Novel Fabrication and Characterisation of Defence Structures – PhD Studentship

Cranfield University - Defence and Security

Start Date: As soon as possible (1st February 2017)

Duration of award: 3.5 years


Dr. Ranko Vrcelj – Senior Lecturer in Ordnance Science and Technology
Professor Jackie Akhavan – Head of the Centre for Defence Chemistry

Sponsored by DSTL, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £15,000 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for three and a half years

Additive manufacturing, sometimes called 3D printing (3DP) has become the subject of intense scrutiny over the past few years. A wide number of industries are looking to use this technique to develop disruptive technologies, in particular across engineering platforms.

It is well understood that pyrotechnic devices combine engineering and chemistry to create a single device that can deliver a chemical payload to perform a specific function. Historically, these devices have proved to be effective in deployment and relatively cheap and easy to manufacture. However, as requirements change so does the nature of pyrotechnic devices and it is understood that current manufacturing may not be able to stand up to future challenges, predominantly from a formulation and design perspective.

This project will undertake the fabrication of a pyrotechnic device that is capable of being tuned to specific needs (i.e. disruptive capability), by developing an agile manufacturing process, allowing both geometric and chemical composition of a pyrotechnic to be controlled using novel 3DP or other methods

The student will be based at the Cranfield University site within the Defence Academy of the UK and will part of the Centre for Defence Chemistry.

As a part of working in this industrially sponsored project, the student will work in close collaboration with DSTL, and will need to present their research findings regularly to the project team.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a Physical Science or Engineering discipline, although others are welcome to apply. A strong practical background in computing, formulation, engineering, chemistry, materials would be an advantage. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.

Funding requirements:

* To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK national.We require that applicants are under no restrictions regarding how long they can stay in the UK i.e. have no visa restrictions or applicant has “settled status” and has been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to start of studies and has not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals). The Studentship will cover full tuition fees and living expenses with a tax free stipend of £15,000 per annum for 3 to 3.5 years.

How to apply:

For further information please contact: Dr. Ranko Vrcelj E:

Centre: Centre for Defence Chemistry

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