Developing a new sensor technique for detecting impurities in gases and the environment
Friday, July 28, 2017
Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
The studentship will comprise fees together with an annual grant of £14,553 and will be awarded for three years (subject to satisfactory progress).We want to develop a new sensor technique for detecting impurities in gases and the environment. This will involve (i) a new sensor device which generates spectral data and (ii) the use of machine learning & pattern recognition techniques. If you are interested in new sensors with important biomedical or environmental applications and have interests and knowledge of either (i) plasma spectroscopy or (ii) machine learning / pattern recognition algorithms, you are welcome to apply for this studentship.
The rapid detection of airborne pathogens, the continuous monitoring of hospital wards to detect bacteria and viruses or even the routine monitoring of atmospheric and water borne pollutants represent immense scientific and technical challenges of great importance to society. Complex and expensive laboratory analytical techniques are required in order to detect biological and chemical species rapidly and accurately. Current biosensor or physical sensor technology does not offer a realistic potential for instant detection of these complex entities. Many biosensor technologies struggle to operate reliably and accurately over extended periods in the wild.
We have been working with a new technique for generating analytical chemical data from gases or liquid droplets in gases, for example from human or animal breath, industrial gases and aerosols. This technique is called plasma optical emission spectroscopy (POES); it has shown some interesting results and could be quite low cost compared to standard laboratory instruments. However the data quality is noisy and non-stationary and therefore we need to use chemometric and new machine learning techniques to improve the detection accuracy.
All applicants should hold a first or upper second class honours degree in Physical Sciences, Computer Science, Mathematics, Engineering or a cognate area. Applications will be considered on a competitive basis with regard to the candidate’s qualifications, skills experience and interests. Successful candidates will enrol as of 1 October 2017, on a full-time programme of research studies leading to the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
The studentship will comprise fees together with an annual stipend of £14,553 and will be awarded for a period of up to three years subject to satisfactory progress. This studentship is funded by the Department for the Economy, N. Ireland.
If you wish to discuss your proposal or receive advice on this project please contact:-
For more information on applying go to ulster.ac.uk/research
Apply online ulster.ac.uk/applyonline
The closing date for receipt of completed applications is 28th July 2017
Interviews will be held in August 2017