IDEAS Research Institute
Suggested PhD Research Projects 2012
Theme : Creativity, Design & Innovation
Art in the Public Sphere: The Case of Feminist Manifestos
This PhD project will creatively contribute to the artistic and theoretical exploration of the unique interweaving of politics and poetics in this still under-researched genre of revolutionary discourse, the manifesto. The project will specifically address the contribution of visual art practice associated with second-wave and later feminist movements, focusing on lesser known British feminist manifestos produced in and since second-wave feminism, through the study of anthologised documents but also through archival research in libraries and special collections. One of the project's aims is to not simply discover but also uncover feminist manifestos in unexpected forms and locations, in corroboration of the thesis that certain works of art, as well as the familiar written proclamations, may be considered as manifestos thanks to their reception, function and interpretation.
Dr Alexandra Kokoli: +44 (0)1224 263692, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cultural Leadership, its role, processes and implications for cultural development
Applications are invited for a 3 year PhD to explore cultural leadership as a practice and its implications for social, cultural and economic development in a local and global context. Cultural leadership has emerged as a need that is sharply focused in particular in the fields of art and design. We do not sufficiently understand the practice of cultural leadership as it relates to art and design practices in particular in relation to coping with rapid change and increased levels of self organisation. This research will build on the AHRC funded Artist as Leader project (2006-8) initially mining this archive of 32+ in depth interviews with cultural leaders in Britain. The research will result in a framework for cultural leadership in Scotland that is informed by its rural culture. This research is timely because of the local initiatives in cultural development (City Gardens Project, related application for City of Culture 2017, national review of cultural delivery agencies, and emergence of new regional, lead cultural body: AB+).
The successful candidate will meet RGU's criteria for eligibility and be able to demonstrate the potential to develop advanced research skills. They should hold a Master's degree in Fine Art/Design, Art/Design History, Critical/Cultural Theory, or equivalent practice or policy experience. In the case of a practicing artist/designer or arts administrator, some experience in practice-led research would be an advantage. The prospective student should be highly self-motivated and have a keen and imaginative critical interest in the arts in contemporary life.
Professor Anne Douglas: +44 (0)1224 263647, email@example.com
Smart Textiles for Health and Wellbeing
Technologically enhanced textiles can respond to a range of physical and psychological health barriers, which have the potential to transform lifestyles. Smart textiles can help manage body temperature, incorporate antimicrobial properties, provide insulation, breathability, compression, re-shaping, moisture absorption, articulation enabling mobility, constrain movement and improve circulation. Current textile products designed for medical application often do not provide satisfactory solutions because they don’t address the full range of an individual's needs, which includes both the physical and the psychological. In recent years a number of technical innovations have shown potential but have not been successfully applied to provide solutions that meet the needs of individuals. Current products are related to monitoring health rather than providing a more interactive system that builds a stronger connection with the wearer, which are both responsive and adaptive and take into account an individual's emotional needs.
We are looking for a design graduate with technical expertise to undertake a PhD programme of research with the aim of understanding how textile and clothing solutions can be designed to improve the quality of life for individuals experiencing long-term medical conditions, which have a direct impact on their mobility, self-esteem and wellbeing. Through the application of advanced technology and design, this project seeks to explore new wearable smart clothing concepts with direct relevance to a range of mobility related health issues. The project will investigate a range of new technologies from micro-scale computing (speckled) to combined laser scanning and laser cutting, and new materials in order to develop advanced clothing concepts that can be used to alleviate the effects of long term debilitating conditions.
The project is suitable for someone with a first degree in product or textile and/or fashion design. They should also have some basic knowledge of materials science and computer based technologies.
This PhD research programme builds on the current work of the Molecular Imprinted Textiles (MIT) group (a project funded by the Scottish Academy of Fashion), a Scottish Govt funded project 'Future Textile Visions' (FTV) and an AHRC network application currently awaiting decision. The project will be headed by Josie Steed, Course Director for Fashion and Textiles, and Julian Malins, Professor of Design at Gray's School of Art.
