Industry Connected PhD Positions (Marine Coatings)
Shape the future of the ocean
Uniting excellent graduate training with broader experience through partners including industry and government, OGEN builds a unique research nexus. OGEN provides full-spectrum, hands-on graduate training experience designed to equip the next generation of ocean researchers for the global job market.
Graduate student fellowships granted through our partner universities incorporate training experiences and hands-on learning beyond traditional academic. Students enrich their academic experience with individualized training programs improving job-readiness.
OGEN can help students embark on a PhD in ocean research through partner universities’ degree programs.
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OGEN at the OFI has partnered with Graphite Innovation & Technologies (GIT) to offer three PhD fellowships at Dalhousie University (Halifax, NS, Canada), Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's NL, Canada) and the University of Victoria (Victoria, BC, Canada). Project details are below.
Current Opportunities: Graphite Innovation & Technologies, Starting in 2022
The project consists of a comparative assessment between the new environmentally friendly coatings that will be developed by GIT and a benchmark marine coating – such as anti-fouling biocide-based, copolymer auto polishing, or foul release marine coatings. Graphene-based coatings have demonstrated potential to be a suitable eco-friendly alternative to protect ship hulls against corrosion and biofouling. The significance of this project is to demonstrate the ability of graphene-based coatings versus traditional marine coatings to reduce marine industry emissions while minimizing harm to marine life.
The development will include the synthesis of green chemistry formulations that will have surface characteristics that are repulsive to ocean micro-organisms and develop an “easy to clean effect,” other than being ultra-low drag surfaces so the ships will consume less fuel. Factors such as biofouling growth, adhesion of fouling organisms, types of fouling in each environmental, operational, and environmental impacts coating adhesion performance, effect of surface characteristics on shipping fuel efficiency, effect of VOC/GHG emissions on a global scale.
The project will consider marine coatings in its five stages, as follows: production of coating, application of coating, operation of the ship with coating, maintenance of the ship (hull cleaning and recoating if necessary), end of life and disposal.
This joint research program runs in the Halifax-Dartmouth technological park for 3 years. It encompasses three sub-projects:
- Life cycle assessment of Smart Marine Coatings – POSITION FILLED
- Study of the fundamental elements of biofouling growth on engineered surfaces – ONE (1) POSITION AVAILABLE
- Designing new marine coatings based on understanding the interplay between biofouling and corrosion: electrochemistry as a complementary tool for fundamental understandings of irreversible damage to engineering surfaces
- Development and characterization of durable foul release smart marine coatings – TWO (2) POSITIONS AVAILABLE
- Marine Vessel Drag Reduction with Smart Coatings
- Development and Characterization of Novel, Hard Foul-release Coasting for Environmentally-benign Marine Transportation Applications
The successful candidates must meet the admission requirements and apply to the project’s home department and university.
Designing new marine coatings based on understanding the interplay between biofouling and corrosion: electrochemistry as a complementary tool for fundamental understandings of irreversible damage to engineered surfaces
Supervisor: Dr. Heather Buckley, Departments of Civil Engineering and Chemistry, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC
Requirements: This project seeks a PhD candidate from anywhere in the world to lead a challenging collaborative interdisciplinary initiative that will fundamentally change how we approach design of antifouling marine materials.
- Research experience at undergraduate level, such as a summer internship, co-op term, honours thesis
- Strong written and oral communication skills Demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary work and desire to acquire diverse technical skills
- Demonstrated interest in applying a green chemistry/engineering and sustainability lens to technical challenges
- Demonstrated capacity for creative problem solving and balancing scientific rigour with engineering practicality
- Demonstrated willingness to engage with safety training and follow safety protocols in different work environments
- Demonstrated commitment to fostering a safe, equitable, diverse, and inclusive research environment
- Openness to extended travel across Canada on a schedule to be co-created with the team
- Research experience at MSc/MASc level with research productivity demonstrated by publication, patent, or other output as relevant to the nature of the work
- Experience with either electrochemistry and/or biofouling laboratory techniques
- Experience applying materials-related ASTM techniques
- Experience and knowledge in marine coatings
- Experience and knowledge in antifouling and anticorrosive coatings for the shipping industry
Marine Vessel Drag Reduction with Smart Coatings
Supervisor: Dr. Xili Duan, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, NL
Requirements: This project seeks a PhD candidate from anywhere in the world to lead a challenging collaborative project. The candidate must demonstrate academic excellence and relevant research skills/experience. This position requires fundamental knowledge in surface physics and chemistry, a background in fluid mechanics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), and experience in fluid flow experiments and simulations. The candidate must have finished an undergraduate degree or a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering or Chemical Engineering, or a similar engineering program with relevant courses in the areas listed above. Student excellence includes an outstanding academic record (high GPA) in the previous programs. Experience and knowledge in marine coatings and drag reduction research and antifouling and anticorrosive coatings for the shipping industry would be an asset. Previous research publication record is preferred.
Development and Characterization of Novel, Hard Foul-release Coasting for Environmentally-benign Marine Transportation Applications
Supervisor: Dr. Kevin Plucknett, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS.
Requirements: This project seeks a PhD candidate from anywhere in the world to lead a challenging collaborative project. The research programme will require prior experience in materials engineering to Masters level (i.e., a completed or soon-to-be-completed MASc). Preferably, this will include some background in polymeric coatings and their characterisation. This work will involve coating microstructural studies, so experience in utilising a variety of optical and electron microscopy techniques is desirable, along with coating property evaluation, preferably this will include experience in terms of mechanical properties assessment, corrosion testing, and/or tribological assessment methods. Experience and knowledge in marine coatings and antifouling and anticorrosive coatings for the shipping industry would be assets.
How to apply
Email your curriculum vitae and a cover letter outlining how your background demonstrates excellence and fits with the position, interest and any other relevant details to OGEN@oceanfi.ca by August 15. Applications received after this date may be considered.
The successful candidate must meet the admission requirements and apply to the project’s home department and university.