Nanomaterials are 100 nm or less in size, and often exhibit very different physical, chemical, and biological properties than their bulk counterparts. Thus,
nanotechnology may revolutionise a diverse array of industries as scientists and engineers design products with superior speed, efficiency and strength.
Our ecosystem has long contained nanoparticles, including products of chemical weathering and volcanic activity, and components of aquatic sediments.
The anticipated increase in nanoparticles production makes exposure of the environment to these materials more and more likely, and their effects in the environment
are largely unknown. Nanomaterials also hold great promise for environmental clean-up or treatment. Assessing the benefits and risks of nanomaterials requires
a better understanding of their chemistry, mobility, bioavailability and ecotoxicity in the environment.
This project will explore the properties and processes that control the fate and transport of nanomaterials and target contaminants in the aquatic environment
via a combination of laboratory, pilot plant and (potentially) field experimental work. The effect of changing environmental conditions such as pH, temperature
and salinity on the fate of nanomaterials and contaminants will also be investigated.
The aims of this project are to: (a) characterize nanomaterials to be used in this project; (b) characterize interactions (e.g. sorption capacity, sorption
intensity) between nanomaterials and contaminants; (c) investigate the effect of different concentrations of natural organic matter (NOM) in the aquatic
environment on the above interactions; (d) characterize the sorption-limited biodegradation of contaminants in the aquatic environment in the presence
of nanomaterials; (e) Formulate practices and environmental management tools.
Research facilities are located in the new Rankine Building with the environmental engineering laboratories being equipped with new and cutting edge analytical
facilities and technical support. The University of Edinburgh has an extensive general skills training program to ascertain strong career development opportunities
for postgraduate research students.
Excellent, self-motivated candidates are sought with a background in environmental/process/chemical engineering or chemistry/environmental science
(or equivalent) who enjoy working in an international and interdisciplinary research team. One scholarship in the order of ₤12,000 per annum plus tuition
fees for a home or European student for a period of three years is available. Closing date for applications: 15 March 2008 (or later if no suitable candidate has
Those interested should apply to Mrs. Liz Paterson (Postgraduate Office, School of Engineering and Electronics, Faraday Building, The King's Buildings,
The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JL) as soon as possible by providing copies of the following documents: cover letter, CV, application form, academic
transcripts, two references, English language certificate (non-native English speakers only) and a research project proposal draft (two pages including
problem statement, aims, methodology and references). For informal enquiries and more information about the research proposal draft, contact Dr Blanca
Antizar-Ladislao (principal supervisor), and supply her with an electronic version of your CV: Email B.Antizar-Ladislao@ed.ac.uk ; Tel +44(0) 131 650 5712;
Fax +44(0) 131 650 6781; School of Engineering and Electronics, Institute for Infrastructure and Environment, The University of Edinburgh, William Rankine
Building, The King's Buildings, Edinburgh EH9 3JL, UK . See also www.see.ed.ac.uk/research/IIE for more information.