Current PhD Studentships

Current PhD Studentships

The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology is New Zealand’s premier research organisation concerned with high quality research and research education in materials science and nanotechnology. PhD studentships are now open across our research areas and partnership institutions. Successful candidates will be a member of the MacDiarmid Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence which provides collaborative opportunities and a thriving environment to work in. As a MacDiarmid Institute PhD student you will be encouraged and financially supported to take advantage of the many opportunities we provide to broaden your experience and skills. Activities on offer include 3-6 month industry internships, one day workshops on specialist topics, intensive multi-day bootcamps (held in remote and beautiful locations) where experts share their knowledge in an important current research area, and outreach events, working with school teachers or children. The MacDiarmid Emerging Scientists Association (MESA), run by students and postdocs, organizes additional activities including an annual Student/Postdoc symposium. Each scholarship is worth NZD$27,000  per annum (not taxed) and includes all student fees. Come to New Zealand to enjoy the best of life and science! For more details on specific projects, deadlines, etc – contact the appropriate MacDiarmid Institute investigator  from the list below.

 

 

University of AucklandPhD Studentships based at University of Auckland

Professor Kevin E. Smith Head, School of Chemical Sciences University of Auckland kevin.smith@auckland.ac.nz Synchrotron Radiation X-Ray Spectroscopic Studies of Functional Metal Oxides The available Ph.D. project involves the experimental study of the electronic structure of transition metal oxides using a suite of synchrotron radiation-based spectroscopies. The primary focus will be on new vanadium oxides with potential application in novel gas sensors and in the generation of hydrogen from water via solar irradiation. The techniques to be used include photoelectron spectroscopy, photoelectron microscopy, soft x-ray emission spectroscopy, x-ray absorption spectroscopy, and resonant inelastic x-ray scattering.Students applying for this position should have experience in the experimental study of the electronic structure of solid materials. They should also have a strong background in a physical science or engineering discipline. The successful PhD candidate will need to meet the requirements of, and enrol in, the University of Auckland’s PhD programme.The successful applicant will be based full time for the duration of their Ph.D. studies at the Advanced Light Source (ALS), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, in Berkeley, California, USA. The School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland has full time staff at the ALS who will provide day to day supervision. The student will come to Auckland up to three times per year for research meetings.Due to consideration of fees for Ph.D. students based off-campus, this position is only available to citizens of New Zealand.For more information or to send an application, contact Professor Kevin E. Smith. Applications should include a CV, copies of academic transcripts, a brief (1 page maximum) statement of research experience, and the names of at least two people who can provide professional letters of reference.