Josie Steed: +44 1224 263678, firstname.lastname@example.org
Theme : Digital Technologies
3D Face Recognition
Face recognition is one of the most active research areas in computer vision, statistical analysis and pattern recognition. Although great progress has been made in 2D image-based recognition systems, the problem of detecting and recognizing faces in un-controlled biometric environments is still largely unsolved, and significantly affected by light, pose and face expression variations. Due to these problems, and because of the recent development in 3D acquisition techniques such as 3D scanners and other technologies, the trend is shifting toward 3D representation of facial data in face recognition. In this project we aim to explore the possibility of improving face recognition rates in the presence of facial expressions variation by utilizing 3D information of facial data.
Dr Eyad Elyan: +44 (0)1224 262737, email@example.com
Complexity Management of HEVC Video Coding
The emerging High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) Standard aims to increase the video compression efficiency by 50%, compared to current state-of-the-art video coding standards such as H.264/AVC. However, the improved compression performance comes with a significantly increased computational complexity compared to H.264/AVC. The new coding tools available in HEVC include, adaptive loop filters, new intra prediction modes, adaptive quantization, extended macroblock sizes and variable size transforms. The high complexity of HEVC is going to pose significant challenges in implementing real-time HEVC codecs. The aim of this research project is to develop novel algorithms to effectively manage the computational complexity of HEVC encoders.
Dr. Sampath Kannangara +44 (0) 1224 262320, firstname.lastname@example.org
Computer Supported Visualization and Knowledge Capture
This project aims to investigate novel approaches to visualisation, user simulation, knowledge capture and collaboration between groups of individuals using multi-modal interface technologies such as gesture based interfaces, augmented reality and interactive visualisation. The project brings together existing research into the cognitive engineering of advanced user interfaces and user-centred design in the digital technologies and design groups at IDEAS. The rapid development and optimisation of user interfaces to support increasingly distributed systems operating in a pervasive information environment to mediate increasingly complex high-volume data streams is a challenging task. This project will focus on how advanced automated user-modelling and interface design incorporating Adaptive control of Thought Rational (ACT-R) user simulation architectures and optimisation techniques can be applied to the design and evaluation of systems such as computer mediated collaborative environments to support the cooperative architectural design. The project will explore the use of technologies such as Microsoft Surface, Microsoft Kinect, Microsoft LightSpace, Wii and mobile technologies to explore the potential of these systems for the enhancement of collaborative decision making.
Professor Patrik Holt: +44 (0)1224 262708, email@example.com
Environmentally Aware Adaptive Mobile Computing
It is expected that by the end of this year the number of mobiles will exceed global population. In the past few years mobiles have evolved from devices designed for text and voice communications to complex computing platforms that are capable of sensing and interacting with the environment.
The main objectives of the research project are to explore the use of Smart Phones to form a context-aware Wireless Sensor Network (WSN) that can adapt to the changing environment. It should seamlessly communicate these changes to a centralised system for data analysis to determine patterns and make sense of the recorded data, which in-turn can be communicated to users in near real-time allowing them to be truly aware of their surrounding environment. Indicative application areas include environmental and health monitoring, surveillance, security, crowd control & aiding in natural disasters. This research project will require the use of computational intelligence techniques such as swarm intelligence to examine the collective behaviour of decentralised self-organised systems and data mining techniques to ascertain knowledge from the mass of sensor data. The key question is how can the present and future network of mobile sensors be utilised to benefit the individual and society.
Good programming / writing skills, knowledge of Java / J2ME, Android, and Objective C would be an advantage.
