Tag Archives: astrophysics

University of Hull offers clusters of science and engineering PhD Scholarships

University of Hull sign

We are pleased to announce 15 science and engineering full PhD Scholarships for 2016 entry.

The University of Hull are offering over 40 Scholarships in total to UK, EU and international students, as part of its ongoing commitment to research.

The PhD Scholarships will be combined with investments in Post-Doctoral positions to build robust expertise in key research cluster areas. Each of the PhD projects are distinct and many are interdisciplinary or in collaboration with industry.

The Scholarships cover full fees for UK, EU and international students. UK and EU students also receive a tax-free maintenance stipend that is in line with Research Councils UK Doctoral Training Centre levels. The closing date for applications is 29 February 2016.

Professor Dan Parsons, Associate Dean for Research and Enterprise in the Faculty of Science and Engineering, said: “We are delighted to announce these PhD Scholarship opportunities and to  build a robust research environment around these important clusters of research. We look forward to many applications for these excellent projects.”

PhD Scholarships

The Scholarships offered within the Faculty of Science and Engineering are available in the following five research clusters:

Gender, Place and Memory, 1400-1900

These PhD projects form part of the Gender, Place and Memory 1400-1900 research cluster at the University of Hull which draws in academics and researchers from History, English and Geography:

Women walking the world: emotions, place and memory in English court records, 1400-1800

Women, property and the law: mapping sexual inequality in the East Riding of Yorkshire, 1708-1974

3D Printing of Bio-inspired Composites as a Cross-Cutting Capability

We are investing significant resources in creating a 3D printing research cluster which combines the expertise of chemists, engineers and physicists to create novel materials through rational design.

3D printing of functionally graded complex composites

3D printing: Bio-inspired self-healing composite materials

Catastrophic Flows

Catastrophic flows have shaped and reshaped our physical environment, and the humans that reside on them since the planet was first formed. The lessons we glean from these epic events in the past have the power to change the way we predict and survive future occurrences.

Scaling flood events and ecohydraulics in experimental models

Coastal system resilience under increased storminess

Simulating catastrophic flows on Mars

Quantifying the sedimentation of ignimbrites: understanding the behaviour of pyroclastic density currents through experimental modelling

Origins: From the Sub-Atomic to Clusters of Galaxies

We are pleased to announce four new PhD studentships within the University’s E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics, spanning the sub-atomic to the largest scales in the Universe.

Nucleosynthetic yields and artificial stars

The cosmic distance ladder

Star formation in cluster galaxies

Extreme solar flares

Directed Self Assembly

These PhD positions are part of a major research initiative from the University of Hull to create a directed self-assembly cluster combining the expertise of chemists and physicists to create novel materials.

Directed self-assembly for metamaterials: physics and devices: geometries for nanophotonic applications

Directed self-assembly for metamaterials: physics and devices: optical and electrical properties of self-assembled metamaterials

Novel chiroptical organic/metal nano systems


For more information about the University of Hull Scholarships 2016, and to apply, visit www.hull.ac.uk/phd

Solving the mystery of nitrogen throughout the Universe

A spiral galaxy’s brights and darks

Researchers in the E.A. Milne Centre for Astrophysics at the University of Hull have made a breakthrough in solving the mystery of the origin of nitrogen, one of the most important elements for life in the Universe.

The study, led by Dr Marco Pignatari with Professor Brad Gibson, PhD student Chris Jordan and scientists from across the world, analysed fossils of stars that died before the Sun was formed, to discover how nitrogen was produced.

The research is published in the leading academic journal, Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Dr Pignatari said, “Nitrogen is an element fundamental for our life, but we do not yet have a good understanding of how it was made in stars in different epochs of the Galaxy.”

“Furthermore, its isotopic composition observed in the solar system does not match with what theoretical stellar models have predicted so far. We were clearly missing something, it was a mystery.”

The work of the research team may have finally solved this unknown.

Over the last 30 years, a huge number of different types of anomalous dust particles have been identified in old pristine meteorites. Their chemical composition, analysed in a laboratory, found that it does not belong to the solar system.

The analysis of the unknown particles suggested that the small grains originate from a time before the Sun (presolar), and condensed around old stars that died.

Pre-solar grain

A presolar silicon carbide grain mounted on a gold foil. Credit: R. Trappitsch, Chicago Center for Cosmochemistry, The University of Chicago

Because of their peculiar abundance, some of this dust has been identified as relics of ancient massive supernovae – massive explosions of stars.

The interpretation of their signatures can provide the most direct information about how these spectacular explosions work.

The analysis of the presolar dust not only gave the researchers insight into supernova explosions, but also what happened to their parent star before the explosion.

The conditions in these stars were found to be more extreme and complicated than what was expected, with mixtures of hot stellar matter with colder material coming from the outside.

Pignatari said, “It is like dropping cold water on a frying pan just out from the cooking plate. Something similar happened in stars, allowing nuclear reactions to make a lot more nitrogen, including its more elusive and rare stable isotope. This is exactly what is needed to explain observations, in the early galaxy and in the solar system.”

Dr Pignatari believes these exciting first results are just the beginning, and more research and new discoveries will continue at the E.A. Milne Centre.

Dr Pignatari said, “Presolar grains have much more to tell about supernovae and what elements they made. They gave us a lead to follow, and at the Milne Centre we will pursue that lead until the end of the trail.”

Top image: Hubble sees a spiral galaxy’s brights and darks. Image credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA and S. Smartt (Queen’s University Belfast); Acknowledgement: Robert Gendler