Professor Juliet Gerrard

The University of Auckland j.gerrard@auckland.ac.nz

Professor David Williams 

The University of Auckland

david.williams@auckland.ac.nz

PhD studentships (2) in functional nanostructures, supervised by Prof Juliet Gerrard and Prof David E Williams These projects will explore the use of proteins and peptides as scaffolds to build functional nanostructures.Self-assembling proteins will be explored as scaffolds onto which polymers and inorganic materials will be assembled in order to develop specific optical, electrical or magnetic functionality.The projects will involve wide collaboration across the Institute and a wide range of skills will be needed.The projects will involve protein engineering, synthetic polymer and peptide chemistry, electrochemistry, clean room fabrication methods and advanced microscopy.Candidates should have excellent experimental skills in physical or synthetic chemistry or in protein engineering and should be willing to learn a wide range of new skills outside their core discipline.
Dr Duncan McGillivray d.mcgillivray@auckland.ac.nz The University of Auckland Biological patterning of surfaces A PhD scholarship in chemistry is offered for research into biological patterning of surfaces based at the School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland.The interface between solid surfaces and biological systems is essential for a number of biotechnological devices, but is challenging to study. The student will use biological building and chemical methods to pattern and characterise solid surfaces. This will include using advanced characterisation techniques including synchrotron X-ray and neutron scattering, electron microscopy, and ellipsometry.
Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic j.travas-sejdic@auckland.ac.nz and Associate Professor David Barker d.barker@auckland.ac.nz PhD Scholarship: Stretchy, sticky, self-healing organic electronics A PhD scholarship, funded by the prestigious Marsden Fund, is available to work on an interdisciplinary project that will make a unique and substantial contribution to the advancement of organic conducting materials. Stretchable electronic components and devices are a new frontier in electronics, going beyond flexible thing film devices. If further combined with adhesion to complex surfaces, such as skin, exceptional opportunities in optoelectronics, sensing, bio-integrated electronic devices, and soft robotics, may be accessible. The project will contribute towards synthesis of such materials, as well as fundamental understanding of the relationship between the structure and morphology of the new materials to their electronic and other physico-mechanical properties.The PhD student will ideally have skills in polymer synthesis and chemical, electrochemical and spectroscopic characterisation. The student will benefit from the broad knowledge base of the other investigators involved on the project and will receive a wide spectrum of training. Furthermore, the PhD student will receive training in neutron and X-ray scattering for nano-structural characterisation of soft-condensed matter systems, with experiments to be carried out at ANSTO (Australia) and the Australian Synchrotron. If interested, please email either Professor Jadranka Travas-Sejdic or A/Professor David Barker with your CV, an academic transcript, a short statement of interest and the names and details of two professional referees. The deadline for applications is 30th April 2016.
Associate Professor Nicola Gaston University of Auckland n.gaston@auckland.ac.nz ab initio methods for superatoms A PhD scholarship is available to study the electronic structure of superatomic clusters, such as ligand-protected clusters of gold, or other noble metal clusters.The successful applicant will have a strong background in theoretical chemistry or physics, including practical experience in ab initio methods of quantum chemistry or density functional theory.The project will involve detailed analysis of the electronic structure of such clusters, in order to understand their self-assembly and the emergent electronic properties of materials formed from such assembly processes.Experience with highly parallel computing and programming and scripting experience will also be advantageous, although a willingness to learn is the essential requirement.Enquiries should be addressed to n.gaston@auckland.ac.nz, and include a CV, a short statement of interest in the project, and the contact details of two referees. Questions are also welcome.Shortlisted applicants will be contacted for interview by the end of February.

massey_0_0PhD Studentships based at Massey University – Palmerston North

Associate Professor Bill Williams Massey University, Palmerston North m.williams@massey.ac.nz Optical tweezers for electrical measurements Optical Tweezers offer an exciting doorway into the nanoworld where matter is manipulated by tightly focused laser beams.Postgraduate OT will be based at Massey University in Palmerston North, and will work towards a PhD degree pursuing experimental methodologies that can exploit our Optical Tweezers capabilities in facilitating electrical measurements.Targets range from using holographic optical tweezers (HOT) to position polymers and fibrils across pre-patterned electrodes in microfluidic chips; to the measurement of the zeta-potential of single colloidal particles, emulsion drops and liposomes.
Dr Shane Telfer Massey University, Palmerston North s.telfer@massey.ac.nz Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are an exciting class of porous materials with a raft of applications.The project will focus on the design, synthesis, and characterisation of MOFs for gas storage and separations.  Novel spectroscopic techniques will be employed to gain insight into the MOF structure and functional properties.The position is ideal for a student wishing to acquire expertise in a range of areas such as synthetic chemistry, crystallography, and materials characterisation.
Professor Bernd Rehm Massey University, Palmerston North B.Rehm@massey.ac.nz Implementing synthetic biology towards the production of hierarchical polysaccharide-based supramolecular assemblies. New polysaccharides based on alginate; aim is to design hierarchical structures with functionality.Functions/applications include e.g. sequestering inorganics, tissue engineering, biomedical applications such as drug delivery, vaccines.The project will start with biosynthesis and add a synthetic biology component to control polysaccharide with tailored properties. An initial focus will be on generating elastomeric properties.PhD candidates should have a MSc or BSc Honours in Molecular Microbiology or Molecular Biology or Biochemistry or related field. Experience with respect to engineering of bacteria and biopolymer characterisation are desirable.

