Four-Year EngD Scholarship with the National Composites Centre: “Design for Manufacture for Low Volume High Integrity Aerospace Components”

University of Bristol - Faculty of Engineering

Project Outline:

The purpose of this project is to develop and prove design, analysis, and production methods for the manufacture of low volume, high integrity carbon composite aerospace components. This will develop the NCC’s workflow for composites design and enable the NCC to better support the aerospace supply chain. We aim to demonstrate and promote the UK and Bristol as a centre of excellence for aerospace composites structural design and manufacture in the global market.

Carbon fibre composites are increasingly used in the aerospace industry for structural components. Their current use is dependent on extensive characterization and testing programs, and trial manufacturing, in order to achieve the level of integrity required to certify components. In order to reduce costs in the aerospace industry and to increase adoption of composites in OEMs and the SMEs in the aerospace supply chain, the design, analysis, and production processes must be established, proven, and easily adoptable.

The process for component development must consider the following:

  • Technical and commercial requirements capture.
  • Concept development.
  • Materials and process selection.
  • Material characterization.
  • CAD modelling.
  • Analysis and validation/verification of analysis.
  • Manufacturing process simulation and optimization.
  • Lifecycle and cost modelling.

Key deliverables:

  • The design of carbon fibre composite components which are:
    • Suitable for the integrity requirements of an aerospace component.
    • Capable of being certified.
    • Capable of being manufactured.
    • Supported by processes and specifications to OEM supplier standards, including tooling and manufacturing specifications.

Training elements that are relevant to this project include:

  • Constituent materials in carbon fibre composites.
  • CAD for composites design and manufacture.
  • Manufacturing process simulation.
  • Micro/macro-scale structural modelling including failure.
  • Process monitoring in composites manufacture.
  • Certification requirements and standards for aerospace components.

Project start date: As soon as possible.

PLEASE NOTE: Applications are considered as soon as they are received, and the position will be allocated as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

Location: National Composites Centre, Bristol.

How to apply: If you are interested in applying for this EngD project please send your CV, covering letter and academic transcript to

About the IDC and the EngD programme:

For further information about the IDC and the EngD programme please visit: ttp://

Candidate requirements:


An upper second-class degree (or equivalent qualification) in an appropriate discipline.


Stipend: £20k p.a.

Standard EPSRC studentship eligibility criteria apply:


For further information about the IDC and the EngD programme please visit: or contact:

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South West England