Britton Group Research

Available Positions

1. Marie Curie PhD Fellowship Available:"MRI visualisation of flow through channels in biofilms"

This project will apply and develop Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques to study the control of biofilms. MRI will be used to investigate the increase in flow through the channels formed in biofilms.

Supervisors: Dr Melanie Britton (Chemistry) and Dr Kostas Gkatzionis (Chemical Engineering)

Project objectives: 1. Image biofilm formation, visualise flow and diffusion properties within and surrounding the biofilm and monitor the development of channels within the biofilm matrix. 2. Link MR images of biofilm structure with transport behaviour to determine structure/flow relationships for the biofilm. 3. Identify the most effective approaches to control the development of biofilms via MRI. This Marie Curie PhD Fellowship is in collaboration with Procter & Gamble (P&G) and 15 researchers across Europe. During this fellowship, it is anticipated that the research performed will form all or part of your studies towards a PhD awarded by the University of Birmingham, UK. The researcher will be based at the University of Birmingham, with opportunities for secondments with project partners within the consortium.

The PhD fellowship is available from 1 October 2016. Fixed term for 36 months. Candidates must have a degree in Chemistry/Chemical Engineering/Physics, or a closely related discipline. Candidates can be of any nationality, but, due to funding regulations, cannot have been resident in the UK for the 3 years prior to their recruitment.

Application: If interested, please send your CV to Dr Melanie Britton (

Application deadline 1 November 2016.


2. PhD Position Available: "Imaging Battery Chemistry Using Magnetic Resonance Imaging".

Supervisors: Dr Melanie Britton (Chemistry) and Prof. Alison Davenport (Metallurgy and Materials)

Applicants must have a masters degree in chemistry/physics/materials science or in a related discipline at the upper second class level, with the normal requirement being at least a 65% overall degree mark.

Project Description: This project will focus on the development of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) techniques for studying batteries and other electrochemical cells. The design and development of improved electrochemical technologies requires understanding of the reactions, transport and composition within these systems. However, there are few methods that are able to visualise and quantify these spatially, in situ and in real time. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a technique more commonly associated with medical applications, has proven to be an excellent tool for non-invasively studying complex, spatially heterogeneous chemical systems in materials, engineering and chemical research. While MRI has enormous potential for in situ investigation of chemical composition and molecular transport in electrochemical devices, there are currently very few examples of MRI being used to probe such systems. This is largely due to the experimental challenges associated with setting up an electrochemical cell containing bulk metals inside an MRI instrument. However, recent work by the Britton group has shown that such issues can be overcome and that it is possible to collect quantitative, in situ data in these systems. This project will focus on the development of MRI to study batteries and corrosion.

Due to funding regulations, this studentship is only available to UK and EU nationals.

Application: If interested, please send your CV to Dr Melanie Britton (

Application deadline 1 November 2016.

For fellowships or postdoctoral positions, please contact Dr Melanie Britton directly  by email.