 

victoria_0PhD Studentships based at Victoria University of Wellington

Dr. Grant Williams Victoria University
grant.williams@vuw.ac.nz

Dr. Shen Chong Victoria University
(shen.chong@vuw.ac.nz)

PhD Scholarship in Physics

Nanostructuring in iron-based superconductors for ultra-high current density

A PhD scholarship in physics is offered for research into enhancing the superconducting critical current density, Jc, in iron-based superconductors for ultra-high magnetic field applications.

The successful candidate will join the world leading Robinson Research Institute [1] and the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences [2] at Victoria University of Wellington. The scholarship provides a generous non-taxed living allowance of NZ$27,500 per annum plus the PhD tuition fee for three years.

The thesis research includes material preparation using magnetron sputtering, high-temperature single crystal growth, and ion-implantation in New Zealand and abroad. The materials will be characterised and studied by x-ray diffraction, magnetic force microscopy (MFM), SEM, TEM, high magnetic field and high-pressure magnetometer, and using the physical property measurement system (PPMS) at Victoria University of Wellington and the Robinson Research Centre. Access to additional resources is available from the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology [3] where the PhD supervisors are investigators. The MacDiarmid Institute is a Centre of Research Excellence comprising universities and other institutions throughout New Zealand. The successful candidate will have the opportunity to contribute to the fundamental understanding of the intrinsic properties that enhances Jc and nano-engineer vortex pinning centers for the development of iron-based superconducting wires. There is also the opportunity for the candidate to travel abroad to our collaborators’ laboratory in Australia and Europe.

Applicants should have a physics degree equivalent to the 4-year BSc (Honours) degree in New Zealand, with 1st class Honours, or an MSc or postgraduate Diploma with high grades. We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record, a good understanding of solid state physics, and able to work well in a team. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University [4] and applicants should ensure that they can satisfy the English language requirements.

Further information can be obtained from Dr. Grant Williams (grant.williams@vuw.ac.nz) and Dr. Shen Chong (shen.chong@vuw.ac.nz). Applicants should submit a resume, academic record and the names and contact details of two referees with an email subject line “PhD in Fe-based superconductors”.

References

[1] http://www.victoria.ac.nz/robinson

[2] http://www.victoria.ac.nz/scps

[3] http://macdiarmid.ac.nz/ 

[4]http://www.victoria.ac.nz/fgr/prospective-phds/qualifications-required.aspx

 

Dr Andreas Markwitz from GNS Science

 A.Markwitz@gns.cri.nz

 

A PhD student is required to undertake a structural, magnetic and magnetotransport study of nanocomposites made by low-energy ion implantation. The research involves the implantation of magnetic and nonmagnetic ions into different thin films with a focus on diamond-like carbon (DLC). DLC is a mix of carbon with sp2 and sp3 hybridisation. Ion beam modification offers precise routes to control thin film characteristics where new nanostructures have been found that have not been reported before. Ion implantation work will be undertaken at the unique GNS Science ion implanter laboratory in Lower Hutt, close to Wellington. The nanostructured films will be studied by methods that include RBS, resonant nuclear reaction analysis (RNRA), TEM, AFM and Raman spectroscopy. The magnetic and magnetotransport properties will be researched using New Zealand’s only magnetic property measurement system (MPMS) and physical properties measurement system (PPMS) that allow measurements up to 8 T and down to 2 K.

The student will be supervised by Dr Andreas Markwitz from GNS Science and Prof Grant Williams from Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) [1,2]. Both researchers are Principal Investigators in the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology [3] that is a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence involving most of the universities in New Zealand as well as GNS Science, a Crown Research Institute. The scholarship will be funded by the MacDiarmid Institute.

The successful candidate will undertake a PhD at VUW that is located in Wellington, New Zealand [1], which is a very scenic city and offers a mild year round climate. Most of the research will be undertaken at GNS Science [2].

The successful applicant should have a physics degree equivalent to the 4-year BSc (Honours) degree in New Zealand, with 1st class Honours, or an MSc or postgraduate Diploma with high grades. We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record and a good understanding of solid state physics. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University of Wellington [4].

Funding notes

The scholarship provides a generous non-taxed living allowance of NZ$27,000 per annum plus the PhD tuition fee for three years.

Please send a resume, academic record, and the names and contact details of two Referees to: A.Markwitz@gns.cri.nz with “PhD, ion beam nanocomposites” in the subject line.

