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Finite element methods for modelling the deformation of polymers

The finite element method (FEM) is by now a well-established and widely accepted approach for modelling the deformation of linearly elastic materials.>In this project we will explore which FEM approach and constitutive laws may be applicable for modelling polymers, which have more deformation behaviour than a simple elastic material.Our long-term goal is to be able to accurately model the deformation of polymer bioscaffolds fabricated with the novel melt-electrowriting (MEW) additive manufacturing process.

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Modelling interactions between viral surface and polymeric anti-viral drugs

In 2020, the impact of emerging viral infections on human health and socioeconomic development has been made glaringly apparent by the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by SARS-CoV-2. While SARS-CoV-2 is having a global impact, other viral infections are major contributors to morbidity and mortality around the world. Therefore, we need to have broad spectrum therapeutics on hand that can reduce disease severity, regardless of which viral strain causes the next pandemic.This project aims to develop broad spectrum antiviral polymeric nanoparticles, to …

Study level
Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

Programming polymers

Radical polymerisations play a key role in both commercial and fundamental research (45% of all world polymer production, 100 million tons per year). However, radical polymerizations still suffer from synthetic drawbacks like all-carbon polymer backbones, which largely prevent their (bio)degradability. We will develop a polymerization technique that allows to incorporate

Study level
Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Electrothermal film heaters

Flexible electrothermal heaters have attracted a growing interest because of their broad applications in wearable electronics, including warming garments, and as flexural warmers for medical devices and vehicles. Traditional electrothermal materials such as ferro chromium (FeCr)-based alloys have disadvantages such as heavy weight, rigidity and low heating efficiency. Indium tin oxide (ITO) is widely used in commercial products due to its high transparency and high electrical conductivity. However, the finite reserve of indium has resulted in an increasing price of …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics

Using light for 3D patterning of surfaces: the visible light challenge

Inspired by nature's way of using light to trigger chemical processes known as photosynthesis by green plants, the idea of using light as an energy source to make and break chemical bonds has been widely applied for the development of more complex structures in the soft matter materials design and biological sciences. However, to date, the energy required to activate chemical bond formation was mostly extracted from UV light which is a drawback to develop and apply these reaction systems …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Polymer particles as precision sensors for molecules

Polymer particles are a billion-dollar industry with a diverse range of applications from biomedical to industrial coatings. As a prime example, point-of-care testing devices rely on polymeric particles with various size and functionality to conveniently allow instantaneous, selective, and precise diagnostics. However, as new applications arise and current applications advance, these demand the preparation of increasingly complex material and particle systems.The Soft Matter Materials Team has developed a simple method to form uniform particles without any additives, initiators or stabilizers. …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Advanced polymer inks for 3D printing - defining the future of 3D additive manufacturing

Some estimates state that 30% of all manufactured goods will be 3D printed in 2030. A particular type of 3D printing is 3D laser lithography with which micro- and nano-sized structures can be prepared. Such structures find wide ranging applications in meta-materials functioning as invisibility cloaks or scaffolds for single (stem) cell interrogation. Today’s inks for 3D printing, however, only allow one material property to be written with one laser wavelength.Working in close collaboration with team members of the Soft …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Macromolecular barcoding for tracing plastic materials for the circular economy: a game changer for recycling

The reduction and management of plastic waste is perhaps the most critical challenge facing modern economies and plastic pollution cannot be resolved by generic approaches to research or to problem-solving. The Soft Matter Materials Team aims to resolve the anonymity and ubiquity of plastics by pioneering a simple optical readout system that can identify the uniquely coded information in macromolecules that have been embedded in plastics.In this project, optically readable macromolecular barcodes based on a system of excimer fluorescence switch-on …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

A golden approach to nanomedicine: gold-polymer hybrid nanoparticles

Gold, a precious metal, is also highly valued for the production of highly functional nanoparticles.Gold nanoparticles interact with light and microwaves to generate heat and light, which can be used in nanomedicine for therapy or imaging.This project will look at developing polymer-gold hybrid nanoparticles to improve disease delivery and therapy. This project involves:polymer synthesismaterials formulationcharacterisation.

Study level
Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Metal-free batteries

Chemical batteries are listed in the top 5 key energy technologies; ahead of others such as natural gas, wind turbines, hydrogen and electric motors. Our group is currently investigating the use of free radical containing polymers as avenues to produce environmentally friendly, lightweight and durable materials for the fabrication of printed carbon batteries or as a electrolytes in flow batteries.

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Chemistry and Physics
Research centre(s)
Centre for Materials Science

Understanding the external surface of fungal mycelia

The way in which fungal cultures grow in liquid cultures are can have a major impact on scale up and producing material. Here, we will examine the growth of three fast-growing filamentous fungi and try understand how various growth parameters affect the morphology that will range from loose mycelia to compact pellets.Fungal morphology is affected by inoculum (form, concentration and growth stage), media components (type and concentration of carbon, nitrogen and phosphate, trace minerals, pH, salt content), dissolved gases (dissolved …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Science
School
School of Biology and Environmental Science
Research centre(s)
Centre for Agriculture and the Bioeconomy

Green polymer-inorganic composite materials

Composite materials are widely researched and widely used in applications such as aircraft, automobiles, ships, structural components and even the space industry.There is a need to create new composite materials which are environmentally friendly and do not use fossil fuel based products. Moreover, the properties of the composites need to be improved while at the same time minimising the costs involved.Consequently our research group is working on composite materials which not only include inexpensive inorganic fillers from the mining sector …

Study level
PhD, Master of Philosophy, Honours, Vacation research experience scheme
Faculty
Faculty of Engineering
School
School of Mechanical, Medical and Process Engineering

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