School of Science

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Current studentships

The School of Science is benefitting from around £20 million in infrastructure investment to create 21st Century research facilities. Applications are invited for a number of funded studentships in the School for an October 2018 or thereabouts start.

Applications are invited for a number of funded studentships from the following areas:

3D Printed Chemical Reactors with embedded functionality

Supervisor: Steve Christie (s.d.chrsitie@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-1509-222587).

Nature of work: Utilising cutting edge techniques in 3D printing, design and reaction monitoring to provide highly optimised routes to biologically relevant compounds.

Area: The project is based around synthetic chemistry, but will employ analytical chemistry, computer aided design and modelling.

Potential implications: The successful project will combine different skills and techniques in order to produce highly optimised, automated routes to important organic molecules. The combination of bespoke, printed chemical reactor with built in analytical functionality provides a step change in how chemists think about reaction optimisation. Extension of this to computer automation of reactions then leads to a rapid acceleration of chemical discovery.

Brief description: Loughborough is a world leader in the preparation and use of 3D printed chemical reactors, particularly with embedded analytical functionality.  We are one a few groups to design and prepare 3D printed reactors using a variety of different techniques.  By embedding sensors into the reactors, we can accurately monitor reactions as they progress.  This allows the optimisation of reactions in real time through a Design of Experiments, or an automation approach.  This project will look at further integration of these diverse techniques to produce highly optimised reactors for the production of hard to access products, and utilising novel chemistry.  The successful applicant will be well trained in computer aided design, 3D printing, online analysis, reaction optimisation and automation, as well as advanced organic synthesis.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Chemistry.  

Please quote reference number: SC/CM/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

 

Applications of finite semigroups in formal verification

Supervisor: Manfred Kufleitner (M.Kufleitner@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-223987).

Nature of work: This is a theoretical project that might potentially involve some design, implementation and testing of algorithms.

Area: Formal verification; automata theory; finite semigroups; finite model theory; logic

Potential implications: Potential results might lead to new and promising methods in formal verification. They could, hence, improve existing algorithms and their implementations, which would allow certain verification tasks to be performed more efficiently. It might also be possible to use techniques from logic and verification for solving problems in algebra. It is therefore anticipated that, if successful, the project would have significant academic as well as applied impact.

Brief description: 

Formal verification aims at rigorously proving that a system satisfies some specification. Systems can be modelled using abstract machines and specifications are given using logic descriptions. There exist various possibilities to solving verification problems. A quite general approach is to translate both the system and the specification into a common data structure with desirable effective closure properties. The algorithms for these closure properties can then be used for deciding whether the system satisfies the specification.

The aim of this project is to use homomorphisms to finite semigroups as such a data structure. One advantage is that it allows efficient minimisation, even in cases where no such techniques are known for other data structures. There are certain downsides to finite semigroups, and it would be interesting to get a better understanding of the situations in which efficient minimisation makes up for these downsides. In particular, one would need to investigate the complexity and efficient algorithms for the various closure properties of finite semigroups.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Computer Science.

Please quote reference number:  MK/CO/2018.

Closing date is 16th February 2018.

Automorphic Lie Algebras associated to exceptional Lie algebras

Supervisor: Sara Lombardo (s.lombardo@lboro.ac.uk; phone: +44 (0) 1509 22 3327)

Nature of work: This is an intra-disciplinary project in Mathematical Sciences that draws ideas from algebra, intergrable systems and representation theory. If you enjoy linear and abstract algebra, and if you appreciate the elegance of analysis and group theory this project is for you. Some ability to program and/or use computer algebra systems (such as GAP, Mathematica, etc.) might be an advantage.

Area: Mathematics; Algebra.

Potential implications: The project is driven by desire to expand knowledge at the crossroad between algebra, group theory, complex analysis and mathematical physics. Thus, the project will make a specific contribution to the academic body of knowledge in Mathematics, and potentially have an impact on the theory of Integrable Systems, as well as in Conformal Field Theory.

Brief description:

Symmetry has been a driving idea for art, architecture and music for centuries. Nature itself seems to be organised according to symmetries. In Mathematics and Physics the concept of symmetry plays a fundamental role, often associated with the idea of invariance (for example, under certain transformations). The research on Automorphic Lie Algebras (ALiAs) ultimately aims to describe symmetries.

In fact, ALiAs could be described as continuous symmetries bearing a discrete symmetry themselves. More precisely, ALiAs are Lie algebras over a ring defined by invariance under the action of a finite group of automorphisms. Such Lie algebras have been extensively studied in the last decade but only recently it was discovered that these algebras are intimately related with a cohomology theory on root systems.

In this project you will adopt the latest theory to classify ALiAs associated to exceptional simple Lie algebras, starting from g_2, this being the smallest exceptional simple Lie algebra. If you enjoy linear and abstract algebra, and if you appreciate the elegance of analysis and group theory this project is for you. Some ability to program and/or use computer algebra systems (such as GAP, Mathematica, etc.) might be an advantage.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Mathematical Sciences. 

Please quote reference number:  SL/MA/2018

Closing date of advert:  16th February 2018

Computer Aided Engineering for the Manufacturing of Quantum Technologies

Primary Supervisor: Dr Mark Everitt (M.J.Everitt@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-1509-223325)

Secondary Supervisors: Dr Vincent Dwyer/Dr Laura Justham

Brief description:

In 2017 a team of leading quantum technologists (Lekitsch, Weidt, Fowler, Mølmer, Devitt, Wunderlich and Hensinger) proposed a Blueprint for a microwave trapped ion quantum computer [Science Advances DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601540].  This work proposed a scheme for producing an ion based scalable quantum computer architecture leveraging silicon microfabrication techniques within reach of current technology. The realisation of machines like this one represents one of the biggest challenges to modern engineering - much more so than faced engineers building the ENIAC in 1943. Your PhD will seek to provide the engineering vision and methodology needed to realise such large-scale quantum technologies especially in the areas of system integration, manufacture, reliability and maintenance.

Profile: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/physics/staff/academic/mark-everitt/
Group: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/research/quantum-systems/

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: ME/PH/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

PhD Studentship: Deposition and properties of thin films of high-entropy alloys

Supervisor: Dr M D Cropper (m.d.cropper@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-1509-223308).

