PhD Studentship - A Holistic Approach to the Analysis of Fuel Deposits and Precursors using Hyphenated High Resolution Mass spectrometric Techniques.

University of Southampton

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Position type:

Full time

25 Mar 2022
30 Sep 2022

Full details:

Reference number: SOU-1760222EB

Supervisory Team:    G J Langley, J M Herniman, Jim Barker (Innospec)

Project description

Emissions from internal combustion engines (ICE) continue to have a major impact about climate change and health issues worldwide. The decarbonisation and electrification of such powertrains continues apace but many estimates that in 2040, internal combustion (IC) will still be the most widely used engine technology in light passenger vehicles, and will feature heavily in off-road, heavy-duty and marine applications. Therefore, it is imperative that long-term, efficient, operation of IC engine components is ensured and there continues to be research driven focus on improving all aspects of the IC engine to mitigate emissions. This study will employ a wide range of hyphenated chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques to characterise gasoline fuels, the deposits and precursor molecules that have had a detrimental effect on performance of the gasoline direct injection engine (GDI). Data from this research will deliver new knowledge that will be used to inform mitigation strategies leading to reduce emissions and improved fuel economy.

By working with Innospec the student will have access to additional instrumentation not available at Southampton, will spend time with the industrial partner as defined during the project, and will assess the transferability of their findings with the research teams at Innospec.  The student will be expected to present posters and orals at national and international conferences.

This project is well-suited to those with strong skills and a keen interest in analytical chemistry, and its application to the petrochemical industry.  An interest in analytical and physical-organic chemistry is desirable.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Professor John Langley, Langley Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 59 2182.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30 September 2022 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £16,062 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2022/23, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Chemistry (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor John Langley 

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 


The School of Chemistry is committed to promoting equality, diversity inclusivity as demonstrated by our Athena SWAN award. We welcome all applicants regardless of their gender, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or age, and will give full consideration to applicants seeking flexible working patterns and those who have taken a career break. The University has a generous maternity policy, onsite childcare facilities, and offers a range of benefits to help ensure employees’ well-being and work-life balance. The University of Southampton is committed to sustainability and has been awarded the Platinum EcoAward.



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