An opportunity has arisen for a 4-year PhD studentship within the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Edinburgh funded by the BBSRC through the Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC). The student will be part of the IBioIC Collaborative Training Partnership (“CTP”).

This project will be led by Dr Tiffany Wood at the University of Edinburgh in partnership with the company Marine Biopolymers Ltd and Edinburgh Napier University.

This work is relevant to a new class of renewable and stable formulations, based on patented technology. The student will learn how to derive cellulose nanocrystals from extracted kelp cellulose under the supervision of Dr M. Dorris at Edinburgh Napier University. At the University of Edinburgh they will perform physical characterisation of the nanocrystals using SEM and characterise the nematic, or chiral nematic, solutions using cross-polariser microscopy, reflectance spectroscopy and rheology. They will explore the physics underpinning the stability of dispersions in the nematic cellulose matrix against sedimentation and coalescence and the flow behaviour and elasticity of these dispersions.

The student will perform measurements with macro-algae cellulose and wood-derived cellulose that is well understood.

The student should have strong interests in both experimental physics and chemistry. Towards the end of the project our ambition is for the student to enjoy a placement at the Centre for Process Innovation to test scale-up.

Applicants should submit their CV and a covering letter, including full contact details of two referees, to Dr Tiffany Wood,

See the full advert on

Visit the University of Edinburgh website to find out more about applying for this position.