Nature of work: Deposition and properties of thin films of high-entropy alloys.

Area: Thin Films and Surfaces

Potential implications: To investigate the production of promising alloys in thin-film form

Brief description:

Alloys made from five or more metallic elements in roughly equal proportions are frequently described as high-entropy alloys. Bulk high-entropy alloys have been widely studied and the materials have been shown to have promising mechanical properties including. A typical example of a high-entropy alloy is CoCrCuFeNi. These alloys are stabilised by the entropy of mixing and tend to form solid solutions. Although there have been many studies of bulk materials, there are fewer reports on thin films.

We intend to study the deposition and properties of thin films of some example high-entropy alloys. The deposition techniques at our disposal are pulsed laser deposition and magnetron sputtering, the latter principally for non-magnetic alloys. The aim is to deposit thin films under differing conditions and potentially with varying compositions, and to appraise them using analytical techniques including x-ray diffraction and electron spectroscopy. The analysis will address issues such as structure, composition and any incidence of surface segregation that may affect surface properties. Where appropriate the analysis may be extended to magnetic properties.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: MC/PH/2018.

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Development and application of mild-slope computational models for the assessment of meteorological tsunami hazard in the UK

Supervisor: Dr Emiliano Renzi (e.renzi@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-223186).

Nature of work: Mathematical theory and computer simulations.

Area: Applied Mathematics.

Potential implications: This project will apply mathematical models to assess the meteorological tsunami hazard risk in Great Britain. The project has the potential to shape policies and public behaviour that will lead to safer coastal communities and beaches in the UK, ultimately saving human lives.

Brief description: Meteotsunamis are large waves generated by storms at sea, which have already killed tens of people in the last century in the UK. Unfortunately, the current British technology is unable to forecast meteotsunamis. Now, a team led by Dr Renzi and supported by a recent EPSRC grant are developing novel mathematical models to make meteotsunami prediction possible. The successful applicant will work with Dr Renzi’s team to solve the governing differential equations with computational fluid dynamics software. They will apply the mathematical models to real scenarios in order to assess the meteotsunami hazard risk in Great Britain. Dr Renzi’s group is working in partnership with Professor David Tappin of the British Geological Survey, a world-leading expert in tsunamis generated by non-conventional sources, and with Met Office, UK’s premier provider of meteorological data.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select MARP11 Mathematical Sciences.

Please quote reference number: MA/ER/2018.

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

Energy harvesting with magnetic thin films

Supervisor: Dr Kelly Morrison (k.morrison@lboro.ac.uk; https://kmphysics.com/ , +44 (0)1509 228201).

Nature of work: This will largely be an experimental project but there is scope for the student to carry out simulations as needed.

Area: Magnetism, spintronics.

Potential implications: This research could be used in new technologies such as alternative energy harvesting devices, or as a source of spin currents in spintronics applications.

Brief description:

The spin Seebeck effect is a newly discovered phenomenon that manifests as the generation of a spin current when a magnetic material is subjected to a temperature gradient. For this reason it is often classed with a larger group of effects under the umbrella term “spin caloritronics”, i.e. the interplay of spin and thermal currents that have implications for future electronic devices. A potential application of this effect is in thermoelectrics: devices that can convert waste heat into a useful voltage, however this is still a relatively unexplored research field.

You will be working alongside a team of researchers as part of the EPSRC Fellowship -      Reliable, Scalable and Affordable Thermoelectrics: Spin Seebeck Based Devices for Energy Harvesting – where we are developing new devices and metrology of the spin Seebeck effect. This could involve, amongst others: fabrication of devices using thin film deposition; device fabrication using photolithography; characterisation of devices with X-ray Diffraction and Reflectivity; use of largescale facilities such as synchrotrons and neutron beamline; and other characterisation such as SEM, electric, thermal and magnetic measurements.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: KM-2/PH/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Fractal structures in high-dimensional reactions

Primary supervisor:      Dr Thomas Bartsch; T.Bartsch@lboro.ac.uk Tel: +44-(0)1509-222858

Secondary supervisor: Prof Anatoly Neishtadt

Title: Fractal structures in high-dimensional reactions.

Nature of work: The project offers the chance to learn and further develop fundamental methods in dynamical systems that will have applications across a range of fields. The research group maintains collaborations with researchers in mathematics, physics and chemistry in various European countries and the US. The successful applicant will obtain wide-ranging expertise in different fields of science and build a network of contacts that will form an excellent basis for further career development.

Brief description: In many chemical reactions the reaction rate is determined by the crossing of an energy barrier. In order to predict whether a reaction will occur, one must understand the dynamics of the crossing in as much detail as possible. There is a growing interest in high-dimensional systems, which show novel dynamical effects.

Of particular importance are the trapped trajectories near the barrier top, i.e., those that never leave the barrier region. These trajectories organize the surrounding dynamics. They often from fractal structures.

In this project you will study the dynamics of simple chemical reactions with three atoms, which are the smallest systems in which high-dimensional effects occur. You will compute the clusters of trapped trajectories, their fractal dimension and stability properties and relate them to the reaction rate.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme ‘Mathematical Sciences ‘.

Please quote reference number: TB/MA/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Title/Area: Game theory and machine learning

Title/Area: Game theory and machine learning

Primary supervisor: S. Fatima (s.s.fatima@lboro.ac.uk; tel:+44-15-09-222677)

Start date: 2017/18

Nature of work: The research involves theoretical modelling as well as simulations.

About the project: On this research project, you will have the opportunity to work in an exciting and emerging area of Artificial Intelligence that lies at the intersection of game theory and machine learning. This area is becoming increasingly important for the development of state-of-the-art applications that involve cooperation and coordination between machines and between humans and machines.

In more detail, the proposed research is aimed at building systems comprised of autonomous decision-making components. Each individual component must be designed to accomplish its goals that can possibly conflict with the goals of others. Focus will be on modelling rational interaction and devising effective interaction mechanisms for enabling autonomous conflict resolution. The project will involve formal models from game theory together with machine learning, but the ultimate focus will be on real-world applications such as a building a team of humans and manned/unmanned vehicles (UAVs), or a team of robots in which each robot must adapt its behaviour in accordance with the behaviours of the others.