Dr Daniel Doolan: +44 (0)1224 262723, firstname.lastname@example.org
Information Management for the Biomedical Sciences in Clouds
The overarching aim of this project is the design and implementation of software for the creation of information-centric virtual organisations for biomedical research in clouds. Over the past decade, the biomedical sciences have experienced a “data deluge”, where massive amounts of data—generated by sensors, instruments, genomic profiles, and legacy records—need to be efficiently stored and processed. Consequently, a substantial mass of biomedical information is moving towards to a data-centric paradigm suitable to be deployed in clouds. By exchanging computer and data resources across global networks, cloud computing constitutes a new value-added paradigm for network computing, where higher efficiency, massive scalability, and speed rely on effective software development. The challenge is therefore to develop a methodological approach to the creation of biomedical virtual organisations in clouds, where the dynamics of the organisation are regulated by the information and empowered by ad-hoc software tools.
Dr Horacio González-Vèlez: +44 (0)1224-262747, email@example.com
Intelligent software for on-line condition monitoring
A typical condition monitoring (CM) system uses various sensors to monitor the condition of vital components (e.g. subsea hydraulic control valve) and to control the processes they are used in. The main goal of condition monitoring is to increase the system availability and reliability, but in contrast to preventive maintenance, where parts and components of a system are inspected and replaced preventively during periodic checks, condition monitoring enables condition-dependent maintenance (CBM), resulting in lower maintenance costs and higher system availability.
The goal of this project is to develop an intelligent software application aimed at monitoring and analysis of sensory data needed to implement condition-dependent maintenance. The application to be developed will use a set of advanced computational problem-solving techniques in order to model the operation of a system under monitoring and to infer the optimal way of improving its performance.
Dr Andrei Petrovski: + 44 (0) 1224 262787, firstname.lastname@example.org
Text mining to discover argumentation structures from online-discussion forums
Text mining is an increasingly important area of research driven by the dramatic growth of the social web. The aim of this project is to extract information from online health-care with the goals of improved content structuring, indexing and retrieval. The novelty in this project stems from treating user generated content on forums as dynamically evolving linked documents that vary by content, opinion and sentiment.
It is our contention that a good way to model online discussions is to represent them in some form of argumentation structure. Equally the social validity of any argument represents the level of trust implicitly given by the people who elaborated on this argument. Accordingly, learning to extract argument features from discussion texts is an important line of investigation. Existing IDEAS research on information extraction and representation algorithms will be extended for this purpose. Furthermore the sentiment polarity of extracted features will then be used to establish the pros and cons of arguments.
The successful candidate will work closely with the text mining and information retrieval research groups to develop information extraction algorithms that will be tested on benchmark datasets. This project also involves collaborations with Dr Wendy Wrieden (a nutrition expert), and an external supervisor, Dr Guillaume Cabanac (from The Paul Sabatier University of Toulouse), with specialist knowledge on argumentation structures. Candidates with experience in related disciplines are invited to apply.
Dr Nirmalie Wiratunga: +44 (0) 1224 262573, email@example.com
Theme : Energy, Environment & Sustainability
CFD modelling of pelletised catalyst within a photocatalytic reactor.
Within the study of photocatalytic reactors computational fluid dynamics (CFD) has been widely employed to model stirred reactors, bubble columns, fluidized beds and loop reactors. However there is little information on the fluidisation behaviour of catalyst particles within the photocatalytic removal of pollutant molecules from a waste stream. Accurate understanding of particle movement within a volume of fluid in relation to velocity and turbulence is critical in photo-catalytic reactor development with a view to scaling-up. This project aims to investigate the fluid dynamics of a pellet catalyst deployed within a photocatalytic reactor. The proposed work complements the existing experimental work on photo-catalytic chemistry by taking into account the fluid dynamics aspect of reactor design. The project will involve modelling the movement of photocatalyst particles in fluid using CFD and the design and build of a reactor incorporating the model.
Dr Cathy McCullagh: +44 (0)1224 262353, firstname.lastname@example.org
Design and Development of a Low Noise High Power Small Wind Turbine
Wind energy is environmentally friendly, inexhaustible, safe, and capable of supplying substantial amounts of power. However, due to wind's erratic nature, intelligent optimisation strategies must be implemented to harvest as much potential wind energy as possible while it is available. Because of its advantages, erratic nature, and recent technological advancements in wind turbine aerodynamics and power electronic interfaces, wind energy is considered to be an excellent supplementary energy source. The other issue particularly with small wind turbine is noise pollution. Research to extract the maximum power out of wind energy with low noise impact is an essential part of making wind energy much more viable and attractive.
