Massive Scale-up of Hybrid Nanomaterials for Multiple Industrial Applications

Key Information

Academic Supervisors: Primary: Prof Richard Palmer. Secondary: Dr Andrew Rees.

Industry Supervisor: Dr Yubiao Niu

Expected Interview Date: As applications are received. Today – 9th September 2022.

Background and Project Aims:

Nanotechnology is the control of materials at the ultimate limit – the atoms and molecules. It has now matured into a powerful technology capable of addressing and supporting real world needs, especially in sustainable materials and manufacturing. In essence: you can do more, and new things, with less material.

Grove Nanomaterials Ltd is a high-tech spin-out company from Swansea University based on a novel method to produce nanomaterials, which is environmentally friendly – it is solvent-free and therefore effluent-free. The key challenges of this exciting MSc project, which sits at the cutting edge of research and industrial innovation, are to:

(a) consolidate and automate the scale-up of nanomaterials production, so far yielding a scale-up factor of 100,000x which has already been demonstrated, and;

(b) to process the nanomaterials into a hybrid functional form designed for a particular high-value market.

It would suit a committed and technically confident student with a background in:

  • physics or mechanical/electrical engineering (since the process employs an elaborate vacuum technology system), or
  • chemical engineering or chemistry (well suited to the materials processing and testing part of the work).

The balance of the project can be adjusted to some extent based on the background of the successful candidate. Our previous MSc by Research students have gone onto PhD’s e.g., at Cambridge or into high-tech companies. Moreover, Grove is itself an expanding company.


COATED M2A recognises applicants have a variety of backgrounds with different educational and research experiences. We do not expect applicants to be proficient users of any techniques /equipment mentioned, at the time of application. Our focus is to upskill our participants and training will be provided.

COATED M2A in the Faculty of Science and Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry, providing access to world class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. COATED M2A is committed to providing top quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women and other under-represented groups are particularly welcomed. All applications will be anonymised prior to short listing.

Are you considering making an application and have questions you’d like answered? Come and have a 1-2-1 chat with us at our applicant surgeries. We encourage all applicants to review our hints and tips document found here.

Sponsoring Company: Grove Nanomaterials Ltd.


Candidates must normally hold a minimum undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g., IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Full eligibility can be found at:


Fees at UK rate and Stipend of £12,500, both for the period of one year.

For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website. Student Eligibility | M2A (

Candidates must have the legal right to live/work in the UK at the start of their studies (student visas do not apply)

Closing Date: Applications will be triaged for interview, as they arrive. Please do not wait to send your application. This advert will be withdrawn on 4th September, or earlier if filled.

Start Date: 1st October 2022

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to: