Heriot-Watt University has now created additional Doctoral Training Partnerships and James Watt Scholarships in the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences for 2017. The James Watt scholarships will provide full fees and stipend for 3 years from Autumn 2017, whilst the DTPs provide full fees and stipend for 3.5 years.

These scholarships are described below.


All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2017.  Selection will be based on academic excellence and research potential, and all short-listed applicants will be interviewed (in person or by Skype).  DTP’s are only open to UK/EU applicants.

Level of Award

For James Watt Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be £15k and full fees will be paid, for 3 years, whilst for DTP Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be £14,296 and full fees will be paid, for 3.5 years

Further Information

Synopses and email addresses

JWS2017/01: Imaging the Dynamics of Molecular Collisions

Crossed-molecular beams and velocity-map ion-imaging will be used to measure the stereodynamics of inelastic and reactive collisions of small molecules (NO, CH, OH, CO) of relevance to astrochemical, atmospheric, and combustion environments.
Supervisor: Prof M L Costen, email: m.l.costen@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/02 : Reactive-atom scattering as a probe of ionic-liquid surfaces

The structure of the extreme outer layers of technologically important ionic liquids will be probed using reactive-atom scattering, a novel method based on the laser-spectroscopic detection of the gas-phase products of selected reactive projectiles.
Supervisor: Prof K G McKendrick, email: k.g.mckendrick@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/03 : Solid State Chemistry Led Discovery of New Thermoelectric Materials

The design, synthesis and characterisation of new solid state thermoelectric materials based on abundant elements, for use in renewable electricity generation from waste heat.
Supervisor: Dr J-W G Bos, email: j.w.g.bos@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/04 : Spectroscopy & Dynamics of Atmospherically Relevant Molecules in the Time and Frequency Domains

Competing energy dissipation pathways in the ultraviolet photochemistry of molecules found in the atmosphere will be studied using charged particle detection after excitation using both nanosecond (frequency resolved) and femtosecond (time resolved) laser techniques.
Supervisor: Dr S J Greaves and Dr D Townsend, email: s.j.greaves@hw.ac.uk and email: d.townsend@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/05 : Novel Electronic Structure Methods for Photochemical Dynamics

Novel computational methods will be developed and applied to study to the photochemical dynamics of a range of molecules whose light-induced chemistry is important in atmospheric reactions, as well as examples in biochemistry and photocatalysis.
Supervisor: Prof M J Paterson, email: m.j.paterson@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/01 : New Probes of Inelastic and Reactive Scattering at the Gas-Liquid Interface

This project will develop and apply new high-resolution spectroscopic techniques to probe the product state and translational energy distributions of the molecular products of reactive and inelastic scattering at the surfaces of liquids.  
Supervisor: Dr M. L. Costen, email: M.L.Costen@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/02 : Scattering of OH Radicals from Liquids that Mimic Atmospheric-Aerosol Surfaces

The dynamics of the interactions of OH radicals with liquids that mimic the surfaces of atmospheric aerosols will be studied using a novel combination of molecular beams and laser-based imaging techniques.
Supervisor: Prof K G McKendrick, email: k.g.mckendrick@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/03 : Modelling C-H Activation in the Solid State

The stability and reactivity of s-alkane complexes will be studied using computational methods with a view to developing novel catalysts for hydrocarbon upgrading and functionalization.  
Supervisor: Prof S A Macgregor, email: s.a.macgregor@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/04 : Enantioselective Late-Stage Modifications of Alkylheterocycles

New synthetic organic protocols for enantioselective late-stage modifications of alkylheterocycles will be developed using novel directed metalation techniques.
Supervisor: Dr G Barker, email: Graeme.barker@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/05 : Effect of pressure in polymer nanocomposites

The aim of this project is to investigate changes in polymer properties (structure and dynamics) as a result of very high pressure and high temperature. The project will involve the design of new sample environment cells to allow for in-situ measurements using our dielectric spectroscopy, X-ray and neutron scattering experiments.
Supervisor: Dr V Arrighi, email: v.arrighi@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/06 : Velocity Map Imaging of Gas Surface Scattering

Gas-Liquid surface scattering of small molecules and radicals from low vapour pressure liquids will be investigated using a unique velocity map imaging spectrometer, allowing multiple mechanistic scattering pathways to be determined.
Supervisor: Dr S J Greaves, email: s.j.greaves@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/06 : The molecular reorganisation of the protein fusion machinery after insulin release

This project will examine the molecular organisation of proteins responsible for insulin release and how they are reset ready for the next cycle of membrane fusion.
Supervisor: Dr. C. Rickman, email: C.Rickman@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/07 : Engineering Cell Signalling Responses with Nanoscale Biomaterials

We have shown that custom engineered biomaterials can alter therapeutic stem cell growth and development. We will now determine the molecular events inside cells that control these responses to nanometric stimuli.
Supervisor: Dr. S. Yarwood, email: S.Yarwood@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/08 : Developing a platform for defining novel antibacterial chemotherapeutics

This project will combine bioinformatics and text mining approaches to select and prioritise candidate gene products. These will then be employed as targets for developing and applying high-throughput screening platform to characterise novel antibacterial chemicals. Escherichia coli will be employed as a model organisms with the goal of rolling out for other clinically-relevant multidrug resistant (MDR) bacterial pathogens.  
Supervisor: Prof. D. Smith, email: David.Smith@hw.ac.uk  

DTP2017/09 : Incorporating vasculature within 3D printed tumour models

Our lab and others have been developing 3D bioprinting methods to deposit live tumour cells and healthy stromal cells within appropriate matrices in order to engineer 3D tumour constructs. This project is to develop approaches to mimic blood vessels within these tumour constructs using both engineering and cell biology.
Supervisor: Dr. N. Leslie, email: N.R.Leslie@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/10 : Injectable hydrogel-based catalysts for targeted chemotherapy

This project aims at developing synthetic injectable hydrogels, to act as carriers for palladium catalysts that convert harmless circulating prodrugs into potent chemotherapeutics inside a tumour.
Supervisore Dr F. Melchels, email: F.Melchels@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/11 : Investigating virus structure with AFM

The structure and mechanics of single viruses will be studied with atomic force microscopy in combination with single molecule fluorescence.
Supervisor: Dr. I. Schaap, email: I.Schaap@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/12 : Super-resolution ultrasound imaging beamforming

The project will develop a new ultrasound imaging method for point scatter localisation using adaptive beamforming as translated from existing tools in radar, sonar and astronomy.
Supervisors: Dr. V. Sboros, email: VS148@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/13 : Investigating neutrophil responses to nanomaterials in vitro

Simple and more complex, multicellular in vitro models will be used to assess the activation and resolution of neutrophil responses by nanomaterials of varied physio-chemical properties.
Supervisor: Dr. H. Johnston & Prof. V. Stone,  email: H.Johnston@hw.ac.uk & email: V.Stone@hw.ac.uk

DTP2017/14 : Stress testing of manufactured red blood cells using biophysical approaches to high-throughput screening.

Manufacturing red blood cells using stem cell technology has been developed by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service but a scalable assessment of red cell robustness remains a goal in the long term development of the product. The current project will employ a biophotonics approach to developing a sensitive, specific stress of manufactured red blood cells that is appropriate for an industrial application.
Supervisor: Dr. D. Ball, email: D.Ball@hw.ac.uk & Dr. G Whyte email: G.Whyte@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/07 : Biomedical and clinical photonics

This project will involve exploring the potential of advanced photonic technologies, such as optical fibres, fluorescent sensors and single-photon detector arrays, to transform the diagnostic and therapeutic capabilities of pulmonary clinicians.
Supervisor: Prof. R. R. Thomson, email: R.R.Thomson@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/08 : Novel technologies to enhance minimally invasive laser surgery