Under this proposal, the intelligent optimisation strategies going to be implemented are based on two different approaches; namely aerodynamics/aeroacoustics optimisation (by using flow controls and surface impedance optimisation) and control system optimisation (by using maximum power point tracking (MPPT) algorithms).
This PhD Studentship requires a self-motivated and enthusiastic individual, who can focus on the design and development of a novel horizontal axis small wind turbine. The project requires strong analytical, numerical (CFD) and experimental (wind tunnel) capabilities related to fluid mechanics (aerodynamics and aeroacoustics) as well as control systems skills utilising MPPT algorithms.
Dr Indika Yahathugoda: +44 (0)1224 262336, email@example.com
Developing of a Micro Bundle Tube Bundle Heat Exchanger
Developing of a Micro Bundle Tube Bundle Heat Exchanger The overall aim of the research work is to develop a compact heat exchanger for the process industry. Highly compact micro bundle heat exchangers are capable of transferring heat at high heat fluxes with a low temperature difference compared to convective heat exchangers. It also has application in the electronic industry for cooling of high heat producing devices. This project will investigate the boiling heat transfer coefficient on the following:
Dr Eben Adom: +44 (0)1224 262438, firstname.lastname@example.org
Development of a new catalyst structure for a Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell based on Pore Scale Modelling
Mass deployment of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology is hampered by high cost. The high cost of a PEM fuel cell results from the use of expensive platinum in the catalyst layer to initiate electrochemical reaction. The proposed research seeks to provide a better fundamental understanding of the catalysis process through modelling transport of species and electrochemistry at pore scale. It is anticipated that the modelling study would help to develop a new structure of catalyst morphology having high mass activity and ultra low platinum loading.
Dr Mamdud Hossain; +44 (0)1224 262351, email@example.com
Development of novel photo-harvest enabled water splitting microfluidics device
Interfaces and surfaces in soft matter containing multiphase is the host of the many processes such as catalysis, molecular recognition, charge transfer, polymerization. These processed can be exploited for various applications from catalysis to sensors, bio-pharmaceuticals to super hydrophobic surfaces, and plasma displays to lasers. The characterisation of processes at the interface of multiphase materials such as foam, nano-porous solids and emulsions are essential for the developing new technology relating to catalysis and bio-catalysis.
The aim of this project is to incorporate photonics based water splitting systems in the microfluidics capable of transporting multiphase simultaneously. This system will rely on nano structured materials, or soft matter embedded in a microfluidic environment. Such structure will harvest the broadband light and increase the efficiency of catalysis due to photon interaction with its sub-wavelength architecture.
This state of the art project would require student with knowledge of microfluidics, material processing and multiphase flow. Any awareness on materials would be positive point. The equipment used will be microfluidics, high speed imaging, spectroscopes and optical integration system.
Dr Ketan Pancholi: +44 (0)1224 262319, firstname.lastname@example.org
Energy efficiency improvements in historic buildings
The presence of the existing building stock, and its relatively poor energy performance, places great importance on an upgrading of energy efficiency. Historic buildings are a non-negligible part of this existing stock, and present a major challenge to the research and practice communities. The challenge rests mainly on the development of technologies which allow buildings to be improved without harming their originalities.
The successful candidate will study a sample of historic buildings, where RGU has been involved previously in retro-fitting of new insulation. These buildings are between 50 years and 250 years old, and built using various techniques and materials.
The main problem facing this insulation is moisture travelling through the fabric or the wall element. This will represent the core of the PhD research project. Other aspects related to the energy improvement of existing building stock are to be considered in parallel to the core theme.
The successful candidate is required to possess knowledge of traditional building construction details, have good organisation skills, an ability to learn simulation software and very good communication skills.
