Photo Detector Based Measurement of Beta Radiation in Groundwater

Photo Detector Based Measurement of Beta Radiation in Groundwater

Supervisor: Dr Kelum Gamage

Description: The School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow is seeking a highly motivated graduate to undertake an exciting 3.5-year PhD project entitled ‘Photo Detector Based Measurement of Beta Radiation in Groundwater’ within the Systems, Power and Energy research group.

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. 

Funding notes: The studentship is supported in conjunction with an external funding body and the School of Engineering of the University of Glasgow, and it will cover home tuition fees and provide a stipend of £14,553 per annum for 3.5 years. 

How to Apply: For an informal discussion or for further information on this project, potential applicants are encouraged to contact Dr Kelum Gamage

Application for this scholarship is made by using the online system at the following link:

This application is to gain admission to our PGR programme, and an offer of admission may be sent out before a decision on this Scholarship is made. Candidates applying for this Scholarship will have their applications further vetted as to acceptability to this Scholarship and will most likely have an interview/discussion with the supervisor before any decision is made.

Deadline: 30 November 2017