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Physics PG Opportunities

Research Activity Overview

The research within the Department includes a diverse mix of projects of both a fundamental and an applied nature.  Research within the department is a vibrant group of faculty and postgraduate students. In terms of research areas, one of the main strengths is in the area of physics condensed matter and its applications. A number of faculty members are founding members of the Materials and Surface Science institute (MSSi).  The principal interests and activities are in the areas of semiconductors, copper metallization, advanced nano materials, magnetics, and thin film science and technology. Other interests include complex systems, physics education, medical instrumentation and renewable energy sources.  The work is in this area is world class.

Funding is mostly derived from external sources including EU, SFI, Enterprise Ireland, HEA and industry collaboration. The department has two Bernal Chairs, Bernal Chair in Energy and Bernal Chair in Microscopy & Imaging also involved in research.

For a more in-depth view of current research, please see research areas.

Current PhD Opportunities


PhD Scholarship: Computational Modelling of Protein-Surface Complexes


The successful applicant will join a team developing new computational tools to model the physicochemical properties of proteins as they adsorb on nanostructured surfaces.

The student training will include the acquisition of skills in scientific computing and application of computer modelling tools to design of advanced materials and bio-engineering.

The student will learn modelling techniques including quantum mechanical calculations, molecular dynamics and free energy simulations run on highly-parallelised supercomputers


Science and Engineering, Dept. of Physics / Bernal Institute

Entry Requirements

The candidate must have or expect to obtain a first or 2.1 Hons degree in physics / chemistry or equivalent degree and have a strong interest in molecular modelling.


EU level fees and a stipend of €18000 per annum for four years

Closing Date

The post will be advertised until the position is filled

Contact & How to apply

Dr Damien Thompson: email

Additional Information

 The starting date is April 3rd 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.


A PhD. studentship available! 

The available PhD studentship will involve collecting and processing data on the new FEI Titan Themis TEM here at UL to solve structure-property relationship problems. The most advanced TEM in Ireland, and one of the most advanced in Europe. 

Implementing new data processing algorithms and integrate/contribute them to the packages like: 



CCP4 (Now cited in 4 Nobel prizes as a key enabler of the scientific breakthrough)


Experience coding in Python/Matlab, and C useful, the use of Jupyter notebooks advantageous. 

Any interested student should contact me

Experience with the application of physics and computer science may be of great interest to some students given the recent interest by employers to have experience with understanding data analysis, and modelling as well as the ability to code.

A little about me:

My primary research is in Physics with the application of Crystallography and Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) to solve the structure-property relationship problems of hard (electronics) and soft matter (biological structures). Primarily using diffraction methods to solve crystal structures with reduced beam damage to the specimen.  

Recently I have been involved with developing new data formats to help cope with the increased data handling and processing that will be required to manage the latest generation of detectors which will run at 1600 frames per second, potentially producing several TB's of data per experiment. We incorporated compression algorithms Blosc and LZ4, and using JSON for metadata, into existing data formats and modified the processing of the data to produce a 1000% increase in transfer rate and processing speed. 


Dr Andy Stewart 

Department of Physics & Bernal Institute 

AD3-016 Analog Devices Building

University of Limerick 


V94 T9PX

Tel: +353 61 23 7733