Dr Amar Bennadji: +44 (0)1224 263609, email@example.com
Environmental impact of selected endocrine disruptors and antibiotics in sewage sludge amended soils
Environmental impact of selected endocrine disruptors and antibiotics in sewage sludge amended soils
Human activities generate large amounts of synthetic compounds that may be released into the environment. Many are industrial or pharmaceutical chemicals which are biologically active. Increased processing of domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes has led the production increasing amounts of sewage sludge which contains large amounts of multiple chemicals often at trace concentrations; the biological consequences of human and animal exposure to some of these are unknown but recent research has indicated that they can perturb reproductive development and function as well as general ecosystem functioning and can lead to the accumulation of pharmaceutical compounds and/or antibiotic resistant genetic material in soils.
While recent studies have demonstrated physiological disruption of multiple organs in sheep grazing sludge-treated pastures and in their fetuses, the underlying causes have not been identified but it is increasingly clear that many endocrine disruption effects are a function of additive or synergistic effects. Understanding of the potential consequences of exposures depends on understanding the fate of individual pollutants, and particularly endocrine disruptors, following their entry into the environment.
In this study, carried out with the James Hutton Institute, the fates of three classes of compounds will be investigated in soils and herbage. The groups selected will be synthetic and natural oestrogens, antibiotics (Fuoroquinolones) and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). The successful candidate will use a range of analytical techniques including EDC bioassays, accelerated solvent extraction, multi-stage offline solid phase extraction (SPE) and GC-MS/LC-MS as well as carrying out field and laboratory scale experiments. Previous experience in the use of the listed analytical techniques would be advantageous.
Dr. Craig McKenzie: + 44 (0) 1224 262806, firstname.lastname@example.org
Evaluating Pharmaceuticals in Water using Passive Samplers
Recent advances in analytical techniques has led to the detection of various polar organic pollutants such as pharmaceuticals (including veterinary drugs) and personal care products in various compartments of the aquatic environment. These chemicals are now commonly referred to as emerging pollutants. A major source of these chemicals is effluents from waste-water treatment plants and agricultural run-off. However, little is known about their occurrence and their ecotoxicology in aquatic systems. There is an increased interest in these compounds by regulatory bodies and some, in the future, may be included in the European Union's Water Framework Directive. This project, through laboratory and field studies, will assess the utility of different passive sampling devices for monitoring these compounds in water with a view to improving our understanding of the occurrence, distribution and toxicological effects of these pollutants in Scottish waters; especially those impacted by effluents from waste-water treatment plants.
Dr Kyari Yates: +44 (0)1224 262884, email@example.com
Low Carbon Buildings: an approach towards Zero-energy building (through life-cycle cost assessment)
Vernacular architecture around the world has demonstrated an understanding of climate-responsive design. In the 1950s, technological advances allowed architects to ignore the local climate and design as they pleased. By the end of the 20th Century, however, it was very evident that the costs in energy efficiency and environmental quality were very high. Rapid urban development has led to acute shortages of energy and resources. It has been said that "Sustainable" use of non-renewable resources is impossible. Consequently, it is essential to tackle the energy crisis through judicious utilisation of renewable resources.
The goal of sustainable architecture is to use resources more efficiently and reduce a building's negative impact on the environment. Zero energy buildings achieve one key sustainable building goal of significantly reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. Most ZEB do not include the emissions generated in the construction of the building and the embodied energy of the structure. A net zero energy building (N-ZEB) has zero energy consumption, low embodied energy and zero carbon emissions. The integration of design, climate, and human comfort "the bioclimatic approach to architectural regionalism" should be considered in the design.
This research project would aim to study commercial buildings, using life-cycle costing to measure the impact on the environment of the intervention of human activities such as construction. It will also look at solutions aimed at achieving Low Carbon and Zero Energy buildings using passive designs and low energy systems, and attempt to maintain the balance between low carbon technologies and Net Zero Energy building.