About the supervisor: Dr S Fatima has been working in this area for over a decade and has been investigator on EPSRC projects. She has successfully supervised PhD students and post-doctoral researchers. Her work has been published in several internationally leading journals and conferences. She also co-authored the book Principles of Automated Negotiation published by Cambridge University Press.

About the applicant: The proposed project is broad in scope and there is flexibility.  The precise details of research pursued on the project will depend on the candidate’s research background and their interests. Desirable background knowledge includes algorithms, game theory, machine learning. However, all applicants with a strong computer science background are welcome to apply. Candidates should have good writing, communication, presentation, and organization skills.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Computer Science.

Please quote reference number: SF/CO/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

 

 

Harnessing continous flow for the synthesis of complex functional molecules

Supervisor:

Primary supervisor - Dr. Marc C. Kimber (M.C.Kimber@lboro.ac.uk; phone +44-15-09-222570).

Nature of work: An experimental project utilising ‘21st century technologies’ to address short-comings in the synthesis of complex functional molecules.

Area: Chemical synthesis using sequential continuous flow technology

Potential implications: The existing ‘benchmarked’ methodology for the synthesis of complex functional molecules is typically step-wise in nature and involving isolation of intermediates. This can compromise efficiency and overall chemical yields; while increasing expense and generating significant chemical waste. In contrast, Continous Flow Technology can potentially be adapted to undertake multiple chemical reactions, without isolation of any intermediates. This project will explore this approach using an affordable off-the-shelf Continous Flow system and will be demonstrated using medicinally important functional molecules as targets; additionally, it will link into existing programmes of research across the school and campus (e.g. EPSRC Anti-Microbial-Resistance projects, in-line reaction monitoring).

Brief description: Off-the-shelf, affordable, continuous flow technology has the potential to revolutionise chemical synthesis. The traditional, step-wise approaches to complex chemical synthesis (figure 1(a); AèBèCèD) can now potentially be undertaken sequentially (AèD) using this technology, therefore reducing cost, waste and importantly time.

Recently, the group reported the first sequential conversion of 1,3-dienes to valuable furans using an affordable continuous flow system (figure 1(b)). This project will build upon these excellent results, by examining the sequential formation of medicinally important compounds such as heterocycles, conformationally restricted cyclobutanes, as well as exploring the formation of challenging chemical bonds (C-CF3) using this continuous flow approach. This will be undertaken using our recently acquired Vapourtec continuous flow apparatus, and will equip the successful applicant with the requisite skill-set required in the 21st century pharmaceutical industry. Additionally, given the nature of the target molecules, the project will expose the applicant to existing concurrent projects within the school and University, such as our EPSRC AMR initiative, the on-going work in continuous flow technology and in-line reaction monitoring, and the use of computational methods in supporting and validating chemical transformations.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Chemistry.

Please quote reference number: MK/CM/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

Hyperbolic equations with irregular coefficients: very weak solutions and applications

Supervisor: Claudia Garetto (c.garetto@lboro.ac.uk: +44(0) 1509222870

Cosupervisor: Marco Discacciati (m.discacciati@lboro.ac.uk; phone 01509222861

Nature of work: In the first part of this project we develop a new theoretical approach to hyperbolic equations with irregular coefficients. In the second part we apply this ideas to specific examples of hyperbolic equations coming from physics (wave propagation in a multi-layered medium) and we test them via some numerical experiments.

Area: Analysis of PDEs/Numerical Analysis

Potential implications: Geophysics

Brief description:  Hyperbolic equations appear in basically all sciences. This project is devoted to hyperbolic equations with highly irregular coefficients (distributions). They naturally appear in physical phenomena like the propagation of waves in a layered medium. For such equations often it is already an issue to define what a solution is. For this reason it has been recently introduced a notion of very weak solution (see [1]). The main idea behind this theoretical concept is an approximation by regularisation. Typical example is the Heaviside function which is regularised via a net of smooth functions as in the picture below:

Interesting results of very weak well-posedness have been obtained for the wave equation in [1] supported by some numerical experiments in [2]. It is purpose of this project to extend the results of [1] to a wider class of hyperbolic equations (m-order with irregular coefficients). This will be done first theoretically (well-posedness results) and then numerically on some specific examples.  

[1] Garetto C. and Ruzhansky M., Hyperbolic  second order equations with non-regular time dependent coefficients, Arch. Rat. Mech. Anal., 217(1), 113-154, (2015).

[2] Munoz J. C., Ruzhansky M. and Tokmagambetov N., Wave propagation with irregular dissipation and applications to acoustic problems and shallow waters, arXiv:1705.01401, (2017).

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select ‘Mathematical Sciences’.  

Please quote reference number: CG/MA/2018.

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

Long time-scale modelling of radiation damage in nuclear graphite

Supervisor: Dr Kenny Jolley (K.Jolley@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-222554).

Nature of work: Computer simulation project using LAMMPS MD code and AIMPRO DFT code.

Area: Nuclear Graphite

Potential implications: Understanding properties of nuclear graphite   

Brief description:

Graphite is a material that has widespread application in nuclear reactors, both with the old AGR reactors that are currently used by the UK and also in next generation power plants. After many years of exposure, irradiated graphite first contracts and then expands as defect damage builds up. In addition, the Wigner effect can also occur where concerted motion of groups of defects can cause severe heating as happened at Windscale in the 1950’s. Future reactor designs will rely upon a good understanding of the properties of nuclear graphite under high temperature and high irradiation. 

The motion of atoms over such long-time scales cannot be investigated by molecular dynamics, but information can be obtained by accelerated time scale techniques or adaptive kinetic Monte Carlo methods. The project will build on previous work at Loughborough developing such techniques and apply the methodology to the problem of radiation damage in nuclear graphite. The industrial partner is EDF. 

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Department of Chemistry.  

Please quote reference number: CM/KJ/2018

Closing date of advert:  16th February 2018.

Mathematical modelling and passive control of droplets on surfaces

Supervisor: David Sibley (d.n.sibley@lboro.ac.uk; phone +44 (0)1509 228127).

