EPS Scholarships - James Watt, Start-up and DTP from Autum 2018
EPS Scholarships for PhD Research from Autumn 2018
Heriot-Watt University has now created additional Doctoral Training Partnerships, James Watt Scholarships and Start-up Scholarships in the School of Engineering & Physical Sciences for 2018.
All applicants must have or expect to have a 1st class MChem, MPhys, MSci, MEng or equivalent degree by Autumn 2018. 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. For Start-up Scholarships, the annual stipend will be approx. £14,553 and full fees will be paid for 3 years. Whilst for DTP Scholarship students, the annual stipend will be approx. £14,553 and full fees will be paid, for 3.5 years. Where a project does not specify, it is potentially eligible for both a DTP or James Watt Scholarship.
Synopses and email addresses
The dynamics of inelastic and reactive collisions of radicals important in combustion, astrochemistry and atmospheric chemistry, will be determined using a combination of crossed molecular beams and velocity-map ion-imaging.
Controlled synthesis of transition metal clusters and exploratory studies into their application as photocatalysts.
This project will involve using visible light photoredox catalysts in unison with other transition metal catalysts in a dual catalytic mode, in order to enable reactions which are not possible using transition metal catalysts alone. We will also investigate the use of metal-free organophotoredox catalysts as cheaper and greener alternatives for developing new photoredox-catalysed reactions.
This project seeks to develop small molecule ligands for the cellular signalling enzyme EPAC1, a key target for drug development of the treatment of atherosclerosis and insulin resistance.
Solid state organometallic chemistry offers a new approach to heterogeneous catalysis while maintaining the selectivity of homogeneous catalysis. This project will use computational modelling to provide mechanistic insight into reactivity in the solid-state that will provide a rational basis for the design of new catalysts for the transformation of small molecules.
The structure of the extreme outer layers of technologically important ionic liquids, their mixtures, and solutions 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.
There is much interest in utilising light as an anti-cancer treatment. There remains much to understand and further develop however, and this project will explore this photochemistry using theoretical and computational methods.
JWS2018/03 : Spectroscopy & Dynamics of Atmospherically Relevant Molecules in the Time and Frequency Domains
The photochemical dynamics of small molecules of atmospheric relevance will be studied using a combination of femtosecond time-resolved and nanosecond frequency-resolved spectroscopy, with velocity-map imaging of photoelectrons and ions.
The very wide spread use of polymer means they are often subjected to extreme conditions (high temperature, pressure, strain and strain rate). However, their behaviour in these regimes is not well understood, and this project will explore this behaviour particularly under very high (ballistic) strain rates.
This project aims to combine the best features of electrically defined quantum dots with optically active quantum dots by taking advantage of the novel physical features (especially strong Coulomb interactions) of 2D semiconductors. Nanostructured regions in pristine 2D heterostructures will be engineered to spatially confine electrons, which can be loaded one-by-one via a tunable gate and then optically probed. The light-matter interaction and spin-photon dynamics of this system will be explored.
Single quantum emitters in 2D semiconductors can be spatially induced using localized strain pockets. This project aims to deterministically position 2D quantum emitters onto CMOS compatible photonic integrated chips photonic chips, demonstrating: efficient coupling to waveguide modes, on-chip photon antibunching, photon routing, and multiplexing of multiple emitters on chip.
You will develop new techniques for the ultrafast optical characterisation of semiconductor materials under realistic laser/amplifier operating conditions, generating new knowledge essential for the development of novel ultrafast semiconductor lasers and amplifiers.
You will explore the limits of ultrashort pulse generation in electrically-pumped semiconductor lasers and develop novel techniques to push their characteristics further (e.g. optical power, pulse duration), enabling the development of the next generation of ultrafast semiconductor lasers.
EPS2018/05 : Miniaturised optical fibre sensors for pressure, temperature and chemical measurement in porous media flow experiments.
By developing fibre-tip components we aim to manipulate cells and aid imaging and spectroscopic analysis of biological process on the scale of a single cell.