Professor Gokay Deveci: +44 (0)1224 263714, firstname.lastname@example.org
Mapping Carbon Footprint of Aberdeen city using Remote Sensing and Geographical Information System - an urban design appraisal for generating future development options.
Aberdeen city is undergoing rapid changes as part of the inner city regeneration pointing to the need for urban contextual studies with the help of Geographical Information System and Remote Sensing that would generate urban attributes to assess the future development options for the city centre of Aberdeen. The future development scenario of city centre will depend on any urban intervention anchoring various development options and the carbon footprint that would generate.
The proposed PhD research is expected to determine urban attributes that symbiotically shape/re-shape the ecological footprint based on carbon mapping; and would generate development options for Aberdeen; and subsequently to draft a collative urban development agenda that would embrace -city and -shire together for a balanced approach to maintain an ecologically viable expansion. The PhD candidate is required to have following educational background and knowledge:
Dr Quazi Zaman: +44 (0)1224 263510, email@example.com
A novel multi-parameter optical sensor system for subsea monitoring applications
COil and Gas production is moving towards deeper areas as the near surface oil reserves are depleting. This provides tremendous challenge to the oil and gas monitoring and controlling systems associated with drilling and production. Furthermore, due to the safety concerns associated with deep sea drilling, there is additional need for better and real-time monitoring systems. To support these needs, a significant increase in sensors will be required for the drilling and production monitoring. The current approaches have limited capability to handle the multitude of sensors required for these applications.
Optical systems have huge bandwidth and can accommodate these growing needs of the modern subsea sensing. Optical sensors have advantages like immunity from electro-magnetic interference (EMI), electrical isolation, freedom from corrosion and can operate in harsh conditions. Further, distributed sensing is possible which has the advantage of simultaneous monitoring of multiple sensors using an optical fibre.
This project will investigate the development of novel sensors that can be directly integrated into optical fibres for distributed sensing. It will involve preparation and characterisation of suitable multifunctional surfaces and development of sensors. The successful candidate will enjoy working with a dynamic multidisciplinary team of researchers and specialised research facilities at the Robert Gordon University.
Dr Radhakrishna Prabhu: +44 (0)1224 262252, firstname.lastname@example.org
Operationalizing Smart Grid Systems at a New Level via using Renewable Hydrogen Energy Storage as a Balancing Mechanism to the Variable Power Supply and Demand
The days of cheap energy are over. Europe is running out of indigenous energy resources in the form of fossil fuels when environmental pressures to reduce CO2 emission are increasing. Renewable energy will not only contribute to securing energy independence and future climate goals, but can turn the energy supply problem into an opportunity for Europe in commercial benefits, technology research, exports and employment. However, large scale intermittent renewable penetration into the grid will come up with integration challenges as well as grid balancing and demand management requirements within tight timelines.
Large scale energy storage is a solution for balancing variable generation and demand and thus allowing the increase in renewable penetration while reducing the network reliability threats, enhancing the grid quality and reducing the stability risks. The existing chemical energy storage technologies have some limitations while Hydrogen is seen as an energy vector that has the potential to provide the essential energy stores needed to facilitate the wide spread connection of renewable energy inputs. This project is proposing a renewable hydrogen energy storage and fuel cell system for balancing the grid while simulating its impact when integrated onto the grid. A smart 'balancing mechanism' that manages the grid and maintains its stability without the need to cease renewable production, is proposed. The smart system will be able to allow storing the excess in renewable energy production for future re-use during no or low production, providing new means of increasing the grid operational flexibility.
The project will involve collaboration with a number of key industrial partners to achieve the overall aim of the research.
