This fully funded project provides an excellent opportunity to conduct research on the development and understanding of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF). SAF is produced from sustainable feedstocks (including captured CO2, waste oil and fats, green and municipal waste and non-food crops) which are similar in its chemistry to tradition fossil jet fuel. However, using SAF results in significant reduced carbon emissions, in line with the goals set by net zero, as compared to traditional jet fuel. As the production and the application of SAF have risen progressively, it is of great importance to develop a robust theoretical framework, for prediction of fuel properties of SAF. Such model will enable the fuel pre-screening which is a fast method for providing quantitative information to fuel producers and jet engine manufacturers regarding the technical suitability of SAF. The main goal of this project is thus to build a predictive model for basic fuel properties, based on fuel chemical composition. This predictive tool requires a robust database for several properties for known surrogate fuels, which will be built by using a combination of molecular dynamics and experimental methods.
The PhD candidate must have a basic knowledge of aviation fuel properties and a profound understanding of analytical and organic chemistry. The candidate will work with a team of researchers and academics in the Sustainable Aviation Fuel-Innovation Centre (SAF-IC) to study and apply relevant numerical and experimental techniques to this project. These include working with two-dimensional comprehensive gas chromatography and other relevant instruments for fuel property measurement, chemo informatics packages (RD kit), molecular dynamics software, and graph neural network. The project will be supervised by Dr. Xue Yong & Dr. Ehsan Alborzi in collaboration with partners from Department of Chemistry, Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Sustainable Aviation FuelInnovation Center (SAF-IC) characterisation lab.
This studentship is supported by the energy institute at the University of Sheffield, and It is open to all students with UK residency.
The selection criteria for the position are:
A good honours degree (or equivalent experience) in Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Physical Science, Applied mathematics, or a related subject.
Enthusiasm for independent research and problem-solving.
Experience of/willingness to learn Linux, python or other coding language.
Good written and oral communication skills, appropriate for disseminating research and communicating with project partners.
Willingness to collaborate with other researchers, industry and end-users.
This is an Energy Institute Phd studentship. It will follow the standard EPSRC rate, i.e., ~£80k (~£18k stipend per year + ~£5k tuition per year + ~£5k consumables total).
How to apply
Interested candidates should email a covering letter and their Curriculum Vitae to Xue Yong (email@example.com) or Ehsan Alborzi (firstname.lastname@example.org).
For information and informal enquiries please contact: email@example.com