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Part-time studies (6-year) 7 726,00

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

Open application for a doctoral candidate in the field of Materials engineering
The doctoral candidate position is available in the Faculty of Civil Engineering, Institute of Building Materials, Laboratory of Thermal Insulating Materials and Acoustics. Applicants interested in other research topics related to Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering or Civil Engineering are also welcome to apply.

Research topic description
Zero energy building solutions can be divided into active and passive. Active solutions include the improvement of all energy-intensive systems, while passive solutions are for building envelopes, i.e. i.e. for improving the efficiency of facade systems, and energy consumption. The latter solutions are more economical because, compared to the energy-saving potential, they lead to lower investments. However, modern facade systems tend to use traditional fossil-based products, while the general construction and building materials sector accounts for up to 30% of total annual greenhouse gas emissions and consumes more than 40% of total energy. Efforts to limit the emission of greenhouse gases led to the partial or full use of renewable resources in the development and production processes of new building materials. Thermal-insulating polymer materials are no exception. Polyurethane foam has the lowest coefficient of 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 polymer material is extremely relevant. In order to reduce the production costs of such materials and increase the ecological potential, various plant-derived materials are additionally used as fillers that partially destroy the structure, deteriorate the mechanical properties and increase water absorption due to the lack of adhesion between the particle surface and the polymer matrix. To solve these problems, an environmentally friendly alternative for surface functionalization of fillers, such as kaolin, liquid or crushed glass, etc. which has not been studied in the scientific literature, is proposed. Additionally, a system of the traditional flame retardant tris(1-chloro-2-propyl)phosphate and one or two selected alternatives is expected to exhibit a synergistic effect enabling the reduction of toxic flame retardant amount and will not only result in water-resistant foam composite with sufficient mechanical stability but also reduce the rate of heat and smoke release and the amount of toxic substances released 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 at other universities.

• Required background: education in materials science or environmental engineering, chemistry engineering, or civil engineering
• Expected skills and knowledge: fluent English (speaking and writing), the basics about thermal insulating materials and/or their chemistry

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:

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! Spring semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Studies commence
1 Dec 2023

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Spring semester 2023/24
Application period has ended
Studies commence
1 Dec 2023

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States