This Project will investigate a new generation of Si-based single-photon detectors that are adapted to measure light in the short-wave infrared, at the telecommunications band. Working with the QuantIC Quantum Technology Hub and other academic and industrial collaborators, this project will investigate this new class of sensors and examine nanostructured layers for efficiency enhancement and spectral selectivity. The project will examine applications of these single-photon devices in quantum technology and in more traditional areas.
Working with the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Enhanced Imaging, this PhD project will examine novel imaging methods using correlated photons and new generations of filter arrays for spectral and polarisation selection. In conjunction with advanced image processing algorithms, it is possible to reconstruct a range of colours or polarisation responses at ultralow signal levels, at the one photon per pixel level, on average. This work has widespread applicability and a variety of application areas have interest in such technology, including, for example, environmental sciences, security, and offshore inspection.
Summary: Working in collaboration with the UK Quantum Technology Hub for Quantum Communications Technologies and numerous academic and industrial partners, advanced quantum communications protocols and related technologies will be experimentally developed into versatile and adaptable testbed systems to demonstrate a variety of operational parameters.
We will investigate individual spin-active defects embedded in SiC and diamond devices with two goals: (i) control the number of electrons associated with the defect - (ii) use the defect electronic spin as a sensor to probe locally the properties of the device
We will investigate individual point defects (Si vacancy, divacancy) in SiC by laser spectroscopy and electron spin resonance at cryogenic temperature, to demonstrate spin-photon interfaces for quantum networking.
We will develop methods for entangling multiple photons in high dimensions. This work has applications in super resolution imaging and quantum communication.
Description: Use ultrafast experimental laser science and numerical simulations, to build a high-energy vacuum ultraviolet (100 to 200 nm) and mid-infrared light source, based on the rich nonlinear dynamics of ultrafast light pulse propagation in hollow-core fibres filled with gases.
Nonlinear photonics is the branch of optics that is based on strong light-matter interactions. This project is devoted to thoroughly explore different nonlinear optical interactions in periodically tapered waveguides, such as dispersion oscillating fibres and width-modulated silicon nanowires. The project objectives are to investigate nonlinear interactions such as Rogue-solitons generation, photoionisation effect, and spontaneous four-wave mixing in these kinds of waveguides. We aim to offer new platforms that can be developed into practical novel devices in the near future."
This project concentrates on the arbitrary control of polarisation at subwavelength scales and develop novel, effective color display elements with fine control over both brightness and contrast.
This project aims at developing a low-cost nanofabrication method to provide large-area nanosurfaces, which will be used as an absorbing and photothermal conversion materials for harvesting sunlight.
Visible and infrared lasers acting as "precision rulers in optical frequency" will be developed for applications in distance metrology, astronomy and spectroscopy.
Fundamental process understanding and process control in the additive manufacture (3D printing) of metals, including directed-energy deposition and powder-bed techniques.
Develop approaches using GHz and THz imaging and spectroscopy to measure sub-surface strain distributions in ceramic thermal barrier coatings.
New technologies aimed at enabling the practical use ultrafast picosecond/femtosecond lasers in modern surgical procedures will be investigated. This will include modelling of laser/tissue interactions in the ultrafast regime and developing complementary optical monitoring and sensing technologies.
Jetting of nanoparticle inks is a key additive manufacturing technology enabling direct writing of multi-material multi-functional components. The ability of lasers to enhance the ink curing process in real time will be studied along with the use of lasers to tailor surface properties and control deposition.
A new design of metasurfaces employing novel CMOS compatible materials will be developed. The attained flat material will work in the epsilon-near-zero regime exhibiting giant nonlinearities to be exploited for the generation of entangled photon pairs. The project will cover fabrication aspects as well as device characterisation.
Different resonant structures (e.g. nano-antennas, micro ring resonators, nano-emitters, etc.) will be studied in the context of a surrounding environment with a refractive index approaching zero. Coupling and emission properties will be at the centre of the study, which will include numerical modelling and experimental analysis of fabricated systems.
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. The project will be carried out in collaboration with Prof Brian Gerardot.