References

[1] http://www.wellingtonnz.com/

[2]http://www.gns.cri.nz/Home/Services/Laboratories-Facilities/Ion-Beam-Analysis-Research-Laboratory

[3] http://www.macdiarmid.ac.nz

[4] http://www.victoria.ac.nz/fgr/prospective-phds/qualifications-required.aspx

Professor Thomas Nann Victoria University of Wellington thomas.nann@vuw.ac.nz Functional nanomaterials for energy storage Renewable energy vectors are intermittent. Intermittency is the major hurdle in switching over to a 100% renewable energy economy. In recent years, there has been an increase in performance of photovoltaic devices, while costs came significantly down. Unfortunately, energy storage technologies – which would overcome the problem of intermittency – have not improved at the same pace. Two fully funded PhD scholarships will focus on the synthesis, characterisation and application of functional nanomaterials for electrical (batteries) and chemical energy storage ([solar] fuels). Applicants should have a Master’s degree in Chemistry (synthesis and analytical methods). Excellent command of the English language (written and spoken), the ability to work productively in a team and scientific integrity are pre-requisites.In both projects, students will learn to synthesise various nanomaterials with state-of-the-art wet-chemical techniques. All nanomaterials will be analysed with the usual methods such as transmission electron microscopy (TEM), various spectroscopies and other standard Analytical Chemistry methods. One of the projects focusses on electrical energy storage. In this project, the electrochemical characterisation of the materials will play an important role. The other project deals primarily with fuel generation. Here, methods such as gas chromatography (GC) and spectra-electrochemical techniques will be used.Both projects are embedded in the vibrant research environment of the MacDiarmid Institute. Collaboration with other academic and industry-based scientists happens on a daily basis.Please send applications including CV and academic transcript to: thomas.nann@vuw.ac.nz
Professor Thomas Nann Victoria University of Wellington thomas.nann@vuw.ac.nz Multi-modal contrast agents Imaging techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), X-ray computed tomography (CT) or positron emission tomography (PET) are clinical standard methods to detect and locate tumour tissue. However, none of these techniques offer a universal solution. For instance, they do not allow for visualisation of malignant tissue under surgery. Similarly, available contrast agents are very different in terms of specificity (targeting), toxicity, clearance and signal. There is therefore a need for the design of contrast agents that can be precisely engineered to offer optimal properties for the targeted cells (and disease) independent of the imaging technology. This fully funded PhD scholarship aims to develop and test a conceptually new multi-modal contrast agent and drug-delivery vehicle for specific tumour targeting, imaging and treatment by rational design of a hybrid, multi-functional nanostructure. Applicants should have a Master’s degree in Chemistry (synthesis and biochemical methods). Excellent command of the English language (written and spoken), the ability to work productively in a team and scientific integrity are also pre-requisites.In this project, the PhD student will synthesise different complex nanoarchitectures from basic, nano-particulate building blocks. The nano-objects will be fully characterised using various standard methods, including transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and several spectroscopies. The surface of the nano-objects will be modified with targeting moieties and other functional surface ligands. The bio-medical properties of the contrast agents will be explored in-vivo with international and local collaboration partners.The project is embedded in the excellent research environment of the MacDiarmid Institute. The successful applicant will have many opportunities to collaborate with other members of the institute, learn new techniques, present work at conferences and seminars and acquire skills in disseminating and commercialising research results.Please send applications including CV and academic transcript to: thomas.nann@vuw.ac.nz
Professor Jim Johnston Victoria University of Wellington jim.johnston@vuw.ac.nz Laser micro patterning and 3D printing of polymer and metallic surfaces, and characterising their hydrophobic, hydrophilic and fouling behaviour.  