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Overview

PhD candidate position in Research of plant-based fillers impact on the structure formation and performance of biopolyurethane foam composite

Open application for a doctoral candidate in Materials Engineering
The doctoral candidate position is available in the Civil Engineering faculty, Institute of Building Materials, Laboratory of Thermal Insulating Materials and Acoustics. Applicants interested in other research topics related to plant- and waste-based composites with different binding materials and aggregates for structural and/or thermal insulation purposes, are also welcome to apply.

Research topic description
The solutions of zero energy buildings can be divided into active and passive. Active solutions include the development of all energy-intensive systems, while passive ones include the improvement of building envelopes, i. e. facade systems to improve energy efficiency. The latter solutions are more cost-effective because they lead to lower investments compared to energy savings potential. However, traditionally fossil feedstock is the most commonly used in modern facade systems, while the general construction and building materials sector accounts for up to 30% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions and more than 40% of total energy consumption. Efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions have led to the partial or complete use of renewable resources in the development and production of new building materials. Thermal insulation polymeric materials are no exception. Polyurethane foams have the lowest thermal conductivity (from 0.022 W/(m∙K) in the entire market of thermal insulation materials, so the use of renewable resources in the synthesis of this polymeric material is particularly important. In order to reduce the production costs and increase the ecological potential of such materials, various fillers of plant origin are used, which partially degrade the structure, and mechanical properties and increase the water absorption due to the lack of adhesion between the particle’s surface and the polymer matrix. To solve these problems, an environmentally friendly alternative for fillers’ surface functionalization with kaolin, liquid or crushed glass has not been proposed in the scientific literature. In addition, a system of tris(1-chloro-2-propyl) phosphates of the conventional flame retardant and one or two selected alternatives is expected to have a synergistic effect to reduce the amount of toxic flame retardant and will not only result in a water-resistant foam with sufficient mechanical stability but will also reduce the rate of heat and smoke evolution and the release of toxic substances during combustion.

The selected candidate will work on the PhD thesis under the supervision of dr. Agnė Kairytė. The successful applicant will have to attend scientific conferences, meetings and internships in the other universities.

Requirements
• Required background: the basic properties of structural and/or thermal insulation materials.
• Expected skills and knowledge: good English skills verbally and in writing; the foundation in chemistry, chemical engineering, materials science or building engineering.
It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

For more information
Shortlisted candidates will be invited for an interview. The position may not be opened if no qualified candidate is found. Additional information regarding the post may be obtained from dr. Agnė Kairytė, e-mail: agne.kairyte@vilniustech.lt

Programme structure

The PhD programme consists of:
· Independent research under supervision;
· Courses for PhD students (approximately 30 ECTS credits);
· Participation in research networks, including placements at other, primarily foreign, research institutions;
· Teaching or another form of knowledge dissemination, which is related to the PhD topic when possible;
· The completion of a PhD thesis.

Apply now! Fall semester 2022/23
Application deadline
1 Oct 2022 23:59:59
Eastern European Time
Studies commence
Nov 1, 2022

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Fall semester 2022/23
Application deadline
1 Oct 2022 23:59:59
Eastern European Time
Studies commence
Nov 1, 2022

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States