Technical Specialist Electrochemistry

Manchester Metropolitan University

Manchester, UK 🇬🇧

Manchester Metropolitan University is a pioneer of modern education since its origins in 1824 and sits in the top 200 young universities in the world. The University is committed to providing excellent education to transform our students’ lives, and to delivering high quality research with powerful real-world impacts and benefits, as evidenced by our highly successful REF outcome. We are one of the top modern universities for research quality: 30% of our research is considered world leading (4*) and 90% of our research impact is rated ‘world leading’ (4*) or ‘internationally excellent’ (3*).

The Department of Natural Sciences is a large and successful academic community of staff and students in the Faculty of Science and Engineering. It is committed to achieving high-quality teaching, research and enterprise. The Department delivers courses to over 1000 students across Undergraduate, and Postgraduate programmes. The Department has trailblazing specialisms with global impact and a long track record of securing research funding – the current portfolio of funded projects from research councils, charities, the EU, and Innovate UK. We deliver work with real-world impact, and cultivate lasting relationships with businesses, the government and the general public to share our innovation and expertise. We are ambitious to build on our recent highly successful REF outcomes.

Project background

As the global population is increasingly found within urban conurbations, there is an ever-growing demand to resource these population centres with safe drinkable water. However, the aging/inadequate water infrastructure present within many cities results in severe problems, arising from contaminants (particularly heavy metals) entering the domestic water supply. These heavy metal contaminants not only occur due to leaching from the existing water infrastructure but are also a result of anthropogenic, agricultural, mining and industrial activities, which have drastically increased the levels of such metals within the environment. Heavy metals (HM) that commonly occur as contaminants within domestic water supplies are As3+, Pb2+, Cu2+, Cr6+ and Cd2+, although copper for example is considered nutritionally essential for human beings,4 heavy metals are toxic at high concentrations.

Manchester Metropolitan University in partnership with US DEVCOM have identified that lead and Arsenic are members of a long list of contaminants that have negative health consequences (i.e. Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, pesticides, etc). As new regulations are adopted by the UK and foreign governments to tackle these, it is essential that water providers can identity these target contaminants in as accurate and timely manner as possible. Consequently, this role aims to develop next generation electrochemical based sensors by expanding the remit of a pre-existing electrochemical sensor for it to be able to detect multiple heavy metal contaminants simultaneously.

The project outcome will be novel, never reported electrochemical configurations to provide step-changes in electrochemical performance,  once understood, can be exploited for the target analytes mentioned above. Whilst this represents a significant challenge, due to complexity of detecting the contaminants at very low (parts per billion) concentrations whilst an avoiding interferents from a complex water matrix, this work has the potential to have a significant impact within the domestic and global water industry.


The proposed project is 12 months in duration and requires one Technical Specialist 

We are seeking a suitably qualified candidate, PhD and post-doc experience in Chemistry, electrochemistry, Materials Science or another related subject. We expect some experience of analytical equipment and analysis (ICP, XRD, XPS, Raman etc). Ideally a candidate would have experience specifically with the electrochemical detection of heavy metals ( As3+ and Pb2+) in non-pure water sources.


Applicants should have a PhD and postdoctoral experience in electrochemistry, analytical techniques and materials science.

For informal enquiries, please contact) Dr Samuel James Rowley-Neale( and Prof Craig Banks (

This is a fixed-term opportunity for 12 months with the potential to extend for an additional 24 months.

In recognition of staff contributions to the University’s achievements during the 2021/2022 academic year, an additional discretionary payment of 2% per annum will be added to your salary until 31/07/23 in order to ensure consistency amongst existing and incoming staff.  This additional 2% will be paid pro rata in equal monthly installments, on top of your salary each month until 31/07/23.

Manchester Metropolitan University is committed to supporting the rights, responsibilities, dignity, health and wellbeing of staff and students through our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion.

We promote applications from all sections of the community, irrespective of background, belief or identity, recognising the benefits that a diverse organisation can bring . We particularly encourage applications from Black and Minority Ethnic candidates, who we recognise are underrepresented in this area.

We recognise the benefits and importance of an environment that supports flexible working and are open to conversations about this throughout the application process.






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