This PhD programme is concerned with the use of laser micro patterning and 3D printing of polymer and metallic surfaces in order to understand and control the possible hydrophobic, hydrophilic or fouling properties of these surfaces.This builds upon our work in developing superhydrophobic and superhydrophilic surfaces using a combination of the chemical properties of the surface and the microstructured patterning.Laser micro patterning and 3D printing will be used to create specifically designed microstructures on the surface of metal and polymer substrates, by using such etching and additive approaches.Chemical modification of the surface will also be used. The behaviour of water, water-based and non-aqueous liquids on these structured surfaces, together with fouling and self-cleaning properties will be studied. Characterising, modelling and controlling the interactions of such liquids with the surfaces and their flow across them, will be important components of the research. The nature of the microstructure will be optimised to produce the desired surface-fluid interactions and properties. The research will be carried out in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington and in the School of Chemical Sciences, University of Auckland as part of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology collaborative research programme on Functional Nanostructures. The candidate will be enrolled in as a PhD student in Chemistry in the School of Chemical and Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington and jointly supervised by Professor Jim Johnston, Victoria University of Wellington and Associate Professor Cather Simpson and with input from Dr Geoff Willmott, both of the University of Auckland. The research will utilise equipment and expertise at both Universities. The PhD candidate is expected to have a graduate knowledge of materials chemistry and physical chemistry, with experience in materials fabrication and characterisation, advanced instrumental methods and measurements including electronmicroscopy, and computational modelling.  Experience is working with laser equipment and 3D printers will be advantageous. The ability and willingness to work in a collaborative programme at both Universities and to demonstrate good communication and reporting skills are essential. For further enquiries, please contact Professor Jim Johnston:  jim.johnston@vuw.ac.nz or Associate Professor Cather Simpson email c.simpson@auckland.ac.nz
Professor Uli Zuelicke Victoria University of Wellington uli.zuelicke@vuw.ac.nz PhD-project title:Theoretical description of topological materials and their unconventional electronic excitations. Abstract: Ordinary materials such as metals, insulators and semiconductors are the basis of current electronic devices. The recent discovery of unconventional, so-called topological, materials is stimulating the exploration of entirely new avenues for doing electronics and information processing.This project aims to contribute at the cutting edge of this area, by developing a detailed understanding of the interplay of chirality and quantum confinement at surfaces, interfaces and hybrid structures of superconducting, magnetic and topological materials.Elucidating the emergence and properties of exotic quasiparticles such as Majorana and fractional fermions will be a key goal. Theoretical results obtained as part of this project will be used to guide our collaborators’ experimental studies.Requirements:Applicants for this position should have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in physics (or a closely related field) and excellent mathematical skills. Experience in many-particle theory and/or numerical methods are a plus.
Emeritus Professor Joe Trodahl Victoria University of Wellington joe.trodahl@vuw.ac.nz Spin-resolved tunnelling transport in rare-earth nitride structures The rare-earth nitrides comprise the largest class of intrinsic  ferromagnetic semiconductors with the facility to control the carrier concentration by doping. They are thus the most attractive materials to explore the physics and application potential in spin-controlled tunnelling structures.The VUW group enjoys a world-wide lead in the growth and investigation of these materials, especially with recent successes in tunnelling experiments. This project will focus on tunnelling between SmN and GdN through insulating (“I”) layers in SmN/I/GdN heterostructures. Special interest will lie in the effect of reversing the relative magnetisation of the SmN and GdsN layers.
Emeritus Professor Joe Trodahl Victoria University of Wellington joe.trodahl@vuw.ac.nz Electronic, magnetic and magneto-electric states of rare-earth nitrides The rare-earth nitrides comprise the largest class of intrinsic  ferromagnetic semiconductors with the facility to control the carrier concentration by doping. They offer an enormous range of differing magnetic properties, which are furthermore coupled strongly with their electronic properties.In this project the student will investigate the basic physics of several of these materials, e.g. DyN to resolve competing signs for the valence band spin splitting, SmN to establish the magnitude of the spin splitting in both the conduction and valence bands. The materials will be grown in molecular beam epitaxy facilities in VUW and Valbonne, the most advanced in the world for these materials, and the films will be studied by a full range of magnetic and electronic measurements.
Professor Eric Le Ru Victoria University of Wellington eric.leru@vuw.ac.nz Laser Spectroscopy A fully funded 3-year PhD scholarship (stipend of 27,000NZD per annum + university fees) is available in the Raman laboratory at Victoria University of Wellington, in the heart of New Zealand’s beautiful capital city.
