QUADRAT DTP: Investigation of the growth of molds (fungi and bacteria) in bio-based materials made from agro-waste foodSchool of Natural and Built Environment | PHD
Applications are now CLOSED
The production of insulating materials for buildings obtained from the valorization of agro-resources is a promising way both in terms of ecology and hydrothermal performances of these composites. However, the lack of information on their resistance to mold development limits their use. The mold development is indeed likely to cause health problems and to induce damage. There is therefore a need to classify the materials according to their resistance to mold growth and disintegration in order to use them appropriately and also to investigate different treatment of natural fibers to reduce of risk of molds [Sonebi, M., Amziane S. 2019].. The molds are produced by wide variety of microorganisms, mainly microscopic fungi and yeasts. These play an important role in the decomposition of plant materials. These microorganisms grow and reproduce very quickly, spreading spores and mycelium. These microorganisms may already be present inside building materials (walls, partitions, ceilings) or may be directly introduced into homes through ventilation. Their growth depends on various factors, in particular: flood, water leaks (roof or pipework), poorly-ventilated spaces (in kitchen, in bathroom) and building seals. Although fungi are present in the atmosphere, higher concentrations may result in adverse health effects. Indeed, many fungal components are likely to cause adverse effects on the health of exposed individuals. Mold prevention and remediation in new and existing housing is thus not solely an aesthetic issue, but also one of public health and hygiene.
The project will focus on optimization of bio-based materials with different treatment of natural fibers, the evolution of concrete mechanical properties (strength) and porosity will be examined experimentally and numerically. The aim is to develop a method to qualify bio-based composites with respect to their resistance to mold development, propose efficient treatment of natural fibers to mitigate this molds and characterize the mechanical, thermal and hygrometry properties of bio-based materials. The student will have a training on the advanced technology equipements to assess the growth of molds (fungi and bacteria) on bio-based materials and also on the treatment of natural fibres to be used in buildings.
This project is in competition for funding.
This project is funded by the NERC QUADRAT-DTP and is available to UK/EU nationals who meet the UKRI eligibility criteria. Please visit www.quadrat.ac.uk for more information.
The studentship provides funding for tuition fees, stipend and a research training and support grant subject to eligibility.
Civil Engineering overview
The research centre will address the topical grand challenges in civil engineering field, building on existing and developing new international collaborations. Financial support to meet these challenges will be acquired through both internal University initiatives (for enhanced infrastructure and facilities) and external funding from government grants, charities and direct industrial support.
Research will address the grand challenges of energy, carbon, clean water, infrastructure; exploring extremes and defining new limits. Key research areas include:
Marine renewable energy
Groundwater and environmental systems
Intelligent infrastructure and high performance structures
Energy efficient materials
Mode of study / duration
Registration is on a full-time or part-time basis, under the direction of a supervisory team appointed by the University. You will be expected to submit your thesis at the end of three years of full-time registration for PhD, or two years for MPhil (or part-time equivalent).
The dynamic nature of this research has been key to the CERC's success in attracting significant funding from UK research councils, government departments and agencies. CERC generated £11.5m in external research income during the last Research Excellence Framework (REF2014) 5-year period.
The Civil Engineering Research Centre (CERC) is a leading international, interdisciplinary centre that enables scientists and engineers from all areas of civil engineering investigation to work on diverse, yet complementary research.
A special feature of the CERC is the extensive and diverse range of research topics being researched by students and staff in the Centre.
For further information on career opportunities at PhD level please contact the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Student Recruitment Team on askEPS@qub.ac.uk. Our advisors - in consultation with the School - will be happy to provide further information on your research area, possible career prospects and your research application.
People teaching you
The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University. Further information can be obtained by contacting the School.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
|Northern Ireland (NI)||£4,407|
|England, Scotland or Wales (GB)||£4,407|
|Other (non-UK) EU||£4,407|
Civil Engineering costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
Additional course costs
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