Manufacturing 3D metamaterials: SYMETA project (Synthesizing 3D Metamaterials for RF, microwave and THz applications)

Loughborough University

Starting: January 2017. Would consider July or October 2017
Interviews: 14th December 2016
Primary supervisor:  Dr Daniel Engstrom
Secondary supervisor: Professor Vaidhy Vaidhyanathan

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014). Of the work of Loughborough’s staff who were eligible for REF submission, 66% was judged ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average of 43%.

You’ll work alongside research leaders and benefit from support from our Graduate School, including careers advice.  

You will work on EPSRC’s £4million Grand Challenge: SYMETA investigating the use, design and 3D printing/Additive Manufacturing (AM) of metamaterials for high frequency electronics. This is an opportunity to join world-leading research academics led by Loughborough University in collaboration with Exeter, Oxford, Queen Mary’s and Sheffield Universities. The consortium involves researchers in Materials, Manufacturing, Physics and Electronics augmented by strong industrial support.

We envisage introducing novel metamaterial structures to radicalise design and manufacture of electronics. The metamaterials will give end-users required EM responses for many communication, electronics and defence applications, and be manufactured with bespoke dielectric, metallic and magnetic materials using additive processes. They will facilitate multi-component systems, with elements such as inductors, capacitors, and resistors through to transmission lines, matching circuits and filters, to be created in hybrid and multi system AM – reducing waste, cost and timescales.

Combining Metamaterials and AM presents an opportunity to contribute to the state-of-the-art in future communications technologies. You will use existing AM technologies and develop and build 3D printers to make the challenging multi-component multi-material metamaterials. You will work with new materials that have never been printed before. Collaborators will design communications devices that have so far been impossible to manufacture but will be realized by you using AM.

We are looking for a motivated individual with the skills to build new AM processes and to work with and characterize materials and printed structures. Ideally you will have experience in assembling and programming electronic components as well as material and device characterization using optical and electron microscopy and other techniques. Experience with AM processes and CAD drawing would be beneficial.


  • Exposure to many engineering disciplines within a world class team.
  • Working on a national research programme with industry engagement.
  • Opportunities for personal and professional development.

Learn more:

Students will hold, or expect to gain, either a 1st or 2:1 in Mechanical, Manufacturing, Electrical Engineering, Material Science, Physics or other related engineering or science discipline, or a relevant Master’s degree with final mark higher than 65%. Experience in programming, electronics, material characterization, AM processes and/or CAD drawing will be an advantage.

The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,296 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. International (non EU) students may apply however the total value of the studentship will be used towards the cost of the International tuition fee in the first instance.

Dr Daniel Engstrom (, Prof Vaidhy Vaidhyanathan ( or Dr Darren Cadman ( 

Apply at Under programme name, select ‘Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering’

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Midlands of England