Sustainable novel catalysts for zero-emission combustion of hydrogen and ammonia

A fully funded PhD studentship is available in the area of hydrogen and ammonia as future fuels for achieving net-zero.

Start date

1 April 2024


3.5 years

Application deadline

Funding source

Institute for Sustainability, University Of Surrey

Funding information

  • Full UK tuition fee waiver
  • Stipend at UKRI rates (£18,622 for 2023-24)


This PhD studentship is funded by the pan-university Institute for Sustainability at the University of Surrey. The PhD student will have opportunity to interact with more than 200 academic Sustainability Fellows working on interdisciplinary areas from technologies, societal behaviour, system thinking, to policy and economy, addressing many challenges for achieving Sustainability. Specifically, the PhD student will join the Energy and Environment theme, focusing on research activities within the Chemicals for Net-Zero area. 

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with strong interest in catalysis and hydrogen economy to take up this exciting PhD project. You will be supervised by Professor Qiong CaiDr Kelly Kousi, and Dr Melis Duyar within the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and collaborate with other postdoctoral researchers and PhD students who work on experimental synthesis and testing of catalysts. In this PhD project, you will develop low cost and durable catalysts for catalytic conversion of NHto N2 and H2, and conversion of NOx to N2. You will develop skills in materials synthesis, characterisation, and testing of catalytic activity. You will also have opportunities to collaborate with scientists at the UK and European synchrotron centres for advanced characterization of the catalyst materials.

The University of Surrey is ranked 13th in the UK in the Complete University Guide 2024. You will be well supported for your PhD journey and your career development with comprehensive tailor-designed training programme, mentoring schemes, and one-to-one career advice and support offered to all researchers within the University of Surrey. 

Eligibility criteria

Open to candidates who pay UK/home rate fees. See UKCISA for further information. Applicants must hold a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any of the following disciplines: Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science, Physics or other relevant major degrees. Prior experience in research projects is desirable but not essential.

How to apply

 Any interested candidates should apply online via the link Chemical and Process Engineering Research PhD programme page. by 31 January 2024. Before you apply, please send your CV (with details of educational background, academic achievements, and any research experience) to Professor Qiong Cai ( to discuss the suitability of your academic background for this PhD project.

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Application deadline

Contact details

Qiong Cai
12 BC 02
Telephone: +44 (0)1483 686561

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