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This PhD proposal explores the use of an acoustic backscatter system as a remote in situ device to analyse the separation of nuclear wastes undergoing transfer to safe interim storage at Sellafield. The instrumentation has previously been developed as part of a collaboration funded by Innovate UK (formerly the Technology Strategy Board), and this project will fundamentally improve our understanding of how we use measurements of acoustic backscatter strength and speed-of-sound, to determine key suspension properties such as concentration and size. The research will include significant developments to analytical methods currently based upon scattering theory for hard spheres (such as glass or sand) to complex non-spherical particles found in legacy sites. In particular, it will look at analysing flocculated particulates, where fine dispersions are aggregated with charged polymers. These systems will be used as realistic non-active simulant for nuclear wastes, but are also commonly found in water treatment and minerals processing environments.


This project is part of an ongoing industrial partnership with Sellafield Ltd, and will include a number of onsite engineering trials of the acoustic instrument. Additionally, as part of the DISTINCTIVE University Consortium (compromising Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Imperial, UCL, Lancaster, Liverpool, Sheffield, Strathclyde), considerable academic collaboration will also be highly encouraged.

UK requirements for international applications

Universities in the United Kingdom use a centralized system of undergraduate application: University and College Admissions Service (UCAS). It is used by both domestic and international students. Students have to register on the UCAS website before applying to the university. They will find all the necessary information about the application process on this website. Some graduate courses also require registration on this website, but in most cases students have to apply directly to the university. Some universities also accept undergraduate application through Common App (the information about it could be found on universities' websites).

Both undergraduate and graduate students may receive three types of responses from the university. The first one, “unconditional offer” means that you already reached all requirements and may be admitted to the university. The second one, “conditional offer” makes your admission possible if you fulfill some criteria – for example, have good grades on final exams. The third one, “unsuccessful application” means that you, unfortunately, could not be admitted to the university of you choice.

All universities require personal statement, which should include the reasons to study in the UK and the information about personal and professional goals of the student and a transcript, which includes grades received in high school or in the previous university.

University requirements


Value: This studentship, which is open to UK/EU students in the first instance, will pay the academic fees at the UK/EU rate (£3,975), as well as providing an annual stipend of £15,500 per year.

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