PhD Fully-Funded Studentship: Hexavalent Chromium in welding fume

Teesside University - School of Science Engineering & Design, Teesside University and National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC)

Hexavalent chromium emitted from welding processes poses a serious risk to workers exposed to welding fume. Hexavalent chromium is emitted from welding stainless steels, other nickel alloys and corrosion resistant alloys, and is recognised as a human carcinogen when inhaled. Occupational exposure limits are constantly under revision and reduced limits have been imposed in many countries, sometimes a factor of 50 lower than before. It is an increasingly difficult challenge for the welding industry to reduce occupational exposure to maintain a safe working environment

Project Outline
The aim of this project is to understand how hexavalent chromium is produced in welding fume and how to reduce and control exposure. A better understanding of the mechanisms leading to Hexavalent Cr formation, should lead to new ideas for hexavalent chromium reduction. This is likely to involve experimentation to collect and analyse welding fume samples and development of chemical and numerical models, to explain the emission and conversion process occurring in the arc plasma. Furthermore, standardized techniques for collection and analysis of hexavalent chromium are being questioned, so as part of this project will be to examine and propose new techniques for incorporation in international standards.

NSIRC is a state-of-the-art postgraduate engineering facility established and managed by structural integrity specialist TWI, working closely with, top UK and International Universities and a number of leading industrial partners. NSIRC aims to deliver cutting edge research and highly qualified personnel to its key industrial partners.  More information.

About Teesside University
The School of Science, Engineering & Design at Teesside University is an international leader in key areas of research and innovation related to engineering sustainability, manufacturing and process engineering and analytical instrumentation, measurement and control engineering and design. In REF 2014, 59% of our research in general engineering was recognised as world-leading and internationally excellent with 90% of the impact submission rated as outstanding/very considerable.  More information.

The studentship will cover the tuition fees for four years, subject to satisfactory progress.  Applications are welcome from strong UK, EU and International students.

Entry Requirements
Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a relevant degree at 2.1 minimum, or an equivalent overseas degree in physics, chemistry or materials science. Candidates with suitable work experience and strong capacity in numerical modelling and experimental skills are particularly welcome to apply.
International students would be subject to the standard entry criteria relating to English language ability, ATAS clearance and, when relevant, Tier 4 procedures.  Please contact the if you require further information.

How to Apply
You can
apply online for this opportunity; please use the PhD full time application form, and use ref: TWI181
Administrative enquiries: Lorraine Smeltzer (
Academic enquiries: Dr Venkatesan V. Krishnan (, Dr Geoff Melton (
Key Dates:
Closing Date: Monday 5th March 2018 (5pm).
  We envisage that interviews will take place in March 2018.  The successful applicant will be expected to start on 5th May 2018.

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Northern England