Skip to main content

Chemical Engineering (PhD)

2023-24 (also available for 2022-23)

This course is eligible for Doctoral loan funding. Find out more.

Start date

2 October 2023

15 January 2024

15 April 2024

Duration

The maximum duration for a PhD is 3 years (36 months) full-time or 6 years (72 months) part-time with an optional submission pending (writing-up) period of 12 months.

Sometimes it may be possible to mix periods of both full-time and part-time study.

If studying on a part-time basis, you must establish close links with the University and spend normally not less than an average of 10 working days per year in the university, excluding participation in activities associated with enrolment, re-registration and progression monitoring. You are also expected to dedicate 17.5 hours per week to the research.

Application deadlines

For October 2023

09 June 2023 for International and Scholarship students

30 June 2023 for Home students

For January 2024

20 October 2023 for International and Scholarship students

17 November 2023 for Home students

For April 2024

26 January 2024 for International and Scholarship students

23 February 2024 for Home students

About the research degree

A PhD is the highest academic award for which a student can be registered.This programme allows you to explore and pursue a research project built around a substantial piece of work, which has to show evidence of original contribution to knowledge.

A full-time PhD is a three year full-time programme of research and culminates in the production of a large-scale piece of written work in the form of a research thesis that should not normally exceed 80,000 words.

Completing a PhD can give you a great sense of personal achievement and help you develop a high level of transferable skills which will be useful in your subsequent career, as well as contributing to the development of knowledge in your chosen field.

You are expected to work to an approved programme of work including appropriate programmes of postgraduate study (which may be drawn from parts of existing postgraduate courses, final year degree programmes, conferences, seminars, masterclasses, guided reading or a combination of study methods).

You will be appointed a main supervisor who will normally be part of a supervisory team, comprising up to three members to advise and support you on your project.

Entry requirements

The normal level of attainment required for entry is:

  • a Master's degree from a UK University or equivalent, normally with a classification of merit or distinction, in a discipline appropriate to the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • an upper second class honours degree (2:1) from a UK university in a discipline appropriate to that of the proposed programme to be followed, or
  • appropriate research or professional experience at postgraduate level, which has resulted in published work, written reports or other appropriate evidence of accomplishment.

If your first language is not English, you will need to meet the minimum requirements of an English Language qualification. The minimum for IELTS is 6.5 overall with no element lower than 6.0, or equivalent. Read more about the University’s entry requirements for students outside of the UK on our Where are you from information pages.

What can I research?

There are several research topics available for this degree. See below examples of research areas including an outline of the topics, the supervisor, funding information and eligibility criteria:

Outline

Arabinoxylans are potential co-products of biorefineries that could form a new class of functional food ingredients. The aims of this project are to extract AX from a variety of feedstocks under different processing conditions, and to characterise the extracts, in order to establish a feasible basis for commercial production of functional food ingredients in a biorefinery context.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £10,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Currently, textile has been predominately produced from crude oil based synthetic polymers. With the increasing concerns on the environmental impact of using non-degradable polymers, there is growing research focus on the production biodegradable fibres from sustainable raw materials. In our research group, we has been exploring novel methods for the extraction of natural macromolecules which then can be subsequently used for synthesis of biodegradable fibre for medical and textile industries.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The digital transformation of process industries is one of the biggest shifts, towards Industry 4.0. Digitalisation of process industries has a tremendous potential to accelerate change in water, energy and other resources management. Novel approaches based on real-time modelling combined with data-driven approaches, allow monitoring industrial processes towards more efficient operation. By providing insights to resource consumption, and implementing proactive and more targeted maintenance, digital technologies can help operators to optimise reuse of resource and address sustainability challenges. The main objective of this PhD will be to develop a novel Dynamic Life Cycle assessment methodology, for the environmental impact assessment of industrial processes in near real time. Such an approach, if coupled with a digital twin, could facilitate the analysis and evaluation of industrial resource use, recycle & reuse and the assessment of resource efficiency at various scales and temporal frames of reference. The PhD will run in parallel with the H2020 EU project AquaSPICE, ensuring that the developed methodology will be validated in real-life case studies.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Traditionally industrial biotechnology has relied on the brewing yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae where traditional outputs such as alcoholic drinks, bread, and biofuels are increasingly being joined by production of desirable platform chemicals and other products. Engineered strains of S. cerevisiae have been studied for production of various chemicals of industrial interest, many of these strains are available in the various strain banks.

In Prof. Du’s research group, over 200 marine yeasts have been isolated and characterised for their potential in industrial application. Marine yeast show statistically high tolerance to salt, organic acids and phenolic compounds as well as high fermentation efficiencies. The research groups have been working on the biofuels, biochemical fermentation for over 10 years, and published a significant number of peer reviewed papers in the field. Now, the research focus in this subject turns to the production of biofuels using marine biomass based substrates, enzymes and pharmaceutical compounds synthesis using GM modified yeasts and biosynthesis under harsh industrial conditions.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Deposition of particles on pipe walls in oil transportation can plug the pipes thus causes losses in oil gaining or shutting down of the wells. With the management of particle deposition shifted from inhibiting to allowing formation but controlling aggregation and deposition, the way of dealing with them has also to be shifted to the latter with aggregation being the key. This project tackles the issues arising with this shift by a mathematical modelling approach based on the methods of population balance and computation.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

One of the main factors affecting the economic feasibility of a carbon, capture and utilization (CCU) value chain is the distance between the source and the sink. The project (a) will seek to define the optimal distance between alternative major sources and sinks and (b) will perform a mapping on a UK/European level to identify clustering opportunities.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of £3,000 per annum are required.

