3-year UCL-Hexcel Studentship in Multiscale Modelling and Simulation of Graphene and Graphene-Oxide Polymer Composites

Supervisor: Professor P V Coveney, UCL
Start date: January 2020.

UCL in collaboration with Hexcel (http://www.hexcel.com) are offering a studentship to a highly motivated candidate to start in January 2019. The studentship will cover tuition fees at UK/EU rate, a £13,300 pa tax-free stipend and a £2,000 pa support grant to cover additional costs such as training courses, conferences, visits to collaborators, field work, etc. The studentship offers a placement within Hexcel of at least 3 months as well as supervisory input from the company.

The student will develop and implement multiscale modelling methodologies to investigate polymer nanocomposites with particular focus on epoxy-resins. These composite materials are expected to exhibit properties of importance to aerospace industries owing to their anticipated properties (lightweight, strong, durable, as well as being environmentally friendly and sustainable). While the student will need to perform some amount of electronic structure calculations in order to extract key parameters pertaining to charge distributions and dispersion interactions, the focus of their work will be on a combination of modelling methods at the level of classical molecular dynamics (both all atom and coarse-grained) and its connections to higher levels of modelling in order to make predictions of large-scale materials properties.

Hexcel, whose laboratories are in close proximity to UCL, will perform a range of performance tests on the same materials as the student will be modelling, thereby providing experimental validation of the theoretical and simulation work.

A central objective in this work is to this work is to assess the accuracy, precision, and reliability of such computer-based predictions of the properties of these nanomaterials. The overarching goal is to make high-fidelity, chemically-specific predictions of the mesoscale structure from the nanoscale description of these composites, and, in turn, to predict emergent macroscopic behaviour and properties.

Applicants should have, or be expecting to achieve, a first or upper-second class honours degree or equivalent in physics, chemistry or a related subject and must be able to demonstrate significant computational experience including use of high-level programming languages (such as Fortran, C/C++, and Python or other scripting methods).

Interested candidates should contact p.v.coveney “at” ucl.ac.uk with a degree transcript and a motivation letter explaining their interest in this project. Informal enquiries are encouraged, and applications are accepted until a suitable candidate is identified, and before January 2019.

Due to funding restrictions, the proposed student must be a UK or EU national and have lived in the UK for the previous 3 years (for either work or education).