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Lancaster University PhD Studentship in Nuclear and Electronic Engineering in UK, 2017

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The Lancaster University, Engineering Department is offering a for fully funded PhD Studentship – Photo Detector Based Measurement of Beta Radiation in Groundwater.

Brief Description

This project will investigate GaAs photo-detectors to detect beta particle emissions from strontium-90. The development of this device will permit the in-situ measurement of total beta in groundwater relatively quickly. The potential student will join the Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Group in the Engineering Department at Lancaster University, one of the leading research groups in the world working on digital nuclear instrumentation.The project is supported by funding from the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Next Generation Nuclear and Sellafield Ltd. The student will also work closely with the experts at Sellafield Ltd and National Nuclear Laboratory.

Eligibility: Potential candidates for this position should have or expect to achieve a first-class or upper second class degree in Nuclear / Electronics / Electrical / Computing / Physics (or in a similar discipline) or equivalent relevant experience. Due to funding regulations application is restricted to UK/EU students and appointment will always be made on merit.

Supervisor: Dr Kelum Gamage

Radiologically contaminated land is present on a number of the UK’s nuclear licensed sites relating to historical leaks and spills. The presence of this contamination and the ongoing industrial management of radioactive wastes require that the groundwater on these sites is routinely monitored for radioactivity. The default method for groundwater radiological monitoring is by manual sampling of waters in boreholes followed by laboratory analysis via mass spectrometry or activity measurement.

This project will investigate GaAs photo-detectors to detect beta particle emissions from strontium-90. Photo-detectors contain PIN photodiodes, where incident beta particles create electron-hole pairs in the diode’s depletion layer. This generates a current pulse, which can then be amplified and processed to investigate the presence and concentration of strontium-90 contamination in groundwater. The development of this device will permit the in-situ measurement of total beta in groundwater relatively quickly, without generating additional waste or without the need of secondary analysis of samples in a laboratory. It will also reduce the field labour requirement and hence dose to workers.

Scholarship Deadline: Application deadline is August 31, 2017.

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