Rolls-Royce Sponsored PhD Scholarship – Control and Navigation of Specialist Robot for Aero-engine On-wing Repair

University of Nottingham - Engineering

Location: UK Other

Applications are invited to undertake a 3 ½ year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in on-platform manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-wing Technology at the University of Nottingham. Having state-of-the-art purpose built facilities, the UTC offers a world-class environment for the realisation of high impact research projects.

This project is in relation to the technical needs of Rolls-Royce to develop automatic and hybrid tooling solutions to enable in-situ/on-wing repair and maintenance of gas turbine engines.

At the Rolls-Royce UTC at University of Nottingham we have developed in-house robotic systems capable to navigate into crammed/hazardous environments and then, perform inspection and active operations such as machining. This is driven by the need to carry out repair tasks without the need of disassembly of the industrial installations. We have developed the following robots:



Continuum robots:

Hybrid robot:

This project builds on these research/industrial successes and proposes control solutions for automated robotic systems capable to be teleoperated using smart human-machine interface devices.

We are seeking talented candidates with:

  1. First or upper second class degree in mechatronics /robotics /cybernetics /mechanical or related scientific discipline.
  2. First rate analytical and numerical skills, with a well-rounded academic background.
  3. Demonstrated ability to develop mechatronics/precision mechanical devices
  4. Ability to develop kinematic and/or dynamic analysis of mechanical/robotic systems
  5. Ability to simulate of complex mechatronics and to use finite element modelling
  6. Ability to implement control and kinematics with hardware - in- the – loop
  7. Background with relevant packages, e.g. Matlab, C++, LabView
  8. A driven, professional and self-dependent work attitude is essential for the successful candidate
  9. Experience of working within industry will be an advantage
  10. The ability to produce high quality presentations and written reports

It is an excellent opportunity to work on a novel robotic system with strong links to industrial applications and key kills and knowledge in preparation for a high-impact, high-technology academic research or industrial career.

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

  • A generous fully-funded 3.5 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 robotics for in-situ processing technologies.

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: 0115 951 4117

Deadline: Until the position is filled.

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Midlands of England