Fully Funded 3 year PhD Studentship funded by Mitsubishi Chemical –
Chemical recycling of acrylic plastics
Friday, 10th September 2021
About the Project
Applications are invited to undertake a 3-year PhD programme in partnership
with industry to address key challenges in plastic recycling. The successful
candidate will be based within the Faculty of Engineering at The University of
We are seeking applicants with a process engineering background to start in
late 2021 or early 2022 on a project with Mitsubishi Chemical UK Limited (MC
UK). The MC UK funded studentship is the result of a major expansion of a
programme to decarbonise the entire acrylic polymer manufacturing value chain.
Chemical recycling of current and legacy acrylic materials is a key challenge
that needs to be met in order to realise the broader decarbonisation
programme, and microwave heating has been identified as a key enabling
technology that can meet this challenge. MC UK has partnered with the
University of Nottingham to carry out this work due to its world-leading
expertise in microwave heating technologies. The partnership aims to better
understand the impact of material properties and processing conditions on
recycled product and its ability to displace fossil resources in the acrylic
manufacturing process. A continuous, industrial-scale demonstration process
will be developed towards the end of the programme.
The aim of the PhD project will be to gain better understanding of how a range
of different acrylic polymer feedstocks can be thermally recycled to monomeric
components using microwave technology. This will include determination of
polymer-microwave interactions using dielectric property measurements,
microwave depolymerisation experiments and product analysis. Bespoke
laboratory equipment will need to be developed to undertake the study and the
successful candidate will work with university and industry experts to develop
these new systems. The student will be supported by a multidisciplinary team
of scientists and engineers in academia and industry, and broader
opportunities to further understand and support the overall decarbonisation
programme are also available over the course of the PhD project.
This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second
class graduate in a process engineering discipline to develop expertise and
key skills in the plastics recycling field, and establish relationships with
international academic and industrial partners.
Informal enquiries are encouraged prior to making a full application. These
should be addressed to Dr John Robinson (email@example.com) or
Dr Eleanor Binner (Eleanor.firstname.lastname@example.org)
Applicants should have, or be expected to gain, a high (1st or 2:1) Honours
Degree in a related engineering or physical science discipline. Excellent
organisational and communication skills are required, along with a keen
interest to engage in industry focussed research.
The funding on offer comprises a minimum tax-free stipend of £15,609 per year
and tuition fees paid at the UK rate.
Please apply here https: // www. nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-
When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number
(beginning ENG and supervisors name) within the personal statement section
of the application. This will help in ensuring your application is sent
directly to the academic advertising the studentship.
Information for candidates ( pdf doc )