Free open Job in Wales Low Cost, Low Energy Biobased Sensor for Environmental Humidity Monitoring at Swansea University

*This scholarships is part funded by the Welsh Government’s European Social Fund (ESF) convergence programme for West Wales and the Valleys.*

The project will be on investigating a potential low cost, low energy fabricated and operated sensor, based on the biomaterial melanin to monitor environmental humidity with the aim of being used in the automotive industry.  

The company with which this project is associated, Hamlin Electronics UK Ltd., part of Littelfuse Inc., is a global manufacturer and supplier of electronic components and sensor products for industrial, consumer and automotive market.

Specifically, the humidity sensor will be based on the biomaterial melanin; a material cheaply made with low environmental impact; a material that is easily incorporated into a sensor platform using low energy fabrication techniques such as spin coating; a material that shows high sensitivity to humidity in the environment and is environmentally friendly.

The project’s aim is to test these biobased humidity sensors for their long-term stability as well as optimising sensitivity. These tests will include the synthesis of melanin, materials processing in creating devices and then electrical testing as a function of humidity and time.

The key approach with all of the above to obtain excellent results is to do the measurements under hydration control, which Dr Bernard Mostert has expertise in and has published works using these techniques in high-end scientific journals such as the Proceeds of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

As such the project is ideal for any student with a background and interest in physical or materials chemistry, chemical or materials engineering, or chemical or materials physics. 

Ultimately, these sensors and the technology to create them and understand them could be extended to beyond environmental humidity sensing including the field of life sciences where hydration dependent behaviour of biomaterials play a key role in creating bioelectronics devices for medical sensing.

Scholarships are collaborative awards with external partners including SMEs and micro companies, as well as public and third sector organisations. The scholarship provides 1 year funding with a 3 month period to complete the thesis. The achievement of a postgraduate skills development award, PSDA, is compulsory for each KESS II scholar and is based on a 30 credit award.

Eligibility

Academic requirements:

Candidates should have a 2.1 or above in their undergraduate degree in chemistry, physics, chemical engineering or a related subject.

We would normally expect the academic and English Language requirements to be met by point of application. For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – http://www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/englishlanguagerequirements/

Residency criteria:

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only.

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