Nature of work: Theory and simulations (relatively small-scale numerical simulations likely to be on a desktop computer).

Area: Applied Mathematics, Fluid Dynamics, Interfacial Flows, Multiscale Systems.

Potential implications: Tuning the wetting properties of surfaces for control of inkjet printing, self-cleaning properties of materials (e.g. solar panels) etc.

Brief description: Situations arise throughout nature and industry where fluid droplets interact with surfaces, from rain on leaves, waterproof clothing or solar panels to inkjet printing. Manufactured surfaces can be designed to have certain wetting properties, effectively how much the surfaces like to attract or repel fluids, through either the actual material or the texturing of the surface. To design these features requires an understanding of the surface and its interactions with the fluids on them at very small scales, but they ultimately can determine or control the behaviour of whole droplets or systems of droplets at large, macroscopic, scales. This project will develop both the theory of the mathematical models used to understand the motion of droplets and simulation techniques to explore the resulting behaviours.

 

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Mathematical Sciences.

Please quote reference number: MA/DS/2018.

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

 

 

Multidimensional quasilinear systems: geometry and integrability

Supervisor: Prof E. Ferapontov (E.V.Ferapontov@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-223309).

Nature of work: Theoretical project at the intersection of Differential Geometry and the theory of Differential Equations.

Area: Mathematics.

Potential Applications: Multidimensional quasilinear systems occur in a wide range of applications in fluid dynamics, averaging theory, general relativity, differential geometry, and the theory of integrable systems.

Brief description: Quasilinear systems describe a class of nonlinear waves where dispersive effects can be neglected. Our team at Loughborough has proposed a novel approach to the study of such systems known as the method of hydrodynamic reductions [1].

In this project we will apply the method of hydrodynamic reductions to the investigation of first-order multi-component systems of hydrodynamic type in 2+1 dimensions. The ultimate goal is a complete description of integrable systems within this class. Quasilinear integrable  systems are expected to have remarkable geometric/symmetry properties and are of prime importance for the classification of multidimensional dispersive integrable models.  We will apply the necessary differential-geometric condition for integrability coming from the theory of double waves [2].

Familiarity with differential equations, differential geometry and computer algebra (Mathematica, Maple) would be a valuable asset for this project.

References:

[1] E.V. Ferapontov and K.R. Khusnutdinova, On integrability of (2+1)-dimensional quasilinear systems,  Comm. Math. Phys.  248 (2004) 187-206.

[2]  E.V. Ferapontov and K.R. Khusnutdinova, Double waves in multi-dimensional systems of hydrodynamic type: the necessary condition for integrability,  Proc. Royal Soc.  A  462 (2006) 1197-1219.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Mathematical Sciences.

Please quote reference number: EVF/MA/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

 

Multidimensional integrable systems: deformations of dispersionless limits

Supervisor: Dr. Vladimir Novikov (V.Novikov@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-223 305).

Nature of work: Theoretical project at the intersection of the theory of Differential Equations, Differential Geometry and Integrable Systems.

Area: Mathematics.

Potential implications: Multidimensional nonlinear partial differential equations appear as universal models in many applicative contexts e.g. in Fluid Dynamics, Nonlinear Photonics and other areas where nonlinear phenomena occur.

Brief description: Integrable multidimensional PDEs appear in many areas of modern Mathematics and Nonlinear Science as universal models. There is the rich theory of integrable systems in 2-dimensions, while the theory of integrability in dimensions higher than 2 remains much less developed. Moreover, one distinguishes two types of integrable systems in higher dimensional case: dispersionless and dispersive integrable systems. Our team in Loughborough proposed a novel technique of studying integrability in higher dimensional case, which in extends the definition of integrability in dispersionless case to fully dispersive systems – the method of deformed hydrodynamic reductions [1].  

In this project will apply the method of deformed hydrodynamic reductions to multi-component systems of Davey-Stewartson type.

The method of deformed hydrodynamic reductions is also applicable to differential-difference and fully discrete discrete systems [2]. The differential-difference and discrete systems of Davey-Stewartson type will also be studies.

Familiarity with differential equations, differential geometry and computer algebra (Mathematica, Maple) would be a valuable asset for this project.

References:

[1] E.V. Ferapontov, A. Moro, V.S. Novikov, Integrable equations in 2+ 1 dimensions: deformations of dispersionless limits, Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical, 42, 34, 345205 (2009).

[2] E.V. Ferapontov, V.S. Novikov, I. Roustemoglou, On the classification of discrete Hirota-type equations in 3D, International Mathematics Research Notices, 2015, 13, 4933-4974 (2015).

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Mathematical Sciences

Please quote reference number: VN/MA/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Nonlinear internal waves in stratified flows with multiple interfaces

Supervisor: Ricardo Barros (r.barros@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-228256)

Nature of work: This project requires a broad range of skills in modern applied mathematics, such as the modelling of strongly nonlinear phenomena, asymptotic analysis of PDEs, and scientific computation.

Area: Applied mathematics; mathematical modelling; nonlinear waves; fluid dynamics; stratified flows.

Potential implications: The study of internal waves has important applications in geophysical fluid dynamics and theoretical oceanography. This project could, in particular, contribute to a better understanding of the threats such waves may pose to the Arctic environment, as an increase of internal wave activity in the region may lead to even greater ice loss as a result of warmer water from the bottom being brought to the surface. In addition, the inclusion of multiple interfaces will allow to describe the characteristics of higher baroclinic mode waves and their ability to efficiently trap and transport particles, which could have a great impact on marine ecology.

Brief description: Large amplitude internal waves, excited typically by the interaction of tidal currents with bottom topography, have been observed frequently in coastal oceans through in situ measurements and satellite images. The importance of this geophysical phenomenon has been increasingly appreciated, as it is believed to be responsible for a significant fraction of the mixing that must exist to maintain the observed ocean circulation. Weakly nonlinear models have been extensively used to study internal waves and, among them, the Korteweg-de Vries model has stood for many years as the ‘‘canonical’’ equation for the evolution of these waves. However, to allow a more accurate description of these waves, higher-order nonlinear models may be required, as wave amplitudes are often large and comparable to the thickness of the wellmixed upper layer. This research will further develop the mathematical understanding of the proposed nonlinear models for internal waves, and improving them by taking into account more realistic situations where twodimensional effects, vorticity, and multiple interfaces are present. The hydrodynamic stability issues associated with the propagation of internal waves will also be addressed, and links between weakly and strongly nonlinear regimes will be investigated.