Laser surgery using mid-infrared or ultrafast picosecond/femtosecond lasers can greatly enhance the precision and effectiveness of treatment for a wide range of diseases. Highly flexible anti-resonant microstructured fibres have now enabled endoscopic delivery within the complex structures of the body. However, in order to fully exploit this technology novel beam steering and manipulation solutions must developed, and combined with optical monitoring and sensing technologies, to fully aid and guide surgeons.
Supervisor: Dr. J. Shephard, email: J.D.Shephard@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/09 : Ultrashort pulsed laser welding of highly dissimilar materials: optical materials to metals and ceramics

This project is a scientific study and engineering development of direct laser bonding processes using ultrashort pulsed lasers, for joining highly dissimilar materials, in particular optical components (glasses, ceramics) to mechanical supporting structures (typically metals).
Supervisor: Prof. D. Hand, email: D.P.Hand@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/10 : Compact visible frequency combs: the missing link in a vision of pervasive quantum timekeeping

This project targets the development of practical—and tiny!— laser frequency combs, which can be used as a bridge between precision optical frequency references (e.g. optical atomics clocks) and high-stability radio-frequency sources (e.g. Rb-disciplined quartz oscillators).  The project is available immediately.
Supervisor: Prof. D. Reid, email: D.T.Reid@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/11 : Stress analysis of ceramic thermal barrier coatings using THz instrumentation

One sentence description: Study alongside EPSRC-funded research projects and use state-of-the-art GHz and THz imaging and spectroscopy equipment to measure sub-surface stress distributions in ceramic thermal barrier coatings.
Supervisor: Prof. A. Moore, email: A.Moore@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/12 : Synthetic magnetism in ultracold gases

Description: In this project we will study synthetic gauge fields and the topological properties of ultracold quantum gases.
Supervisor: Prof. P. Öhberg, email: P.Ohberg@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/13 : High temperature Fibre Optic sensors for Condition Monitoring of Stress Corrosion Cracking

Description: Fibre optic strain monitoring for the detection of Stress Corrosion Cracking in high pressure, high temperature steam systems used in the power generation industry
Supervisor: Dr. R. Maier, email: R.R.J.Maier@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/15 : Carbon dioxide Capture, Storage and utilization (CCS) technologies

Development of CCS technologies, with possible options including novel materials for CO2 capture; long term fate of CO2 storage (experimental and modelling studies) and CO2 utilization (e.g. enhanced oil recovery or solar fuels).  
Supervisor: Prof. Mercedes Maroto-Valer, m.maroto-valer@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/16 : Modelling of a solid oxide electrolysis cell for carbon dioxide utilisation

Multiscale models will be developed to understand the performance and life-cycle sustainability of solid oxide electrolysis cells for CO2 utilisation.
Supervisor: Dr. H. Wang, email: H.Wang@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/17 : Molecular simulation of the self-association and surface adsorption of glycolipid biosurfactants.

Molecular dynamics simulation will be used to identify the structural features of naturally occurring glycolipid biosurfactants (sophorolipids, rhamnolipids, trehalolipids, mannosylerythritol lipids, lipopeptides) that control the structure of their micelles, and their ability to adsorb at air-water and oil-water interfaces.
Supervisor: Prof. S. Euston, email: S.R.Euston@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/18 : Engineering technologies for the treatment of Mental Health issues in lifelong learning

This research investigates Bio- and Physiomimetic (e.g. visceral and somatic sensory) mechanisms for cyber-physical systems as a frontiering technology to treat mental health barriers to lifelong learning such as Anxiety.  
Supervisor: Dr T. Lim, email: T.Lim@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/19 : Hybrid Thermal & Electrical Storage for Solar Panels

The integration of electrical and thermal storage with solar power (PV and Thermal) at domestic and community scale will be investigated to provide cost effective energy on-demand.
Supervisor: Dr. T. O’Donovan, email: T.S.O'Donovan@hw.ac.uk  

JWS2017/20 : Manufacture of a bio-reactor for the production of artificial spider silk

Supervisor: Prof. M. Desmulliez, email: m.desmulliez@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/21 : Microwave and antenna technology for satellite communications

Supervisor: Prof. G. Goussetis, email: g.goussetis@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/22 : Acoustic Sensor Networks for subsea extreme environments

Supervisor: Prof. Y. Petillot, email: y.r.petillot@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/23 : Bio-inspired Additive Manufacturing for 3D printed multimaterial integration

One of the largest challenges in additive manufacturing and 3D printing is the multicomponent integration with different materials, especially in the case of plastics and metals. The current project will employ different bio-inspired approaches to create new processes for 3D printing. The project will involve close collaboration with three industrial partners and the University of Leeds.

