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School of Engineering and Materials Science Research Studentships

Dynamics of drops with adsorbed bio-surfactants

Supervisors: Ahmed ISMAIL

Application Deadline: 30-01-2022

There is a global need to study the dynamics of complex fluid drops. Understanding the dynamics of drops containing nano-suspensions or with bio-surfactants that are fully adsorbed on the drop surface can allow us, for example, to break the limitations on the materials that can be printed.

In this project we aim to develop a novel printing technique based on the knowledge acquired from studying the dynamics of complex fluid drops. The societal and environmental impact of this technology will be enormous: Research predicts that the total market for printed, flexible and organic electronics will grow from $41 billion in 2020 to $74 billion in 2030; in the UK, the inkjet printing segment of this market is projected to grow more than any other in the next 5 years.

The preparation understanding the dynamics of printable nano-suspension inks is a fundamental bottleneck of the technology. To ensure stability, printability, and control over the coffee ring effect, the inks need to be additized with binders, surfactants, antifoaming agents. Bio-based surfactants present sustainable opportunities to lower petroleum consumption by raising renewable resources and reducing the amount of additional carbon in the atmosphere.

This studentship is part of the Green Energy EPSRC doctoral training programme and the project is in collaboration with several industrial partners. This opportunity is for a highly motivated person who is willing to dedicate full time to do experimental and theoretical work and has passion toward learning new things and conducting scientific research.


This studentship is fully funded via the UKRI EPSRC Doctoral Training Programme for 3.5 years and includes a stipend (currently £17,609 in 2021/2022) and Fees.


This year UKRI announced that there will be a limited number of studentships for international students available.  International applicants are encouraged to apply but should note that studentship awards will be subject to eligibility and the availability of funding.

To be classed as a home student, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a UK National (meeting residency requirements), or
  • Have settled status, or
  • Have pre-settled status (meeting residency requirements), or  
  • Have indefinite leave to remain or enter

If a candidate does not meet the criteria above, they would be classified as an international student.

Further guidance on UKRI Eligibility Criteria is here, and within Annex One of the International Eligibility Guidance.

  • The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.
  • If English is not your first language, you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).
  • Candidates are expected to start from September 2022

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Dr Ahmed Ismail, E-mail:

Application Method:

To apply for this studentship and for entry on to the PhD Full-time Mechanical Engineering - Semester 1 (September Start) please follow the instructions detailed on the following webpage:

Research degrees in Engineering:‚Äč

Further Guidance:

Please be sure to include a reference to ‘2022 EPSRC DTP AI’ to associate your application with this studentship opportunity.