How to apply: Applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select Mathematics.

Please quote reference: RLB/MA/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Preschool children’s understanding of number: Connecting number symbols and quantity information

Supervisor: Sophie Batchelor (s.m.batchelor@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-228-348).

Nature of work: Experimental

Area: Numerical Cognition / Mathematics Education

Potential implications: The results will help to inform theories of preschool number acquisition

Brief description:

For many children, the development of symbolic number knowledge (i.e. knowledge of number words and Arabic numerals) can be a long and difficult process. Learning to recite the number sequence by rote may happen quite early, but it can take years to grasp the meanings of the words in the count list. Importantly, children need to make connections between number symbols (e.g. “three” and “3”) and underlying quantity information (e.g. •••). 

Researchers in numerical cognition have shown that the fluency with which children can map between number symbols and quantities is positively associated with their mathematical skills. But it is not yet clear whether this association is a causal one. If we train children to get better at making the connections between number words, digits and quantities, does their mapping ability improve? And does this lead to improvements in arithmetic skills? The goal of this project is to design and develop an experimental intervention to test the causal relations between mapping ability and mathematical skills in preschool aged children. 

The project would be well-suited to a candidate with interest and experience in cognitive and developmental psychology.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select ‘Mathematics’.

Please quote reference number: SB/MEC/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

 

Quantum materials for efficient spintronic, thermoelectric and spin caloritronic device applications

Supervisor: Dr Fasil Dejene (f.k.dejene@lboro.ac.uk)

Nature of work: Experimental (device fabrication, electrical, thermal and spin transport measurements)

Area: spintronics, spin caloritronics, two-dimensional quantum materials and thermoelectrics

Potential implications: New functional nanospintronic device architectures for future data storage and quantum computation applications.

Brief description:

Quantum (topological) materials have the potential for fast and energy efficient future spintronic and computing technologies. The topological surfaces states in these materials could allow performing deterministic and chiral (unidirectional) spin-orbit torque switching of adjacent magnetic layers, one of the critical steps for post CMOS memory technologies. In these materials, there exist strong interplay between the charge, spin, heat and valley degrees of freedom. Due to these versatile properties of topological materials, the next few years will continue to attract interest both for fundamental research as well as device applications. This project aims to tap these possibilities and investigates new direction for future data storage and memory devices. In the PhD project, we propose to use several complementary measurement techniques (magnetotransport, spin Seebeck, spin torque FMR, nonlocal spin to magnon conversion and other techniques) to understand the nature of chiral spin pumping.

Fig.1 (a) Typical device schematic spin-orbit torque bilayer structure is showing of a heavy metal/topological material in a yellow and magnetic layer in grey. (b,c) Scanning electron images of a topological field effect device and spintronic device which will be used in this project to demonstrate chiral spin-orbit torque in FM/WSM bilayer.

 

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select ‘physics.’  

Please quote reference number:  PH/FD/2018, Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Rare Events for Dynamical Systems via Transfer Operator Techniques

Supervisor: Wael Bahsoun (W.Bahsoun@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-222883).

Nature of work: Theory

Area: Mathematics: Ergodic Theory and Dynamical Systems

Potential implications: An EPSRC grant on ‘tipping points and critical transitions in chaotic dynamics and the climate system’

Brief description: The study of rare events in dynamical systems is currently one of the most active branches of research in ergodic theory. In part, this is due to their interesting applications in earth and ocean sciences. An example of a rare event in dynamical systems appears in the study of ‘open’ systems where orbits infrequently escape from the domain, typically by falling into a small “hole” in the phase space. The gaol of the project is to use spectral techniques (via the so called Perron-Frobenius operator) to approximate escape rates in open systems and to compute the Hausdorff dimension of survival sets.  

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select ‘Mathematical Sciences’.

Please quote reference number:  MA/WB/2018.

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

Resilient Network Policy Enforcement for Heterogeneous Network Function Environments

Supervisor:

Dr Posco Tso (p.tso@lboro.ac.uk; phone +44-15-09-223078).

Nature of work:

This project requires working with computers and networking equipment such as switches and routers.  The research will involve problem modelling and conducting experiments on real testbed and network simulator environment.

Area:

Computer networking

Potential implications:

Network outages as consequences of cyber attacks and/or improper management can blackout our access to major daily online services and also cause significant loss to these service operators. This project will harden the network security and resilience of the network, ensuring that network polices are consistently enforced throughout the network.

Brief description:

Today's operators deploy a great variety of network functions (NFs) such as firewall (FWs), intrusion prevention/detection system (IP/DS), deep packet inspection (DPI), load balancer (LB), etc., in the network to safeguard networks and improve application performance. The rise of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) has created a large heterogeneity among Network Function Boxes (NFBs). Heterogeneity is a double edge sword - it provides an opportunity for more innovative and sophisticated network policy implementation but it also presents great challenges in correct and efficient chaining of NFs.

This project will investigate into a novel network policy enforcement scheme in heterogeneous NFBs environment. This includes experimentally benchmark that processing capacity of NFBs and its limiting factors and demonstrate the possibility of NF re-ordering from performance enhancement without compromising the context of the original chain. We will also analytically formulate a Heterogeneous Network Policy Placement problem, which can always find an optimal service chain path for each policy, with an objective of minimising network latency.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name select Computer Science.

Please quote reference number: PT/CO/2018.

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Scheduling and Data Flow Problems in Special-purpose Networks

Supervisor: Dr Lars Nagel (l.nagel@lboro.ac.uk; phone: +44-15-09-222328)

Nature of work: This is mainly a theory project which aims at modelling networks and network problems and developing and analysing algorithms.