The PhD project, under the supervision of Prof. Eric Le Ru, will be primarily experimental and focus on developing new methods for single molecule detection via surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. The work spans several areas of physics and physical chemistry from optics and laser spectroscopy, electromagnetic theory, to nanoparticle synthesis and characterization, and advanced data analysis. Those skills will be learnt during the project and there is some degree of flexibility in the research directions.
The Raman lab is one of the world leaders in the area of surface enhanced Raman scattering (SERS) and plasmonics and provides many opportunities for student development through the MacDiarmid Institute.
Excellent command of English (written and spoken) and a strong academic record are essential. Students with a solid background in physics and/or chemistry are invited to apply by sending a CV and a copy of their academic record.
For further information and to apply: eric.leru@vuw.ac.nz
Dr Jonathan Halpert Victoria University of Wellington jonathan.halpert@vuw.ac.nz Synthesis of Nanocrystals for Optoelectronic DevicesA PhD scholarship in physical chemistry is offered for research into nanomaterials for LEDs and solar cells at Victoria University of Wellington.We are interested in synthesizing novel nanocrystalline materials for use as the active materials, scaffolds and transport layers in solar cells and LEDs. Material sets of interest include II-VI, III-V and ternary and quaternary materials, including CIGS and CZTS. Ultimately, the goal is to make novel device structures that make use of the unique characteristics of semiconductor nanocrystals in hybrid organic-inorganic device structures for optoelectronic applications. Students can expect to learn how to synthesize and characterize colloidal nanocrystals, while also gaining experience in material and surface analysis techniques such as SEM, HRTEM, STEM, AFM and XRD as well as device fabrication and testing. There will also be a strong interaction with our collaborators doing theoretical modelling and ultrafast spectroscopy in support of this project, as well as the opportunity to attend international conferences.Applicants should have a degree in chemistry or physics (with a focus on materials science) equivalent to the 4-year BSc (Honours) degree in New Zealand, with 1st or upper 2nd class honours (or GPA above 3.0/4.0), or an MSc or postgraduate diploma. We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record and strong skills in nanomaterials synthesis and characterization. Previous experience with electronic device fabrication is appreciated but not required. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University.   Application Details Please send a resume, academic record, and the names and contact details of two Referees to: Jonathan Halpert with “PhD, nanocrystals” in the subject line.
Dr Jonathan Halpert Victoria University of Wellington jonathan.halpert@vuw.ac.nz Synthesis of Organometal Halide Perovskites for Solar CellsA PhD scholarship in chemistry is offered for research into organic metal halide perovskite solar cells at Victoria University of Wellington.Organic metal halide perovskites represent a paradigm shift in the field of low-cost, thin film solar cells, with reported efficiencies of greater than 20% power conversion efficiency. To date, the most studied systems make use of methylammonium lead and tin halide perovskites as the absorbing layers. We are interested in the synthesis, as well as the physical, electrical and spectroscopic characterization of thin films made from novel metal halide perovskite structures. New materials can include alterations in the perovskite structure and composition as well as changes in the scaffolding and formation of the thin films. Ultimately, the goal is to make solar cells with novel device structures that make use of these perovskite layers. Students can expect practice their skills at chemical synthesis, while learning material and surface analysis techniques such as SEM, HRTEM, STEM, AFM and XRD, as well as solar cell fabrication and testing. There will also be a strong interaction with our collaborators doing theoretical modelling and ultrafast spectroscopy in support of this project, as well as the opportunity to attend international conferences.Applicants should have a chemistry or physics (with a focus on materials science) degree equivalent to the 4-year BSc (Honours) degree in New Zealand, with 1st or upper 2nd class honours (or GPA above 3.0/4.0), or an MSc or postgraduate diploma. We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record and strong skills in inorganic chemical and experience in nanomaterials synthesis and characterization. Previous experience with electronic device fabrication is appreciated but not required. Candidates should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate at Victoria University.Application DetailsPlease send a resume, academic record, and the names and contact details of two Referees to: Jonathan Halpert with “PhD, perovskites” in the subject line.

