3D Printed Chemical Reactors with embedded functionality PhD

Entry requirements:
3 years
not available
Reference number:
Start date:
01 October 2018
Is funding available?
UK/EU fees:
International fees:
Application deadline:
16 February 2018



in the UK for Chemistry

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£17m STEMLab facility



Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. 

Project detail

Loughborough is a world leader in the preparation and use of 3D printed chemical reactors, particularly with embedded analytical functionality.  We are one of 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.

The use of 3D printing for chemistry applications has grown in the last few years.  Loughborough has been in the field since the beginning and has access to a range of 3D printing techniques.  We utilise these reactors to enable chemistry in new and interesting ways.  Of particular interest is the embedding of analytical sensors: thermocouples, fibre optics for spectroscopy etc.  This allows us to monitor reactions in real time, and by different techniques.  Using this information, we can then optimise the chemical process under study in a much more detailed manner.  We can go further and analyse reactions over a wider reaction space, and potentially look at automating the optimisation protocols.  The project will involve several complementary and interdisciplinary areas: computer aided design; 3D printing; synthetic chemistry; analytical techniques; reaction monitoring; automation techniques.  The successful project will see a student well trained in these emerging areas, which are sought after in industry.


Primary supervisor: Dr Steve Christie

Secondary supervisor: Dr Paul Roach

Find out more

For further project details email Dr Steve Christie or register your interest and ask us a question.

To find out more about postgraduate research in the School of Science please visit our website.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Chemistry or a related subject.

A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Chemistry.

All students must also meet the minimum English Language requirements.

Fees and funding


Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. University fees and charges can be paid in advance and there are several methods of payment, including online payments and payment by instalment. Special arrangements are made for payments by part-time students.

This studentship will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or any of the advertised projects prioritised for funding by the School of Science.

The 3-year studentship provides a tax-free stipend of £14,553 (2017 rate) per annum (in line with the standard research council rates) for the duration of the studentship 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.

How to apply

All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select ‘Department of Chemistry’. Please quote reference number SC/CM/2018

Application details

Reference number:


Application deadline: 16 February 2018
Start date: 01 October 2018