Dr. Alessandro Fedrizzi. A.Fedrizzi@hw.ac.uk
In this project we want to develop machine learning approaches to describe driven dissipative quantum many-body systems which are in a sort of flow equilibrium where driving forces and losses acting on them reach a dynamical balance. Our aim will be to find efficient descriptions and algorithms that can "learn" to identify condensed matter phases of these systems.
This project will focus on the laser singulation of complex 3D ultrasound arrays for medical device applications, in collaboration with the university of Glasgow.
supervisor: Duncan Hand, firstname.lastname@example.org
Control over the scattering process inside multi-mode fibers will be used for designing quantum logic gates and multi-port beam splitters for generating and manipulating high-dimensional quantum states of light.
High-dimensional entanglement in the temporal and spatial photonic degrees of freedom will be used to surpass the distance and noise limitations of state-of-the-art quantum communication systems.
Supervisor: Dr. M. Malik, email@example.com
Achieving efficient energy transport through small to medium-sized quantum networks is of paramount importance for upcoming molecular electronics and organics photovoltaics. In this project, we will develop an information theoretic approach for identifying, optimising and designing novel classes of robust and efficient quantum networks.
Supervisor: Dr Erik Gauger, firstname.lastname@example.org
This project will investigate distributed signal processing for event detection and adaptive spatio-temporal monitoring in next generation of underwater wireless sensor and robot networks.
The research will be conducted at the Ocean Systems Laboratory (OSL) at Heriot-Watt University.
Ocean Systems Laboratory: http://www.oceansystemslab-heriotwatt.com/
Project web-page: https://research.ncl.ac.uk/usmart/
JWS2018/06 : Scalable computational methods for analysis of biomedical data: application to tumor monitoring
New statistical methods will be developed to reliably extract information from images and multimodal data (e.g., biosensors and metadata) to help personalized diagnostic.
Adaptive Bayesian techniques will be developed to extract information (detection, classification, tracking) from transient signals, with application to ultra-fast imaging and radiation monitoring.
Emerging material and manufacturing technologies will be exploited to develop advanced RF/microwave frequency selective devices such as filter/antenna for wireless applications. The suitable candidate may also receive a top-up scholarship from a large industrial company.
Methods borrowed from manufacturing will be used to elucidate trade-offs found in plants or animals to make products inspired from Nature
This project will investigate how robotics autonomous and interactive systems (RAIS) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies can work together to help to address the national priority of caring for the elderly and the steeply rising costs and strain of healthcare provision and services.
The research will be conducted at the assisted living lab at Heriot-Watt University.
IoRT Assisted Living lab: https://robotic-assisted-living.hw.ac.uk/
DTP2018/11 : Design and Analysis of Antenna and Circuit Systems for the Wireless Charging of Mobile Phones
The main objective of the project is to investigate, develop, and demonstrate innovative wireless power transmission concepts using novel circuit and antenna topologies. For example, to charge mobile devices for passengers that are moving within a room, subway, or airplane where more classic 'wired' approaches are not practical and simple.
We want to develop new signal processing and machine learning algorithms to improve the spatial/temporal resolution of biological images acquired by hyperspectral and multimodal cameras.
Novel lysis technology for protozoan pathogens will be developed and integrated into a microfluidic based detection system for rapid water quality testing.
EPS2018/31 : Development of human in vitro liver and gut models to assess the potential hazards of nanomaterials
Since engineered nanomaterials are included in food and packaging, a main route of human exposure is by ingestion, so that these materials entering the body may be absorbed by the gut, reach the circulation and accumulate in organs such as the liver. Previous work has focussed on 2D cell systems which attempt to predict the risk associated with different engineered nanomaterials. We would like to significantly improve existing in vitro models so that they are more relevant to the gut and liver and by so doing, be able to inform in a more reliable manner the risks associated with nanomaterials.