 

University of CanterburyPhD Studentships based at University of Canterbury

Professor Simon Brown University of Canterbury Department of Physics and Astronomy simon.brown@canterbury.ac.nz Scanning Tunneling Microscopy Studies of Topological Nanostructures Topological insulators (TIs) are a newly-discovered class of solid-state materials with remarkable properties and vast potential for exciting and novel applications. A 3-year PhD Scholarship is available to work on fundamental properties of nanoscale topological insulators in New Zealand. The successful applicant will undertake research into the growth of nanostructures of topologically insulating materials, and their topological properties. The atomic scale structure and electronic properties of the nanostructures will be studied primarily using a commercial Scanning Tunneling Microscope and this work is likely to be supplemented by electron spectroscopy experiments and calculations with international collaborators. This work builds on ten years of experience in growing related nanostructures and is part of a project that has recently been funded by New Zealand’s most prestigious science funding agency, the Marsden Fund. The project also aligns closely with the objectives of the MacDiarmid Institute, a national Centre of Research Excellence, and the successful applicant will enjoy access to the facilities and programs of the Institute. The successful candidate will have enthusiasm, a good honours or masters degree in physics (or related subject), and a desire to work in a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment. The successful candidate will be a member of the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology, a national Center of Research Excellence the provides may collaborative opportunities and a thriving environment to work in. The scholarship is worth $27,000 per annum and includes all student fees. The research will take place at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, which was rated as one the world’s top 10 cities to visit by Lonely Planet. Please note that all applications must include:

  • A full Curriculum Vitae, INCLUDING your University transcript (i.e. list of grades awarded)
  • The names of at least two people who are prepared to act as referees
  • Evidence of your English language ability
  • A clear statement about when you would expect to be able to come to NZ

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. All applications should be emailed to Simon.Brown@canterbury.ac.nz.

Professor Maan Alkaisi Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering University of Canterbury maan.alkaisi@canterbury.ac.nz The role of physical forces in cancer development Understanding the influence of biological cells’ physical micro- and nano-environments are crucial in developing solutions to improve the interface between cells and medical implants, tissue engineering and in finding effective treatment for diseases.In our previous studies, we have demonstrated that altering the physical environment will induce modification of the behaviour of cells, including cancer cells. Significant influence on cell adhesion, elongation and differentiation were observed. However the nature of the mechanical forces that are generated and to which the cells respond is not known. Therefore being able to dissect the physical environment is an important element of experiment design and subsequent understanding of cancer control.In this proposal, we will apply, for the first time, measurable forces on individual cells or groups of cells in 3D clusters using microfluidic channels with flexible actuators and force sensing arrays.The influence of the applied physical forces on cancer cell growth and spread will be determined.The biological activities of the cells will be monitored. We will be utilizing Bioimprint, a technology developed in our lab to mimic the micro and nano environment of cells by a unique high resolution replication of cell features in polymers.We are looking for a candidate with a good honours or masters degree in micro-nano fabrication/ bioengineering/ biomaterials and a desire to work in a multi-institutional, multi-disciplinary, collaborative environment.This project is in collaborations with Christchurch School of Medicine/Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Christchurch Women’s Hospital.The Nanofabriaction laboratory facilities at Canterbury University, Christchurch available for this project include Electron Beam Lithography Raith 150, Laser Interference Lithogarphy, Reactive Ion Etching machine Oxfored Plasma 80, EVG620T Nanoimoprint lithography Machine, , MA6 Karl Suss Mask Aligher and AFM D13100.
Dr Volker Nock University of Canterbury volker.nock@canterbury.ac.nz Artificial sensors to detect airborne biological compounds Applications are invited for a fully funded 3-year PhD studentship in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand. The studentship is awarded for Developing Biosensor Technology to Monitor Biosecurity Risks. Eligibility: The ideal candidate will have a Master’s degree in Bioengineering, Biochemistry, or Nanotechnology/MEMS. This is a highly interdisciplinary project and candidates who can demonstrate experience working on the development of biosensors at the interface between biochemistry and engineering, or have a strong willingness to do so, will be especially welcome. Candidates with previous experience in techniques such as surface plasmon resonance, quartz crystal microbalance or interdigitated electrode sensors would be especially considered. Training in sensor design, nanofabrication and all relevant lab techniques will be provided. Scholarship description: This fully-funded PhD studentship will be based in the School of Engineering with the opportunity for close interaction with the Biomolecular Interaction Centre in the School of Biological Sciences and the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. The University of Canterbury is well known internationally for its work on biomolecular interactions and nanotechnology-based sensing devices. As part of this project the student will design and build a proof of concept artificial sensor to detect insect semiochemicals. The student will develop methods for immobilising specific proteins on sensor chips and subsequently calibrating signal acquisition in controlled laboratory conditions. Once developed the student will have the opportunity to test the sensors under a range of environmental conditions. Given the application of the proposed sensor and the location of the University of Canterbury, the studentship would suit those with strong interests in biology and the outdoors. The project will be co-supervised by Dr Volker Nock (University of Canterbury) and Dr Stephen Pawson (Scion, Forest Research Institute Ltd). Application closing date 30th November 2015.

