Rolls Royce / EPSRC sponsored PhD scholarship - The design of high performance rotary friction tooling systems for the manufacture of next-generation aero-engine components through the application process modelling

University of Nottingham

Applications are invited to undertake a 3½ year PhD programme in partnership with industry, with an aim to address a key challenge in advanced manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in manufacturing technology and on-wing repair at the University of Nottingham.

We are seeking applicants to start before September 2016 on this Rolls Royce / EPSRC funded project.

The studentship is targeted at the design and process modelling of innovative rotary fiction welding tooling and fixturing for advanced aero-engine components. The proposed research project will focus upon the development of novel tooling and fixturing systems to facilitate the reliable and repeatable manufacture of geometrically complex aero-engine components. The innovative designs generated during the project will be supported scientifically by the appropriate modelling (e.g. finite element and numeric) of the mechanical/thermal loading of the tooling and component during this high force manufacturing process. Further to this, the proposed designs and models will be validated and demonstrated thorough the development of working prototypes and test rigs, which will aim to replicate the tooling’s use within a real world manufacturing environment. This is an exciting PhD project which offers a unique and challenging mixture of: practical experimentation, mechanical design, finite element process modelling and traditional academic research.

This project has the potential to be of pivotal importance to Rolls-Royce, offering the company the opportunity to be more agile in the realisation of next generation gas-turbine projects.

We are seeking talented candidates with:

  • First or upper second class degree in mechanical/manufacturing/physics or related scientific discipline.
  • First rate analytical and numerical skills, with a well rounded academic background.
  • The ability to produce high quality presentations and written reports.
  • A well demonstrated background in CAD software and mechanical design, with an eye for creative solutions.
  • A sound foundation in the use of Finite Element (FE) modelling software (knowledge of thermal and/or high stress load systems would be especially beneficial)
  • Some familiarity with tooling (i.e injection moulding processes) and/or fixturing would be very advantageous.
  • A driven, professional and self-dependent work attitude is essential for the successful candidate.
  • Experience of working within industry will be an advantage, but not essential.

This is an excellent opportunity to work on an industry-based (Rolls Royce) manufacturing research project, to gain a Doctorate and develop leadership skills in preparation for a high-impact, high-technology research career.

The scholarship on offer (to eligible students) comprises a tax-free stipend of at least £14,296 per annum; tuition fees paid and a generous study package (e.g. research consumables, travel budget and industrial training when appropriate).

  • A generous fully-funded 3½ year doctorate programme, that integrates an industry based doctoral research project with research training in technical subjects and interdisciplinary skills.
  • Supervision from international leaders in advanced manufacturing technologies.
  • For students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in teaching activities will be available.

Eligibility: Only UK Higher Education “Home Fee” status applicants and EU residents satisfying the three-year residency requirement are eligible.

Please contact the UTC director for further information. UTC director: Prof. Dragos Axinte. Email: Tel: 011595 14117
Please quote ref. ENG994  

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Midlands of England