PhD studentship to study polymer nitrocellulose, stabilities, properties and chemistry of nitrocellulose

A 3-year PhD studentship is available in the UCL Chemistry Department to work with Professor Nora de Leeuw and project partners AWE on a computer simulation project to gain atomic-level insight into the physico-chemical properties of the complex energetic polymer nitrocellulose.The project will focus in particular on the chemical reactions involved in the initial polymerisation of the monomeric structure, the (partial) nitration of the cellulose, and the degradation processes. The project will require the application of both electronic structure techniques and classical molecular dynamics simulations to model the reaction pathways and mechanisms as well as the 3-dimensional material.

The successful applicant will have a good degree (1st or 2:1) at Masters level in a relevant subject, e.g. chemistry, physics or materials science, and an interest in computational research. Experience of computer modelling is desirable but not essential as full training will be provided in an active and well-resourced research group.

The studentship will commence in September 2015. To apply, please email an up-to-date CV to Professor Nora de Leeuw,, who may also be approached for informal enquiries. Please note that because of the external sponsorship only British citizens, who are ordinarily resident in the UK, are eligible for this studentship.

Applications will be accepted until 31 May 2015.

University College London
Department of Chemistry