Key Information

Note: This position is not funded via the M2A

This scholarship is funded by EPSRC iCASE Award and TATA Steel. The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees and an annual stipend of £20,000. There will be additional funds available for research expenses.


Swansea University:   Prof Peter Holliman

Tata Steel: Dr Ciaran Martin

Project Description:

Iron oxide sinter is crucial to efficient blast furnace operation. This PhD will study how chemical composition, mineralogical and microstructural variations affect sinter reduction and strength using state-of-the-art furnace simulation and in and ex situ metrology. Process conditions (e.g. gas chemistry, temperature, reactor configuration) will also be investigated to define specific test criteria representative of the Port Talbot blast furnaces. Fossil fuel alternatives will also be investigated as reductants/fuel to investigate the impact on the sinter and on gas emissions.

This project will be based between the new Sintec (Simulation and integrity testing under extreme conditions) facility within the Steels and Metals Institute at Swansea University and Tata Steel Port Talbot. The project will also link with complimentary EPSRC (e.g. SUSTAIN) and doctoral projects also working to optimise future sustainable steel manufacturing.

The project is also commercially important. Tata Steel’s annual plan for sinter consumption is 65% and each percentage point below plan costs an extra £35,000/week. At the same time, in house sinter production provides the maximum burden flexibility since sinter can be manufactured to specification. It is therefore essential to optimise the environmental and commercial sustainability of sinter manufacturing.


Candidates should hold a minimum of an upper second class (2:1) honours degree (or its equivalent) in a relevant engineering/science discipline, such as Materials Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering or Physics. A combination of qualifications and/or experience equivalent to that level may be considered at the discretion of the university.

Due to funding restrictions, this scholarship is open to UK/EU candidates only (EU nationals must have no restrictions on how long they can stay in the UK and have been ordinarily a resident in the UK for at least 3 years prior to the start of the studentship). For details on the University’s English Language entry requirements, please visit – www.swansea.ac.uk/admissions/english-language-requirements/. Please note, if you hold a non-UK degree, please see Swansea University degree comparisons to find out if you meet the eligibility. If you have any questions regarding your academic eligibility based on the above comparison, please email pgrscholarships@swansea.ac.uk


Closing Date: 31st May 2021 with interviews on 2nd June 2021

Start Date: July or October 2021

How to apply:

To apply, please complete and submit the following documents to Prof Peter Holliman p.j.holliman@swansea.ac.uk

For informal enquiries, please contact Prof Peter Holliman p.j.holliman@swansea.ac.uk