Area: Algorithms / protocols for networks; scheduling, load balancing, data flow problems; network modelling

Potential implications: Potential results might help to understand problems in future networks and to provide guidelines how to design networks under structural limitations and where to place data and processing units. The outcomes may include scheduling algorithms or heuristics and complexity results for such networks as well as “data gathering networks”. These results may benefit Big Data processing  and define limits for the Internet of Things.

Brief description: This project seeks to investigate scheduling and data flow problems in present-day and future networks. With current developments like the Internet of Things, Industry 4.0 and Big Data processing new types of special-purpose networks arise which must cope with huge amounts of data, especially sensor data that need to be routed, stored and processed. These networks can be heterogeneous with respect to their layout and hardware, prone to component failures and/or limited by their structural and temporal restrictions.

The main challenge of the project is to model such networks and network problems and analyse them theoretically applying mathematical methods or practically using, e.g., simulations. Besides scheduling and flow problems, another aim is to develop criteria and standards for the design of special-purpose networks under above limitations.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select ‘Computer Science’.

Please quote reference number: LN/CO/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Simulating the interplay of thermal and magnetic (spin) currents

Supervisors: Dr Kelly Morrison (K.Morrison@lboro.ac.uk; https://kmphysics.com/ , +44 (0)1509 228201) and Dr Mark Greenaway (M.T.Greenaway@lboro.ac.uk)

Nature of work: This will largely be a theoretical project (with simulations) but there is scope for the student to carry out experiments as needed.

Area: Magnetism, spintronics.

Potential implications: This research could be used in new technologies such as alternative energy harvesting devices, or as a source of spin currents in spintronics applications.

Brief description:   The spin Seebeck effect is a newly discovered phenomenon that manifests as the generation of a spin current when a magnetic material is subjected to a temperature gradient. For this reason, it is often classed with a larger group of effects under the umbrella term “spin caloritronics”, i.e. the interplay of spin and thermal currents.  These effects have exciting potential for future electronic devices, in particular in the creation of efficient spin-based devices to harvest wasted energy from heat sources such as engines, boilers and computers. 

This project will be working alongside the EPSRC Fellowship - Reliable, Scalable and Affordable Thermoelectrics: Spin Seebeck Based Devices for Energy Harvesting – where we are developing new devices and the metrology of the spin Seebeck effect. The objective of this PhD is to develop the theory and new atomistic computational simulations of the interplay between thermal and spin transport in spin Seebeck devices. This will enable a deep understanding of their fundamental physics and to create new structures for the next generation of spin caloritronic devices.  The student will work closely with other researchers working on the project to help understand, inform and possibly carry out new experiments on this type of device. 

Experience of developing code, in for example, C/C++ or Matlab, would be helpful. 

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Physics.

Please quote reference number: KM-1/PH/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

 

Spectral Correlations of Random Matrices

Supervisor: Dr. Brian Winn

Contact: b.winn@lboro.ac.uk; +44(0)1509 228220

Nature of work: Mathematical Theory

Area: Random Matrix Theory

Potential implications: Modelling financial correlations using Random Matrix Theory.

Brief description:

A random matrix is a matrix whose entries are random variables.  If the matrix is symmetric and real, or Hermitian-symmetric and complex, the eigenvalues are guaranteed to be real.  One of the goals in the subject is to extract information about the statistical distribution of the eigenvalues, and eigenvectors, from the underlying probability distribution of the matrix entries.  Often this can only be done in the limit of large matrix size, but where it can be done the mathematical results are intricate and beautiful.

Random matrices provide one way to model the risk associated with financial portfolio positions.  This is usually regarded as the variance of the portfolio return, and can be calculated as a non-linear function of the covariance matrix.  Principal Component Analysis allows to extract information about the covariance matrices from knowledge of the leading eigenvalues and their eigenvectors.  For a portfolio associated to an eigenvector of the covariance matrix, the risk associated is simply the eigenvalue.  Modelling the returns on a class of assets as random variables, the covariance matrix becomes a (symmetric) random matrix, allowing the power of that subject to be brought to bear on the problem.  However many questions remain unanswered, including the important question of the most appropriate probability distribution to model financial returns.

In this project the successful candidate will work together with Drs. Brian Winn and Wael Bahsoun to solve some of the key problems in this area and generate new knowledge.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/. Under programme name, select Mathematical Sciences.

Please quote reference number: MA/BW/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

String logics for query languages

Supervisor: Dr. Dominik D. Freydenberger (d.d.freydenberger@lboro.ac.uk; phone+44-15-09-223188).

Nature of work: Theory (i.e., proofs etc)

Area: Theoretical Computer Science (Database Theory, Combinatorics on Words, Logic, Automata)

Potential implications: Develop fundamental insights into models with repetition operators. Apply these to existing query languages. Potential impact: Shape the next generation of data analytics.

Brief description: Recent literature has established close connections between existential string logics (based on word equations) on the one side, and query languages for graphs and texts on the other. For each of these models, standard questions are hard to answer: Evaluation is usually at least NP-hard, and static analysis problems are PSPACE-hard or undecidable.

This project aims to identify string logics for which these problems become tractable, and to apply these results to query languages and texts and graphs (in particular document spanners and variants of ECRPQs). Hence, the project combines fundamental research in the intersection of logic and combinatorics on words with its application to database theory.

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Computer Science

Please quote reference number: DF/CO/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

 

Structural approaches to the symbol grounding problem

Supervisor: Matthew Inglis (m.j.inglis@lboro.ac.uk; +44 1509 228213).

Nature of work: experiment and theory.

Area: Numerical cognition.

Potential implications: Theories of number acquisition, early mathematics education.

Brief description: How do mathematical symbols, such as Arabic numerals or number words, acquire their meaning? The dominant account in the numerical cognition literature suggests that numerical symbols gain meaning by being mapped onto nonsymbolic magnitude representations generated by a so-called ‘approximate number system’. For instance the symbol ‘7’ is said to be associated with the intuitive sense you get when you see an array of seven objects. However a number of recent research findings call into question this proposal, and alternative approaches are now being actively developed. The goal of this project is to investigate how structural features of number notations – such as ordinality or place value – support the development of numerical meaning. The idea behind such approaches is that the symbol ‘7’ gains its meaning by its associations with other symbols, such as ‘6’, ‘8’ and ‘17’. A number of different research approaches may be used to tackle this question. For example, recent work in the Mathematical Cognition Group at Loughborough has used artificial symbol learning paradigms to investigate the role of ordinality and cardinality in number knowledge development. Some other recent projects on this topic in our group have involved working with young children encountering symbolic numbers for the first time. The exact approach adopted during this project will depend on the interests of the successful applicant.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  

Please quote reference number: MI/MEC/2018 

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018.

