Northern Ireland Advanced Composites and Engineering Centre.

Studentship Details and Entrance Requirements

The studentship comprises of full fees (this includes international fees if appropriate) and an annual stipend of £14,553. Studentships will be awarded on a full-time basis for a three-year period, subject to satisfactory progress being made towards the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.

Applications will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate’s qualifications, experience, and interests. Candidates should hold, or expect to hold, a first class or upper second class honours degree (as a minimum) in a relevant Engineering or Materials Science discipline. The admission process and programme of study will proceed according to Ulster University regulations and requirements.

Essential criteria

  • Upper Second Class Honours (2:1) Degree or equivalent from a UK institution (or overseas award deemed to be equivalent via UK NARIC)


This project is supported by the European Union's INTERREG VA Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Other information

The Doctoral College at Ulster University

Key dates

Submission deadline
Tuesday 24 April 2018

Interview Date
May 2018

Contact supervisor

Professor Eileen Harkin-Jones


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