What are aerosols?

An aerosol is a collection of solid particles or liquid droplets dispersed in air. Examples include smoke, fog, sea spray and pollution particles from vehicles. Particle sizes can range from the nanometre (a millionth of a millimetre) to the millimetre scale. Aerosols influence health, visibility, and global climate and find technological application in the delivery of drugs to the lungs, the engineering of nanostructures through spray drying, and the delivery of fuels for combustion.

Why study as part of the CDT in Aerosol Science?

An aerosol consists of solid particles or liquid droplets dispersed in a gas phase, with sizes spanning from clusters of molecules (nanometres) to rain droplets (millimetres). Not only will studying at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Aerosol Science for a PhD give you an opportunity to undertake leading research in aerosols, it will equip you with a unique mix of skills and experiences for your future career, including:

  • Comprehensive training in the core physical science of aerosols during the first 7 months of your PhD, hosted at the University of Bristol.
  • Engagement with a complementary area of aerosol science to your main PhD project during a thematic research broadening sabbatical.
  • Mentoring from an industrial supervisor with an opportunity to work with the industrial partner during a placement in year 2 or 3.
  • Experience of working in multidisciplinary teams, ensuring you have the agility to work at the interfaces of the traditional disciplines.
  • Opportunities to build a network for the future with a community across 8 universities and 50 industry and public sector partners.

The Aerosol Science CDT brings together leading academic teams across a range of schools and faculties at 8 UK universities with industrial and public-sector partners in the areas of healthcare, material science, energy and transport, environment, consumer products and agrochemicals.

Projects provide the opportunity to combine the very latest techniques, with new approaches.

Programme details

Our graduates will become agile experts, able to work at the many boundaries between the conventional disciplines where aerosols play a role.

After a period of intensive training hosted by the CDT hub at the University of Bristol during year 1, you will have the opportunity to build networks across the 8 universities, undertaking a short project at either your home institution or another partnering institution. These training elements will equip you for your PhD research in years 2-4.

Throughout your PhD, you will be supported by a mentoring team of two academic supervisors and an industrial partner. You will benefit from the diverse backgrounds of your peers, with training in year 1 using team-based learning. Cooperative learning groups in subsequent years will continue to provide opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and support.

You can find out more from the University of Bristol prospectus.

Year 1 training at the University of Bristol

Year 1 activities

  • Team-based learning
  • Journal club
  • Webinars
  • Training in programming & data analysis
  • PhD project brainstorming
  • Responsible innovation training
  • Public engagement
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Dragon’s den entrepreneurial challenge
  • Thematic broadening sabbatical

You will be based at the University of Bristol for the first seven months of your first year, and receive training in the underlying physical science governing the properties and transformation of aerosols. Training will be provided by CDT academics and industrial partners using a team-based learning approach.

You will also receive training in research methods, transferable skills and professionalism, and in entrepreneurism and the translation of research into new products, policy and practice.

You will then undertake a short thermatic research broadening sabbatical, giving you an opportunity to gain an insight into aerosols in an area complementary to your eventual PhD research.

Find out more about Bristol, a fantastic place to live and be based at the beginning of your PhD.

Research and training in years 2 to 4

Year 2 to 4 activities

  • PhD research
  • Placement with partner
  • Journal club
  • Webinars
  • Cooperative learning group
  • Summer schools
  • Aerosol Society events

From the end of year 1, you will be based in your home institution, undertaking groundbreaking research in your chosen area. You will receive continued mentoring from two academic supervisors and an industrial partner.  

In either year 2 or 3, you will have the opportunity to undertake a placement with the industrial partner, further developing your skills and gaining an experience of aerosol science outside academia.

Throughout years 2 to 4, you will continue to benefit from the network you have established in year 1, participating in virtual journal clubs and cooperative learning groups, and hearing about the latest research through our regular research webinars. 

Additional opportunities for training in specific advanced areas of aerosol science will be available during summer schools. You will build your professional network for the future through attending events organised by the UK and Ireland Aerosol Society.


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EPSRC CDT in Aerosol Science

University of Bristol
School of Chemistry
Cantock's Close
Bristol, BS8 1TS

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