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MRes Studentship in Chemical Engineering

Vacancy Details

Salary: £15,000 per annum
Location: Thornton Science Park
Job Type: Full-Time Fixed Term Contract
Vacancy Group: Research Staff
Category: Research
Closing Date: 04/23/2019
Date Posted: 04/11/2019
Reference: RA004283





(Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington Industry Collaboration)

FUNDED Master by Research
RA004283 MRes Studentship in Chemical Engineering

£15,000 PER ANNUM

offered on a 1 year (FULL TIME) basis, depending on satisfactory progress

reference number: RA004283

Closing date: 23/04/2019

The Department of Chemical Engineering is seeking to appoint a Masters student to conduct research for Eco-Innovation Cheshire and Warrington Industry Collaboration programme (03R17P01835). This studentship is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).


This project will investigate the use of the NyexTM process developed by Arvia Technology Limited to remove and destroy PFOS (perfluoroctane sulphonic acid).  This is one of a number of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS).  These are man-made chemicals that have been used in industry and the consumer products since the 1950s in a wide range of applications, for example non-stick cookware stain resistant fabrics, fire-fighting foams etc. 

These compounds are very stable and do not breakdown, so they are persistent in the environment and have been found in the blood of people and animals across the world.  Analysis of water samples from around the world have found tracelevels of these compounds in the water supply.  However existing treatment technologies have demonstrated very poor removals of these compounds allowing them to accumulate within the environment.

Arvia Technology Limited have demonstrated that the compounds can be adsorbed onto their proprietary adsorbent material, NyexTM and that combining adsorption with electrochemical oxidation results in increased removals.  However to date, this work has been at the ppm level whereas these substances are found in the environment at the ppb and ppt level.  In addition the mechanism of adsorption and electrochemical oxidation need further investigation.

This position will suit a graduate with a scientific/engineering degree, preferably with a strong background in chemistry.  Successful candidate will have the opportunity to work with the partner company on the project and a potential future employment with the company.

Summary of research tasks and work programme

The aims of this project are:

1. Develop a technique to analyse PFOS at the ppb level

2. Investigate the mechanism of adsorption and electrochemical oxidation of PFOS

3. Prepare a process design for the removal and destruction of PFOS

This project is unique in that no economically viable process has been demonstrated to be effective for PFOS removal.  Initial testing at high concentrations has shown there is potential for the Arvia Nyex process to remove PFOS, but no testing has been undertaken at environmental concentrations.

Skills and knowledge

Laboratory techniques including chromatography and spectroscopy.

Good knowledge of analytical chemistry

Strong understanding of safety procedures both in laboratory and working on specialised rig.


Degree (2.1 min) in Chemical Engineering, Chemistry or related subject.

Applicants with a relevant lower second class honours degree may be considered, subject to interview.

You will be a motivated and dynamic person, with a demonstrable capability to conduct independent research.

Applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of proficiency to IELTS 6.5 with minimum score 5.5 in each band or equivalent.

Why apply?

By joining the Faculty of Science and Engineering based at the University of Chester’s Thornton Science Park, you will:

Receive a stipend of £15,000 tax free per year.

Have your tuition fees funded by both the European Regional Development Fund and the University of Chester.

Become part of a cohort of graduates working in a major research and innovation hub for the North West.

Work on a 66-acre site with state-of-the-art laboratories and industrial facilities.

Research and study in a working science park with a number of science and technology-based companies located on site.

Gain a first-hand insight into working in a professional and career-focussed environment.

Finish in a strong position to enter a competitive job market in the UK and overseas.

This MRes attracts a tax exempt stipend of £15,000 per annum. Post graduate fees are funded for UK/EU based students. International students will be required to make an additional contribution to their post graduate fees.


Application process
A completed University of Chester Postgraduate Research Degree (MRes) application form including contact details of two referees (at least one must be familiar with your most recent academic work).

Candidates should apply online via the University of Chester and specify their reference number when applying. The reference number is: RA004283

Availability for interview

Please be available for interview during the week of the 23/04/2019. Exact time and date to be agreed.

Further information

Prospective applicants are encouraged to initially contact Dr Mayo Osundeko 01244512139 to discuss the project further. For general enquiries contact Postgraduate Research Admissions, University of Chester at

Closing date: 23/04/2019

Contact 1
Contact Name: HRMS enquiries
Telephone: 01244 512047
Email Address:

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