PhD position: Applying and developing computer simulation approaches to better understand the formation of ice

PhD positions in theory and simulation of materials are available at University College London

The theoretical/simulation projects in Prof. Angelos Michaelides’ ICE research group are aimed at applying and developing computer simulation approaches to better understand the formation of ice.

Ice formation is one of the most common phase transitions on Earth. It is relevant to an enormous variety of phenomena such as weathering, cloud formation, airline safety, and energy. However, despite having been studied since antiquity, our molecular level understanding of ice formation is very poor. In particular, almost all ice formation in nature is aided by impurities or the surfaces of foreign materials, yet how surfaces act to facilitate ice formation (heterogeneous ice nucleation) is unclear. Given the ubiquity of ice nucleation, this is arguably one of the biggest unsolved problems in the physical sciences. The PhD projects will focus on applying and developing computer simulation approaches to better understand ice formation on solid substrates. The overall aim is to establish what makes a material good or bad at nucleating ice. The results from this project will not only shed light on an important everyday process but may also help to improve climate models and develop improved cloud seeding materials, or inhibitor coatings for industrial purposes (or maybe even better tasting ice cream)!

The successful applicants will work as part of an international interdisciplinary group, with plenty of opportunities to work closely with the other team members on the project and for international travel to conferences and to collaborators.

Applicants should have (or expect by September 2018) at least a 2.1 MSci (or the equivalent from a non-UK university) in physics, chemistry, materials or a related discipline.

The positions provide funding (stipend and tuition fees) for UK and EU students. However, to be eligible the candidate must have resided in the UK for three years prior to September 2018.

Initial inquiries should be made by sending an up to date CV (including a list of courses taken and marks obtained) and cover letter to Professor Angelos Michaelides (

For more details on research carried out in the Michaelides group,



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