Supervisor: Dr. J. Marques-Hueso, email: J.Marques@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/24 : Ultrafast nonlinear optics in gas-filled fibres

This project makes use of cutting-edge experimental laser science to build a high-energy vacuum ultraviolet (100 to 200 nm) to mid-infrared light source – with the eventual aim of creating a table-top synchrotron replacement for advanced ultrafast spectroscopy.  This project is based on the rich nonlinear dynamics of intense ultrafast light pulse propagation in hollow-core fibres filled with gases.

Supervisor: Dr. John C. Travers, email: J.Travers@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/25 : Advanced Signal Processing for Compact Deployments of Massive-MIMO Wireless Systems

The research will explore and validate the new concept massive MIMO systems under realistic antenna deployment in limited physical spaces for beyond 5G. This project tackles the issue of large scale antenna deployment by a) information theoretical analysis, b) signal processing devoted to power efficiency and c) analogue-digital beamforming designs and reduced RF-chain solutions aimed at power- and cost- effective implementations.

Supervisor: Dr. M. Sellathurai, email: m.sellathurai@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/26 : Lasers for the Future

Description: Research and development of the lasers for future applications require the most modern laser diode pump sources, novel laser crystals and micro-optics, as well as emerging laser-based manufacturing methods such as additive manufacturing. This project will address the challenges from the initial laser system design phase up to experimental demonstration for our industry partners.

Supervisor: Prof M J Daniel Esser, email: M.J.D.Esser@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/27 : Hybrid quantum networks

Quantum networks consist of solid-state quantum nodes interconnected with entangled photons in the telecom wavelength regime. They enable secure long-distance quantum communication, distributed quantum computing, and the study of foundational phenomena. The aim of this experimental PhD project is to build up a small-scale quantum network with telecom-range single photons interfaced to solid-state quantum dots. This hybrid architecture will allow you to study and exploit the best of two of the leading photonics and condensed-matter quantum technologies.

Supervisor: Dr. A. Fedrizzi, email: A.Fedrizzi@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/28: Single photon imaging

This project will build upon the emerging and successful development of novel imaging techniques providing both single photon sensitivity and picosecond temporal resolution. Combined with computational imaging methods, we will develop new approaches to full 3D imaging behind walls, ghost imaging, quantum imaging and imaging inside the human body. (Closing date end February 2017).

Supervisor: Prof. D. Faccio, Email: d.faccio@hw.ac.uk

JWS2017/29: Coherent quantum optics with quantum emitters

Quantum optics enables full coherent control of few-level atomic systems. This project aims to apply such techniques to manipulate and characterize atomic-like transitions in semiconductor quantum dots at the single electron and photon level with an eye towards quantum technologies. (Closing date end February 2017).

Supervisor: Prof. B Gerardot, Email: b.d.gerardot@hw.ac.uk

How to Apply

1. Important Information before you Apply

When applying through the Heriot-Watt on-line system please ensure you provide the following information:
(a) in “Planned Programme of Study” (Checklist Item 6):
Planned Programme of Study presents you with a drop-down menu.  Choose Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate.
Supervisor provides a free text box.  Enter supervisor’s name.
(b) in “Background Information” (Checklist Item 9):
Proposed Area of Research provides a free text box.  Enter Title and Reference number (JWS2017/xx or DTP2017/xx) of the Scholarship for which you are applying.
This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.

2. Applications

Applications must be made through the Heriot-Watt on-line application system.

3. Closing Date

All applications must be received by Tuesday 31st January 2017.  All successful candidates must commence studies by Friday 1st December 2017 at the very latest.