Physics and Astronomy PhD (Positron Imaging specialism)

Physics-Astronomy-PhD

Postgraduate doctoral research degree in Physics and Astronomy PhD (Positron Imaging specialism), School of Physics and Astronomy

In the Positron Imaging Centre, positron-emitting radioactive tracers are used in interdisciplinary research involving a number of University groups and industrial sponsors. 

Topics range from studying the fundamental physics of granular media to improving the processing of viscous non-Newtonian fluids in the food industry, from observing the percolation of liquids and gases through rock to optimising pharmaceutical processing.

Course fact file

Type of Course: Doctoral research

Study Options: Full time

Duration: PhD: 3.5 years full-time; MSc by research: 1 year full-time

Start date: Contact the School directly for further information

Details

In the Positron Imaging Centre, positron-emitting radioactive tracers are used in interdisciplinary research involving a number of University groups and industrial sponsors.

Topics range from studying the fundamental physics of granular media to improving the processing of viscous non-Newtonian fluids in the food industry, from observing the percolation of liquids and gases through rock to optimising pharmaceutical processing.

The medical imaging technique of positron emission tomography (PET) has been adapted for these studies, and a new technique of positron emission particle tracking (PEPT) has been developed, by which a single labelled particle can be accurately tracked at high speed inside operating equipment.

Radioactive tracers are produced using our in-house cyclotron, and a continuous programme of research and development is devoted to extending the range of isotopes and forms available. Currently tracer particles down to 200µm in size are produced by ion exchange techniques. The tracers are detected using a positron camera comprising a pair of position-sensitive gamma ray detectors. A new positron camera has recently been installed, giving a factor of 20-improvement in sensitivity and count rate, which provides opportunities for further extensions to the imaging and tracking techniques. There are also plans to develop a simplified transportable PEPT system.

 

Related links

 

School of Physics and Astronomy
Positron Imaging Centre

Fees and funding

Standard fees apply.
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Scholarships and studentships
We have a number of studentships supported by the UK research councils EPSRC and STFC available each year, including some CASE awards. These studentships cover the costs of tuition fees and provide a subsistence allowance for 3.5 years. They are available to UK nationals with at least an upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university, or equivalent. Preference is usually given to those holding four-year MPhys or MSci degrees.

We offer about half a dozen postgraduate teaching assistantships each year as top-ups to EPSRC and STFC studentships. There are also substantial opportunities for postgraduate demonstrators. EU nationals may be eligible for fees-only awards, which are occasionally supplemented by the School. Scholarships may be available, for more information contact the School directly or email sfo@contacts.bham.ac.uk

International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.

Entry requirements

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International students
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements.

Standard English language requirements apply.

How to apply

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Research interests of staff

The School of Physics and Astronomy was placed among the leading research institutions in the latest (2008) Research Assessment Exercise.

Our research portfolio is wide-ranging, and covers three principal themes: Particle and Nuclear Physics; Quantum Matter and Nanoscale Science; and Astronomy. We have over 120 academic and research staff together with 120 graduate students with around 50 technical and clerical support staff. Our annual research income is over £8 million and more than 250 research publications are produced each year.

Visit the website for the Positron Imaging Centre for further information.

Related research

Contact

Admissions Tutor: Dr David Parker

Contact us online or at +44 (0)121 414 4708.

Related staff

Employability

University Careers Network

Preparation for your career should be one of the first things you think about as you start university. Whether you have a clear idea of where your future aspirations lie or want to consider the broad range of opportunities available once you have a Birmingham degree, our Careers Network can help you achieve your goal.

Our unique careers guidance service is tailored to your academic subject area, offering a specialised team (in each of the five academic colleges) who can give you expert advice. Our team source exclusive work experience opportunities to help you stand out amongst the competition, with mentoring, global internships and placements available to you. Once you have a career in your sights, one-to-one support with CVs and job applications will help give you the edge.

If you make the most of the wide range of services you will be able to develop your career from the moment you arrive.

Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education (DLHE) 2011/12 (postgraduate taught graduates)

The DLHE survey is conducted 6 months after graduation.

Examples of employers

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Further study - examples of courses

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  • MSc Nuclear Physics
  • MSc Physics and Technology
  • MRes Chemical Engineering
  • PhD Electronic Engineering
  • PhD Physical Sciences

Visit the Careers section of the University website for further information.

Contact

Admissions Tutor: Dr David Parker

Contact us online or at +44 (0)121 414 4708.