PhD Research Studentship: Design and optimisation of 3D woven composite preforms

University of Nottingham

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham. The successful candidate will be based in the Composites Research Group.

Project Description

Composite preforms such I and T-beams are used in many engineering applications, for example as stiffeners in the aerospace industry. In many cases these preforms are produced using layers of woven material but, more recently, methods of weaving the geometry using complex 3D weaves have been developed. This both enhances the properties of the parts and improves manufacturing time. Recent work has shown that the weave patterns used to create such components have a significant impact on their strength making the ability to model and subsequently optimise them important.

The aim of this project is to develop a novel tool for designing these composite shaped preforms. This will involve the development of methods for creating complex weaves using the in-house geometric textile modelling software, TexGen ( ), and will incorporate weave optimisation based on material properties and size constraints, leading to a step change in the modelling and design capability for these types of 3D woven parts.

Requirements for the Studentship

  • Enthusiastic and hard-working student with an excellent MEng (at least the equivalent of a UK 2.1 class degree) or MSc (at least the equivalent of a UK Pass with Merit) or equivalent degree in engineering, mathematics, physics or related discipline.
  • Experience in numerical modelling and good programming skills are essential.
  • Good communication skills in both written and spoken English

The studentship will cover PhD tuition fees for UK/EU candidates and a tax free stipend for three years (£14,296 for the 2016-17 academic year).

The studentship is expected to start from 1st December 2016.

Informal enquiries may be addressed to Dr Louise Brown ( 

Formal applications can be made online through the University website:

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Midlands of England