 

University of OtagoPhD Studentships based at University of Otago

Dr Carla Meledandri University of Otago cmeledandri@chemistry.otago.ac.nz Coordination polymer nanocrystals: Rational design for active function
Coordination polymer nanocrystals are an exciting new class of materials with remarkable properties and largely untapped potential. The aim of the project is to gain knowledge for the rational design of molecular complexes that will subsequently be used to prepare new nanocrystals of metal-organic frameworks, with specific chemical and physical properties, and therefore function, for desired applications. The ‘nanoMOFs’ will be prepared through colloidal-based synthetic methods, following a thorough, fundamental investigation into the physical properties, surface composition and mechanism of growth of a class of coordination polymer nanocrystals recently developed by our team. Also of interest is the development of multi-compositional nanocrystals, with the materials taking the form of either hierarchical structures and/or co-crystals.
The successful candidate will have a B.Sc. Honours or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in chemistry, and an excellent command of written and spoken English. Applications from international as well as domestic students are welcomed. Knowledge and experience in colloidal and surface chemistry techniques, nanocrystal synthesis and related characterisation techniques, and/or synthesis and characterisation of metal-organic frameworks would be an advantage. The tenure of the scholarship is for three years, and it is desired that the successful candidate would take up the position as soon as possible.
The student will receive a stipend of NZ$27,000 per annum in addition to course fees. Funding is provided by The MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology.
Applications should include a full CV and the names/contact details of at least two referees. Applications should be sent (preferably by email) ASAP to: Dr. Carla Meledandri, Department of Chemistry, University of Otago, P.O. Box 56, Dunedin, New Zealand.
Professor Keith Gordon University of Otago keith.gordon@otago.ac.nz Spectroscopy and computational chemistry of solar energy materials, with a particular focus on polymer systems. And PhD (Gordon/Hall) Spectroscopy and modelling of electroactive materials, speciation at surfaces and photochemical reactions. Contact: S.B.Hall@massey .ac.nz or keith.gordon@otago.ac.nz
Professor Sally Brooker University of Otago sbrooker@chemistry.otago.ac.nz PhD: Switchable and/or catalytically active molecules Excellent candidates are invited to send their CV and pdfs of any papers to Prof Brooker in order to apply for a Ph.D. Scholarship funded by the MacDiarmid Institute.Our interests are in metal complexes which can switch between two states and/or are catalytically active. Hence the project involves multi-step organic synthesis of suitable designer ligands, followed by complexation by appropriately chosen metal ion(s).The resulting complexes will be purified and fully characterized, including structurally.For complexes showing appropriate function, ligands bearing a suitable linker ‘out the back’ will be designed and prepared, so that attempts to immobilize the functional complex onto a range of solid supports can be undertaken in collaboration with the groups of Dr Meledandri/Prof Travas-Sejdic/Prof Downard.The successful candidate will hold a BSc(Hons) or MSc in chemistry, with experience in organic/ligand synthesis, and preferably also metal complex synthesis, as well as experience in appropriate characterisation techniques and strong references. They will join an experienced team and will further develop their skills in a range of areas, from organic and inorganic synthesis through to a wide range of characterisation techniques.

 

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