UK/EU students

Industrial CASE PhD Studentship in Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials: Data-driven modelling of glass durability and glass pouring rate in nuclear waste vitrification process

Value of award

Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, a full award covers tuition fees at the UK/EU rate for the duration of your PhD and an annual stipend £14,296 (2016/17).  A partial award covers fees at the UK/EU rate only.

Number of awards


Start date and duration

September 2017 for 4 years.

Application closing date

Prompt application is advised as this position is only available until a suitable candidate is found.


The studentship is being undertaken by the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials and Sellafield Ltd through EPSRC Industrial CASE award scheme.

The Waste Vitrification Plant operated by Sellafield Ltd is used to convert highly active concentrate liquor arising as a waste product of reprocessing operations into High Level Waste glass for safe interim storage.  This is an opportunity to work with the UK civil nuclear industry on nuclear waste related challenges with both Sellafield and the UK National Nuclear Laboratories (NNL).  The intention is to innovate and develop non-linear multivariate data analysis and data-driven modelling methods in novel ways to real industrial processes.  Computational intelligence based modelling methods and big data analytics, such as bootstrap aggregated neural networks and deep learning techniques, will be investigated. Techniques for enhancing model robustness and reliability will be developed. Hybrid modelling combining mechanistic modelling and data driven modelling will be investigated. As the experiments conducted by NNL is of considerable cost, it is desirable that reliable models could be developed from small set of experimental data.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council EPSRC

Name of supervisor(s)

Dr Jie Zhang, School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials

Eligibility Criteria

You should have an upper-second-class Honours degree or higher or international equivalent, in Chemical Engineering, or a related subject.

The award is available to UK/EU applicants.  In the case of outstanding international candidates it may be possible that the University will make an award to cover the difference in tuition fees.  If English is not your first language, you should have IELTS 6.5 or equivalent.

You must also have the potential for performing original research.

How to apply

If you are interested in the above project and meet the criteria you should send a C.V, covering letter plus two references to

The successful applicant will then be asked to apply for University admission using the University’s online postgraduate application form Unsuccessful applications will not receive an acknowledgement.


Dr Jie Zhang
School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials
Telephone +44 (0)191 208 7240