Deadline

Home/EU -June 30th/October 31st and Overseas May 31st/September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

This project will aim to assess the sustainability performance of novel berry products, with superior quality and nutritional characteristics and extended shelf life. A Life Cycle Assessment and a complementary Life Cycle Costing analysis will be performed to assess the environmental impact and economic performance of the novel processes and products, whereas a socio-economic study will identify possible drivers and barriers for the wide consumption of these products. The PhD will run in parallel with an EU-funded H2020 research project and might involve up to 12 months of secondment in one of the collaborating industrial partners.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Home/EU – for September- June 30th, for January-October 31st and Overseas for September- May 31st, for January- September 30th

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

Macroalgae (seaweed) are a promising feedstock for industrial biotechnology, as they are available in abundance, do not occupy arable land or require fertilisers to grow. Seaweeds can be the basis for integrated industrial biotechnology as they contain various carbohydrates, proteins and minerals, which could be used as building block for the production of fine chemicals, platform chemicals, biofuels, pharmaceuticals or human nutritional additives. One of the promising product is alginate. It is traditionally used as a stabiliser, viscosity agent, water binding agent and gelling agent in the food industry. Recently, it has been explored for the synthesis of novel fibres for usage as a wound dressing in medical industry and raw materials in textile industry. It is estimated that the annual production of alginates exceeds 30,000 tonnes. However, current alginate extraction process is energy intensive, has high water usage, consumes large amount of organic solvent and has long retention time. This project aims to develop a greener process for extracting alginate to address the limitation listed above to improve the alginate extraction efficiency of the process. Then, the properties of the obtained alginate fibre will be characterised, and their application in pharmaceutical industry and textile industry will be explored.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

Outline

The increasing concern of plastic pollution in waterway attracts worldwide attention. It is estimated that the time required for plastics to degrade is approximately 500-1000 years. The most detrimental effects of plastic pollution can be found in the marine environment, as around 4.8 - 12.7 million tonnes of plastic enters the Earth’s oceans each year. This project aims to review state of art technologies in recycle and reuse of plastic waste materials, including making new plastic bottles, in construction industry and in textile industry. It will then focus on the novel approaches for the conversion of plastic waste, especially textile polyester waste into recycled materials for the production of value added products. Both biological plastic degradation process and thermo-chemical conversion process will be investigated.

Funding

Self-funding applicants are welcome. In addition to tuition fees, bench fees of between £3-£15,000 per annum are required depending on the nature of the project.

Deadline

Our standard University deadlines apply. Please see our Deadlines for Applications page to find out more

Supervisors

How to apply

To find out more about the research we conduct, take a look at our Research, Innovation and Skills webpages, where you will find information on each research area. To find out about our staff visit ‘Our experts’ which features profiles of all our academic staff.

You should enter the project title and supervisor in the online application form.

No research proposal is necessary in your application.

Student support

At the University of Huddersfield, you'll find support networks and services to help you get ahead in your studies and social life. Whether you study at undergraduate or postgraduate level, you'll soon discover that you're never far away from our dedicated staff and resources to help you to navigate through your personal student journey. Find out more about all our support services.

Researcher Environment

The University of Huddersfield has a thriving research community made up of over 1,350 postgraduate research students. We have students studying on a part-time and full-time basis from all over the world with around 43% from overseas and 57% from the UK.

Research plays an important role in informing all our teaching and learning activities. Through undertaking research our staff remain up-to-date with the latest developments in their field, which means you develop knowledge and skills which are current and relevant to your specialist area.

Find out more about our research staff and centres

Important information

We will always try to deliver your course as described on this web page. However, sometimes we may have to make changes as set out below.

When you are offered a place on a research degree, your offer will include confirmation of your supervisory team, and the topic you will be researching.

Whilst the University will use reasonable efforts to ensure your supervisory team remains the same, sometimes it may be necessary to make changes to your team for reasons outside the University’s control, for example if your supervisor leaves the University, or suffers from long term illness. Where this is the case, we will discuss these difficulties with you and seek to either put in place a new supervisory team, or help you to transfer to another research facility, in accordance with our Student Protection Plan.

Changes may also be necessary because of circumstances outside our reasonable control, for example the University being unable to access its buildings due to fire, flood or pandemic, or the University no longer being able to provide specialist equipment. Where this is the case, we will discuss these issues with you and agree any necessary changes.

Your research project is likely to evolve as you work on it and these minor changes are a natural and expected part of your study. However, we may need to make more significant changes to your topic of research during the course of your studies, either because your area of interest has changed, or because for reasons outside the University’s control we can no longer support your research. If this is the case, we will discuss any changes in topic with you and agree these in writing. If you are an international student, changing topics may affect your visa or ATAS clearance and if this is the case we will discuss this with you before any changes are agreed.

When you enrol as a student of the University, your study and time with us will be governed by the University’s Terms and Conditions and a framework of regulations, policies and procedures, which form the basis of your agreement with us. It is important that you familiarise yourself with these as you will be asked to agree to abide by them when you join us as a student. You will find a guide to the key terms here, along with the Student Protection Plan, where you will also find links to the full text of each of the regulations, policies and procedures referred to.

The Office for Students (OfS) is the principal regulator for the University.