PhD Studentship - Microstructural and Surface Integrity in Machining of Specialist Composite Materials for Next Generation Aero-Engine Applications

University of Nottingham

Applicants are invited to undertake a 3-year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in 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.

We are seeking applications for an anticipated September 2017 start, or earlier (depending on the candidate availability), on a project with Rolls-Royce plc. The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding machining activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with in-depth investigations of the response of difficult-to-cut materials to various machining operations in the scope of robust manufacture of safety critical aero-engine components.

The project will seek an understanding of the microstructural changes during machining of anisotropic, heterogeneous and semi-brittle composite materials for high temperature applications used in the latest generations of civil and military aero-engines. This will involve using performance monitoring techniques during the machining such as dynamometers, high-speed imaging systems, accelerometers and acoustic emissions sensors; complemented with advanced material characterisation techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), 3D optical profilometry and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).

This project will also involve an analytical/numerical modelling of the material micro-mechanical behaviour during the machining process with the aim of understanding and predicting the surface integrity and mechanisms of material damage (i.e. fibre pull out, delamination, crack formation or local deformations). Internationally recognised Rolls-Royce specialists in the field will be available throughout the project to provide the PhD student with support and guidance if required.

For mutual interest the project can be offered as a "package" - this will include:

  • Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce for a period to be agreed. The training will enable the understanding of the technical issues related to the project, as well as developing a good partnership with the appropriate technical teams.
  • Joint academic and industrial supervision. In this way, the student will develop both academic and industrial skills with multiple career opportunities at the end of the PhD study.
  • For PhD students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in teaching activities will be sought.

The scholarship on offer (to eligible students) comprises a tax-free stipend of £16,000 a year; tuition fees paid and a generous study package.

This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second class graduate in mechanical/manufacturing/materials science/physics to develop strong knowledge in both manufacturing and material science while building strong relationships with both academic and industrial areas at an international level. Graduates finishing their degrees in June 2017 are also encouraged to apply.

Eligibility: Due to the nature of funding only UK/EU applicants can be considered for this position.

Please contact the UTC director, Prof. Dragos Axinte, for further information.

Emaildragos.axinte@nottingham.ac.ukTel: 011595 14117

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

Midlands of England