The project will employ 3D lung models that include the epithelial barrier, immune cells (macrophages or neutrophils) and fibroblasts, grown at an air liquid interface (ALI) to represent the lung surface. The 3D ALI model will be exposed to a variety of environmental and work place nanoparticles in order to assess the lung response and to generate data relevant to human safety. Exposures will extend from the single short term models to repeated exposures over several days in order to better reflect real life exposure scenarios. The study will investigate the duration over which the model remains viable and representative of the intact lung response. Endpoints will extend from the standard assessments of cytotoxicity and inflammation to incorporate cutting-edge phenotypic markers of disease in order to advance our understanding of disease induction and risk.
New beamforming and waveform design will be developed to generate a super-resolution medical ultrasound imaging methodology.
Polymer-bound palladium nanoparticles have the potential to catalyse the reaction from harmless circulating prodrug to potent chemotherapeutic at the tumour site, thereby circumventing systemic side effects [Weiss, JT et al; Nature Communications 2014, 5, 3277]. This project aims to harness this potential for clinical use, by developing synthetic palladium-bearing hydrogels that can be applied in vivo following tumour resection.
EPS2018/35 : Development of microfluidics with integrated optics for manipulation and interrogation of cells
The integration of optical functions within microfluidic devices provides a new freedom for manipulating and studying biological samples at the micro scale. This project will develop such microfluidic devices with integrated optical components, with applications from biomedical to environmental science.
EPS2018/36 : Unravelling the effect of altered PRPP synthase complexes on the physiology of the yeast cell.
The main question we plan to address is: Does protein/protein interaction ensure that PRPP synthase is brought to the area of metabolism where PRPP is required.
Tumours are complex 3D environments encompassing many different cell types, both cancerous and non-cancerous as well as diverse components which make up the extracellular matrix. We are applying and developing new biofabrication methods to create tumour constructs in order to study the tumour microenvironment and as new models for drug testing.
Some nanomaterials are able to stimulate inflammatory responses, which may lead to detrimental health effects. Neutrophil accumulation is commonly used as an indicator of nanomaterial toxicity in vivo; with high levels of neutrophil infiltration into tissues and a lack of inflammation resolution indicative that a nanomaterial may be of high toxicity. Static and fluidic in vitro models will be used to assess the activation and resolution of neutrophil responses by nanomaterials of varied physico-chemical properties. In addition, the response of primed neutrophils will be compared to that of non-primed cells.
This interdisciplinary project will develop new microfluidic devices to probe individual cells as they undergo changes in relation to organisms growing old. In particular, the physical changes which occur when cells become senescent, a state where they shut down their normal function which is important in growing old, for example removing senescent cells from normal healthy mice dramatically increases the length and quality of life.
New polymeric membranes will be engineered using a range of methods, including electrospinning, functionalised and integrated into microfluidic chips for use in clinical devices with oncological applications.
EPS2018/41 : Computational Image Processing: Super-resolution restoration of microscopy images and its application in biological and biomedical Imaging
This project will take a multi-disciplinary approach to develop a novel image restoration method that enables multi-colour super-resolution imaging and image analysis for biological and biomedical applications.
We will apply statistical thermodynamics to perform a detailed investigation of the microscopic physics of self-replication and the transformation of structures in cells and tissues in arctic species. The study will allow new approaches to the preservation of cells, tissues, and organs by rapid cooling.
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:
This information will greatly assist us in tracking your application.
Please note that once you have submitted your application, it will not be considered until you have uploaded your CV and transcripts.
Applications must be made through the Heriot-Watt on-line application system.
3. Closing Date
All applications must be received by Wednesday 31st January 2018. All successful candidates must commence studies by Saturday 1st December 2018 at the very latest.
- (a) in 'Study Option'
You will need to select 'Edinburgh' and 'Postgraduate Research'. 'Programme' presents you with a drop-down menu. Choose Chemistry PhD, Physics PhD, Chemical Engineering PhD, Mechanical Engineering PhD or Electrical PhD as appropriate and select October 2018 for study option (this can be updated at a later date if required)
- (b) in 'Research Project Information'
You will be provided with a free text box for details of your research project. Enter Title and Reference number of the project for which you are applying and also enter the supervisor's name.