Tailorable Heterogenous Catalysis for Renewable Hydrogen Production from Aqueous Waste

Supervisors: Dr Simon Kondrat; Loughborough University (s.kondrat@lboro.ac.uk; phone +441509223388)

Nature of work: The project will involve experimental work in the preparation of state of the art mixed metal oxide supports for heterogenous catalysts in aqueous phase reforming reactions. Catalyst testing and reaction analysis for reforming reactions will also form part of the experimental work. The candidate will also be expected to learn how to perform material characterisation using laboratory and synchrotron equipment.

Area: The PhD will focus on the study of inorganic and physical chemistry, specifically in the fields of solid-state chemistry, heterogenous catalysis and solid-state characterisation.

Potential implications: In an attempt to improve sustainability there is a strong social drive for a transition from fossil-based fuels to alternatives, such as bio-based ones. Bio-refineries offer the potential to utilise lignocellulosic biomass to produce fuels and chemical commodities in a green manner. Yet this process has several issues, including a high demand for hydrogen currently produced from fossil fuels and also the formation of aqueous waste containing oxygenated hydrocarbons. Aqueous phase reforming (AQR) represents a viable process to produce hydrogen and light alkanes from the aqueous waste streams, simultaneous resolving two issues with many biorefinery processes. Key to enabling AQR is the preparation of active, stable and affordable heterogenous catalysts. The project will take a new approach to designing affordable nickel catalysts, supported on functional mixed metal oxides.

Effect of B site metal in LaBO3 catalyst supports for glycerol oxidation

Key: Red bar = C3 oxygenated products, red dashed C-C scission products and grey lactic acid (from dehydration pathway)

 

Brief description:

The project supervisor has previously shown that tailoring of lanthanide- transition metal perovskite supports dramatically alters the reaction pathway of the glycerol oxidation reaction (see figure). The successful candidate will study the effect of this mixed metal oxide range and other structures, including spinels, as supports for the AQR Ni catalysts. In addition to catalyst testing, the candidate will employ a range of advanced characterisation techniques to understand the fundamental processes behind the observed catalytic trends. Initially, single or controlled mixtures of model compounds (such as glycerol or sorbitol) will be used in the AQR process to gain fundamental understanding of the process.  

As the project evolves, the candidate will have the opportunity to increase the complexity of the AQR process and the impact of the work by studying realistic aqueous waste streams, containing multiple hydrocarbons and potential catalyst poisons. To mitigate the deactivation of catalysts the candidate will investigate catalyst regeneration strategies uniquely accessible to mixed metal oxide supports.   

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Chemistry

Please quote reference number: CM/SK-2/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Theory and Application of Hydrodynamic Phase-Field Crystal Model to Materials Modelling

Supervisors:

Primary supervisor: Tapio Ala-Nissila

Secondary supervisor: Guyla Toth

Title: Theory and Application of Hydrodynamic Phase-Field Crystal Model to Materials Modelling

Area of Research:

Over the last decade significant progress has been made in developing new, powerful methods for modelling the structure and formation of solid materials. The Phase-Field Crystal (PFC) model is a prime example as it allows to model solids at diffusive time scales while allowing atomistic resolution. In this project, the hydrodynamic PFC model will be theoretically extended to include multicomponent and compressive liquids and numerically benchmarked. The problem of nucleation that initiates solidification will also be considered within the model. The project has significant theoretical and practical importance in materials modelling, and training will be done in collaboration with some of the leading scientists in this field, including the 2016 Physics Nobel Prize awardee J.M. Kosterlitz at Brown University (U.S.A.).

Brief description The main problem in quantitative materials modelling based on atomic level accuracy is that of achieving large enough length and time scales from standard methods such as quantum mechanical density functional theory or classical molecular dynamics. This can be overcome by temporal coarse-graining within the Phase-Field Crystal (PFC) model, which allows one to reach diffusive time scales with atomic level spatial resolution. The PFC model has revolutionised numerical materials modelling and is now being applied to a variety of outstanding problems, including novel 2D materials [1]. Most recently, the PFC model has been extended to include hydrodynamic degrees of freedom which means that fundamental problems such as solidification of materials from melt can me theoretically and computationally modelled [2]. In this project, the aim is to further develop this hydro-PFC model. The focus will be in including multicomponent and compressive liquids, and nucleation terms responsible for initialisation of solidification in an undercooled melt. The new model will be numerically implemented and benchmarked against relevant theoretical and experimental data.

  1. P. Hirvonen et al., Phys. Rev. B 94, 035414 (2016); D. Taha et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 255501 (2017).
  2. V. Heinonen et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 116, 024303 (2016); Phys. Rev. E 93, 053003 (2016).

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name ‘Mathematical Sciences’.

Please quote reference number: TAN/MA/2018.  Closing date is 16th February 2018.

 

Analytic description of amorphous solids: A classical density functional approach

Supervisor: Dr. Gyula I. Tóth

Co-supervisor: Professor Andrew Archer

Contact: g.i.toth@lboro.ac.uk; (+44)1509-227162

Nature of work: Theory and numerical simulations.

Area: Applied mathematics (Elliptic Partial Differential Equations, Fourier Analysis and Probability Theory), algorithm development for massively parallel HPC devices (Graphical Processing Units).

Potential Implications: Industrial technologies based on controlled solidification: fabrication of quantum dots, glass ceramics, metal alloys, copper nucleation on graphene, and pharmaceutics.

Project Detail:

Crystallization is initiated by nucleation, a stochastic process during which microscopic solid seeds form in undercooled liquids. Although this process fundamentally determines the macroscopic physical properties of the material, it is one of the least understood phenomena in science and is under extensive investigations. Recent experimental results1,2 suggest that crystal nucleation can start with the formation of a non-crystalline solid precursor, which then transforms into the crystal in a subsequent process. The characteristic time scale of this secondary transition determines the lifetime of the intermediate (amorphous) phase. These experimental observations are supported by atomistic simulations and theoretical studies3,4 (see Figure 1). 

