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Research Associate in Development of Electrochemical Methods for Study of Capacitive De-ionisation

Job reference: SAE-017881

Location: Manchester

Closing date (DD/MM/YYYY): 05/04/2022

Salary: £33,309 to £40,927 per annum depending on relevant experience

Employment type: Fixed Term

Faculty/Organisation: Science and Engineering

Division: Chemistry

Hours per week: Full time

Contract Duration: Fixed term from 01 July 2022 to 28 February 2025

School / Directorate: School of Natural Sciences

Applications are invited for a research associate to work in the group of Prof Robert Dryfe in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. You will develop electrochemical methods to understand the fundamental mechanisms of capacitive deionisation (CDI).

CDI is an electrochemical method for removing salt species from water, whereby the salt ions are immobilised on the surfaces of porous carbon electrodes within an electrochemical cell. CDI has potential applications for the production of freshwater from brackish water, and for capture of water-borne ionic pollutants from industrial waste or agricultural run-off. In comparison to traditional desalination methods such as reverse osmosis, CDI has several advantages and it is potentially more energy efficient for low salt concentrations. However, despite considerable current research interest in the development of CDI, many questions remain about the fundamental mechanisms of ion capture and how these are influenced by the properties of the electrode, the electrolyte and the cell design.

This position is part of a joint project with Dr John Griffin (Lancaster University) aimed at gaining a fundamental electrochemical insight into the mechanism of CDI. The initial aim of the research is to develop and optimize a CDI cell to allow in situ electrochemical NMR spectroscopy (to be undertaken at Lancaster), so that ions can be tracked and quantified as they become adsorbed under an applied potential. Once the in situ setup has been optimised, the project will focus on understanding the effect of electrode and electrolyte properties (e.g., relative pore/ion sizes, concentration effects) on the ion capture mechanism and efficiency.

This 3-year position is available at the University of Manchester from 1st July 2022, the position is based in the Royce Institute Hub building, in new state-of-the-art labs where the Dryfe group has recently occupied. Working within a large, dynamic, hard-working, and successful research group, you will have a PhD degree (or equivalent) (or about to be awarded a PhD or equivalent) in Chemistry or relevant subject. Expertise in electrochemistry including the modification and design of electrochemical cells is highly desirable; experience with complementary spectroscopic (or other characterization) techniques would also be advantageous. You will be expected to work in a collaborative team, including regular liaison with the group at Lancaster, and have effective written and verbal communication skills in English.

As this role involves research at a postgraduate level, applicants who are not an EEA national or a national of an exempt country and who will require sponsorship under the Skilled Worker route of the UK Visas and Immigration’s (UKVI) Points Based System in order to take up the role, will be required to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate and will need to obtain this prior to making any official visa application UKVI)

Previous applicants need not to apply again.

The Department is strongly committed to promoting equality and diversity, including the Athena SWAN charter for gender equality in higher education. The Department holds a Silver Award which recognises their good practice in relation to gender; including flexible working arrangements, family-friendly policies, and support to allow staff achieve a good work-life balance. We particularly welcome applications from women for this post. All appointment will be made on merit. For further information, please visit:                               

Our University is positive about flexible working – you can find out more here

Blended working arrangements may be considered        

Please note that we are unable to respond to enquiries, accept CVs or applications from Recruitment Agencies.

Enquiries about the vacancy, shortlisting and interviews:

Name: Prof R Dryfe


General enquiries:


Technical support:

This vacancy will close for applications at midnight on the closing date.

Please see the link below for the Further Particulars document which contains the person specification criteria.


The closing date for this job has now passed.