Dr Dallia Ali: +44 (0)1224 262420, email@example.com
The role of salmonella surface structures in promoting pathogen resistance to photocatalytic destruction in natural water sources
The main focus of this project is to assess the role that salmonella surface structures, such as fimbriae, flagella and polysaccharides, play in promoting pathogen survival during photocatalytic disinfection of water samples. Semiconductor photocatalysis is a novel technology which is very effective in pathogen destruction. When photocatalysts such as TiO2 are illuminated with UV light, powerful oxidising agents capable of destroying bacteria are generated. Great variation exists in the literature, however, with regards to the response that bacterial pathogens have to photocatalytic treatment. This project will address this problem by focusing on bacterial factors, in particular the role that fimbriae, flagella and polysaccharide components, play in promoting bacterial survival in the environment. The difficulty however with studying bacterial cell surface structures is that they are subject to phase variation i.e. the ability to reversibly switch on/off expression of genes. To address the problem of phase variation and elucidate the role cell surface structures play in promoting resistance to photocatalytic treatment, this project will develop and employ the use of bacterial deletion mutants unable to express the cell surface structure under examination. To enhance and extend current knowledge of photocatalysis, within the EES group, this project will also assess the efficacy of non-titania and visible light activated photocatalysts in destroying pathogenic bacteria. Furthermore this investigation will be the first study making use of bacterial deletion mutants and provide a new understanding of the fundamental photocatalytic process. Main deliverables:
Experience in microbiological and molecular biology techniques. would be desirable but not essential.
Dr Jeanette Robertson: +44 (0)1224 262853, firstname.lastname@example.org
Self-contained solar thermal air-conditioning units using novel processes for manufacturing parabolic arrays
A novel approach to the design and manufacturing of focussed parabolic solar thermal collectors has been identified, which have particular applicability in developing tropical and sub-tropical countries. The use of solar thermal devices to power cooling processes has been established but the existing models generally suffer from poor heat collection and thermal conversion efficiencies. The proposed technology uses local available materials and skills, minimising transport and reducing electricity demands required to run air-conditioning systems.
The project requires a student with a strong engineering background including good skills in thermodynamics and an interest in CFD modelling. Some practical fabrication skills are desirable.
Dr Alan Owen: +44 (0)1224 262360, email@example.com
Synthesis, structure and luminescent properties of novel 'green' lanthanide-organic complexes project.
Soil erosion from agricultural land constitutes a loss of soil resource and is a means of transporting sediment-bound contaminants into watercourses. Excessive concentrations of the sediment itself, or of the contaminants (nutrients, heavy metals, pesticides, etc) threaten aquatic life. It is only when the source has been identified that remediation with appropriate best management practice can be implemented. Particle tracers can mimic sediment material and contaminants, thereby uncovering the transport route and identifying the source.
This project, based at Robert Gordon University will involve the synthesis and characterisation of novel lanthanide complexes to be utilised as environmental fluorescent particle tracers as an ideal way to monitor erosion and subsequent aquatic contamination. These tracers have discrete spectral properties and long fluorescence lifetimes allowing for easy detection from background fluorescent species. Key objectives are to synthesise novel lanthanide complexes with the maximum fluorescence response; investigate different lanthanides for the purpose of multiple tracer studies; and to determine the toxicological effects of these complexes and degradation products on the environment.
Dr Simon Officer: +44 (0)1224 262370, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Use of Computational Visual Techniques and Representations as an Aid to New Emergent Ideas.
In design thinking external visual representations take place either intentionally or unintentionally. The intentional emergent representations are easier to identify, as designers deliberately and explicitly draw a particular shape or object to create a visual reference for the design requirements, or for reading information or as a response to a previously drawn shape or configuration. The explicit shapes and their spatial relations could inform unintentional emergent shapes implicitly; it depends entirely on the designer's ability in restructuring the resultant configuration and how these configurations are interpreted by different people. Previous studies emphasised the inductive role of the visual medium capabilities in containing (hosting) such emergence and the medium used in these studies was either 2D drawing or sketching.
This PhD project aims to investigate computational visual techniques and representations in relation to visual stimuli and emergent strategies of design. The PhD will study how such techniques would enhance the act of designing and design ideas emergence.
Dr Huda Salman: +44 (0)1224 263543,email@example.com