Figure 1: Two-step nucleation in the Phase-Field Crystal model mimicking highly compressed iron [L. Gránásy, G. Tegze, G. I. Tóth, T. Pusztai, Philos. Mag. 91, 123 (2011)].

During the proposed project the candidate will study the properties of the metastable bulk non-crystalline solid phase and the interface between this phase and the liquid phase using density functional theory, starting with a simple approximate functional, namely the Phase-Field Crystal model and its variants. This approach is becoming increasingly used to model the thermodynamics, phase behaviour and structure, i.e. the density distribution, of matter. Preliminary results of computer simulations suggest that the bulk amorphous phase can most easily be described by a probability density function in Fourier space, which points to the possibility of providing a full analytic description of amorphous solids. The specific task is to develop a mathematical methodology of determining the average properties of an infinite set of “random” solutions of the Euler-Lagrange equation.

References:

[1] G.G. Long et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 015502 (2013).

[2] P. Tan, N. Xu, and L. Xu, Nat. Phys. 10, 73–79 (2014).

[3] G.I. Tóth et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 107, 175702 (2011).

[4] L. Gránásy and G.I. Tóth, Nat. Phys. 10, 12-14 (2014).

How to apply:

Applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Mathematics.

Please quote reference number: GT/MA/2018

Closing date: 16th February 2018.

Understanding Potassium in Ion-Batteries and Heterogenous Catalysis using Advanced X-ray Characterisation

Supervisors:

Dr Simon Kondrat; Loughborough University (s.kondrat@lboro.ac.uk; phone +441509223388)

Prof. Upul Wijayantha; Loughborough University (U.Wijayantha@lboro.ac.uk; phone +441509222574)

Dr Giannantonio Cibin; Diamond Light Source (giannantoni.cibin@diamond.ac.uk; +441235778645)

Nature of work: The project involves experimental work in the preparation of state of the art potassium batteries and catalysts and their characterisation using the national synchrotron facilities at Diamond Light Source. There will be scope for work into the simulation of theoretical spectra from related characterisation.

Area: The PhD will focus on the study of inorganic and physical chemistry, specifically in the fields of battery science, heterogenous catalysis and X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

Potential implications: Potassium batteries represent an opportunity for large “grid” scale storage of energy, increasing the viability of renewable energy. In addition, potassium is a key component in  catalysts for industrial reactions and methods for storing energy in chemical bonds. However, to further progress these research fields, fundamental understanding of the nature of potassium in these inorganic materials is required.  We will develop X-ray absorption spectroscopy techniques to directly observe potassium’s local structure and coordination in operating batteries and heterogenous catalysts. In characterising potassium under operating conditions, we will be able to rationally design new battery technologies and catalyst formulation with direct social and economic impact.  

Brief description: The research project will involve the preparation of new inorganic potassium compounds for use as potassium-ion batteries and/or heterogenous catalysts, in the Energy Research Laboratory at Loughborough University. The project is a collaboration with Diamond Light Source and the successful candidate will spend significant periods of time at the national facility characterising their prepared battery materials by X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS). Given the high mobility of potassium ions (which is essential for good battery performance), its nature and location is dynamic and dependent on reaction conditions. Therefore, as the PhD project progresses we will design and develop new reaction cells to simultaneously measure potassium XAS and follow battery/catalyst reactions. In tandem we will develop XAS characterisation of potassium by using computational modelling of acquired data.

In pinpointing potassium’s location in the inorganic structures during initial chemical reactions and after long-term usage we will be able to modify and develop our battery/catalyst designs. Using an iterative approach of material design and characterisation, we aim to produce novel and improved battery and catalyst technologies.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name, select Chemistry.

Please quote reference number:  CM/SK-1/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Variations of Pattern Languages

Supervisor: Dr Daniel Reidenbach (D.Reidenbach@lboro.ac.uk; +44(0)1509 222939).

Nature of work: This is a theoretical project that might potentially involve some design, implementation and testing of algorithms.

Area: Formal language theory; string algorithms; combinatorics on words

Potential implications: Potential results might strengthen the understanding of variations of pattern languages, which are used in a wide range of applications, typically in data mining. They could, hence, improve existing algorithms and their implementations, which would allow certain data mining tasks to be performed more effectively and efficiently. It is therefore anticipated that, if successful, the project would have significant academic as well as applied impact.

Brief description:

So-called patterns are a compact and natural way to describe certain structures in strings of symbols. While their definition is simple, it has been very hard to establish some of their properties, since these are often linked to deep combinatorial problems in Discrete Mathematics. Recent research on pattern languages has continued to make some progress on the basic model. In addition, variations of the original definition have been introduced to strengthen their expressive power and, hence, applicability, and some of these variants are linked to concepts widely used in data mining tasks. It is the purpose of this project to formally investigate the properties of these variations. This will typically involve establishing new insights into combinatorial properties of sequences of symbols, and it will aim to facilitate more efficient algorithms that find patterns in textual data. The emphasis of the project will be on rigorous mathematical study, but it is possible that it will also include the design, implementation and testing of algorithms.

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/apply/research/.  Under programme name Computer Science.

Please quote reference number: DR/CO/2018

Closing date of advert: 16th February 2018

Funding and eligibility

The studentships are open to UK/EU graduates with backgrounds in relevant disciplines and who are articulate, well qualified and highly motivated. The minimum entry qualification is a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent.  These studentships can provide a £14,553 per annum (2017 rate) tax-free stipend plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate.  International (non-EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.  Please see individual studentship funding criteria for full details and eligibility conditions.

Funded studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis across the projects to successful applicants who have applied for the above-mentioned projects.

Successful candidates will be expected to register for 1st October 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.

Additional information

Applications can be made online at: http://www.lboro.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/howtoapply/

For further details and enquiries about the application process, please contact the School of Science Research Degree Programme Administrators at Sci-pgr@lboro.ac.uk