Chemical and Process Engineering PhD

My work looks at the damage done to DNA by radiation and how that DNA repairs itself. I am based in the Chemical Engineering department and work in the Medical Applications (of Ion Beams) group at Surrey. This is a multidisciplinary group of engineers, biologists, physicists and mathematicians who focus on the interaction of radiation within living cells for cancer research.

Adam Cole PhD Chemical and Process Engineering

Why choose this course?

With the oldest continuing Chemical Engineering programme in England, we are a highly respected and award-winning Department with a wealth of experience and expertise in the subject.

If you join us, you will have opportunity to investigate topics ranging from fuel cell systems, biorefining and reverse osmosis to positron emission particle tracking.

Research in the Department is highly multi-disciplinary and we enjoy excellent collaborations with Materials, Chemistry and the Ion Beam Centre, as well as access to their facilities.

Much of our research is computationally based and we have the latest software and hardware. Our modern laboratories include high headroom areas for pilot plant, and specialist laboratories exist for microbial systems, water and particle technology.

Students benefit from the comprehensive training and transferable skills offered through the Faculty Graduate School, which serves to create a friendly social environment for the Faculty’s large cohort of postgraduate research students.

What you will study

PhD overview

Research degrees in the Department normally comprise three years’ research and the initial registration is subject to a confirmation process after one year.

All PhD students work on individual projects within one of our research centres. During your time with us you will undertake a critical review of your chosen field of study to bring you to the cutting edge of science, propose a novel solution to your chosen problem, whether theoretical or experimental, and evaluate it.

Research themes

Research in the Department is centred around five interconnected themes:

  1. Adsorption, electrolytics and reaction engineering
  2. Biochemical and biomedical engineering
  3. Particulate and fluid systems
  4. Process systems engineering
  5. Water processing technology

Research areas

  • Synthesis of novel adsorbents eg, MOFs
  • Adsorption for environmental protection and refrigeration.
  • Modelling battery and fuel cell systems
  • Turbulent plumes and cool flame systems
  • Industrial symbiosis, optimisation and decision making
  • Supply chain management
  • Biorefining
  • Design and optimisation of the bioenergy supply chain
  • Industrial uses of microalgae
  • Process chemometrics, state estimation and control
  • Manipulated reverse osmosis
  • Computation oncology and modelling radiotherapy
  • Positron emission particle tracking and fundamentals of particle technology
  • Use of ultrasonics to promote chemical and physical processing

Why not discover more about our research?


We have a number of studentships within the Department. Other funding opportunities also exist within the different engineering research centres.


Global Sensitivity Analysis for Models with Constraints


Dr Oleksiy Klymenko


Funding Funding is available for UK or EU nationals only and covers full University tuition fees (home rate) and provides a stipend (rate for 2017-2018 is £14,553 p.a. tax-free).
Application deadline 10 September 2017
Opportunities across all subjects

Related research areas

Related departments/schools

Course facts

Qualification Study mode Course length Start date
PhD Full-time 30-48 months October, January, April, July
PhD Part-time 60-96 months October, January, April, July

Entry Requirements

Depending on the project, a good first degree in Chemical Engineering or a project-related subject is required.

View entry requirements by country

English language requirements

Non-native speakers of English will normally be required to have IELTS 6.5 or above (or equivalent) with 6.0 in each individual category.

We offer intensive English language pre-sessional courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.


Study mode UK/EU fees Overseas fees
Full-time £4195 £20,000
Part-time £2100 £10,000

Please note these fees are for the academic year 2017/18 only. All fees are subject to annual review.

Overseas students applying for 2017 entry should please note that annual fees will rise by four per cent (rounded up to the nearest £100) for each year of study.

A complete list of all fees for our research programmes

Doctoral College

Our Doctoral College supports researcher excellence and employability across the doctoral and early career stages of the researcher journey.

Find out more

Code of practice for research degrees

Surrey’s postgraduate research code of practice sets out the University's policy and procedural framework relating to research degrees.

The code defines a set of standard procedures and specific responsibilities covering the academic supervision, administration and assessment of research degrees for all faculties within the University.

Download the code of practice for research degrees (PDF).

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