KESS2 PhD in Organic Chemistry: The use of enabling technologies for sustainable chemical synthesis and manufacture

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    Cardiff University
    United Kingdom
    Formal sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)

Project Description

The PhD will explore mechanochemical organic reactions, including catalytic and organocatalytic processes.

Knowledge Economy Skills Scholarships 2 (KESS2) is a pan-Wales higher-level skills initiative led by Bangor University on behalf of the Higher Education sector in Wales. It is part-funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) West Wales and the Valleys programme, by partners from the West Wales and the Valleys areas of Wales, and by Cardiff University.

Project overview

This proposal is non-traditional and innovative in its aims. The project aims to not only connect scientific industry with academia to build on developing expertise in Welsh academia but also connects a valleys-based ‘tech-savvy’ social media company to improve the flow of communication between academia, industry and the general public and permit more effective dissemination of discoveries made in Wales and for the scientific SME industrial partner.

This will not only represent a unique model for scientific projects but will lead to the training of a Welsh PhD student in synthetic chemistry who is also able to communicate their work more effectively to the millennial generation.

Key objectives

The technique of solvent free mechanochemical grinding obviates the need for bulk solvent use. To put this into perspective, on average the synthesis of a kilogram of drug results in 100 kilograms of waste, the majority of which is waste, fossil-fuel derived, solvent and is sent for disposal by incineration.

Similar numbers are true for the preparation of modern agrochemical agents used to secure the world’s food supply.Mechanochemistry permits synthesis with the minimisation of solvent waste but is not well understood at present.

This proposal will help develop the understanding of this technique which is being established in Cardiff and will allow consolidation and translation of this expertise into clean sustainable manufacturing in the UK.


 Residency eligibility criteria

Applicants must have:

A home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region at the time of their application for KESS funding and their enrolment for the course of study.

Have a legal right to live and work in the UK for the duration of the KESS2 support, and the right to take up paid work in the WWV region on completion of the scholarship.

Classified as a ‘home’ or ‘EU’ student.

The Convergence area covers West Wales and the Valleys, and is made up of the following 15 local authorities:

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Gwynedd
  • Conwy
  • Denbighshire
  • Ceredigion
  • Pembrokeshire
  • Carmarthenshire
  • Swansea
  • Neath Port Talbot
  • Bridgend
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Caerphilly
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Torfaen.

Eligible students must be able to provide documentary evidence of a home or work address in the West Wales and the Valleys region of Wales at the time of their KESS2 application and enrolment for study.

Applicants must also be prepared to provide proof of identity and income as part of the stipend assessment process. Further details are available from the KESS2 Office.

Academic Criteria

Applicants for research PhDs at Cardiff University are expected to have one or both of the following:

  • a first degree, normally with class 2:1 or higher, or equivalent in a relevant subject
  • a relevant Master's qualification or equivalen

For further information on how to apply please visit: https://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/funding/view/kess2-phd-in-o...