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.
Our interdisciplinary research work involves activities with cross-cutting themes, investigating materials and devices with the Advanced Technology Institute while addressing challenges in information technology. The recently established Centre for Advance Process Intensification offers a research platform for sustainable manufacturing, leading to the development of new and improved concepts of processing methods and equipment for chemical and energy conversion systems.
Research in the Department is highly multi-disciplinary and we enjoy excellent collaborations with Materials, Chemistry, the Ion Beam Centre, the Surrey Space Centre, the Centre for Environment and Sustainability, and the 5G Innovation Centre, as well as access to their facilities. We are internationally recognised for our water research, for which the University was the recipient of the Queen’s Anniversary Prize. We have also taken the first step towards ‘industrial sixth sense’ with a £1m project funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), which aims to develop technology enabling companies to ‘see into the future’ in order to prevent industrial disasters.
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.
The University’s strengths in chemical engineering include membrane filtration and ultrasound processing. Key members in the Department have extensive expertise in these areas and strong industry links with projects looking into implementation of water processing technology.
You will benefit from comprehensive training and transferable skills development offered through the Faculty Graduate School, which serves to support your future career and create a friendly social environment for the Faculty’s large cohort of postgraduate research students. You will have opportunities to present and exchange your research with others within the Department, as well as socialise and network with others, at various events and forums.
If you join us, you will have opportunities to investigate topics ranging from fuel cell systems, biorefining and reverse osmosis to positron emission particle tracking.
As a PhD student you will go through a confirmation process in which you will need to produce a report to demonstrate your understanding of the research field and your project results. Your ability to carry out critical literature review, scientific writing skills and ability to carry out research and produce meaningful results will be evaluated by your supervisor and two examiners. Once you have passed the confirmation stage, your PhD research project can begin.
At the end of the second year, you will be expected to submit a scientific manuscript draft containing your most important results, as well as a solid plan for writing up your PhD thesis. This will be evaluated by your supervisor and examiners, and necessary support will be provided.
You will be encouraged to complete your PhD within 36 months, and you should submit your PhD thesis within 48 months. Your PhD thesis will be evaluated by two examiners (one external to the University). There will be also a formal meeting for you to defend your thesis with the two examiners questioning. The two examiners will then make recommendation based on their evaluation.
The Department of Chemical and Process Engineering offers a dynamic and friendly environment for research. You will be provided with the necessary support to carry out your research projects and have access to expertise and facilities across the University, and externally when necessary.
Depending on the nature of your project, you will work in labs, offices and in external institutions. If your project is experimental in nature, you will likely spend a lot of time in labs carrying out the research. If your project is computational in nature, you will likely work mainly within offices with computers. You will also have opportunities to work externally if your project involves such collaborations.
The PhD programme is organised to support your progress as a PhD student. There will be a review with your supervisors every six months to discuss past progress, research directions, difficulties encountered and support needed.
Your supervisor will offer their expertise in the research field, support in establishing necessary equipment and research conditions, guidance in the project overall research direction and results interpretation, and support in scientific writings.
|Qualification||Study mode||Course length||Start date|
There are additional costs that you can expect to incur when studying at Surrey. Find out more.
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).