Four-year EngD scholarship with Bombardier Transportation: “Composite Axle for Rail and Tram Applications”

University of Bristol - Faculty of Engineering (University of Nottingham)

Project Title: Composite Axle for Rail and Tram Applications

(This project is being offered by the Industrial Doctorate Centre in Composites Manufacture, which is a Bristol led collaboration). Please note: This project will be supervised by Dr Mike Johnson at the University of Nottingham and the successful candidate will be registered to the University of Nottingham.

Project Outline:

Applications are invited for a fully funded Research Engineer working towards a qualification as an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in Composites Manufacture. This is a four-year programme where the successful applicant will be working predominantly at Bombardier Transportation, Derby, UK. ( 

Project Description:

This project aims to design a hollow, polymer composite axle which joins to the adjacent, metallic wheelset components. This will require an understanding of the complex loading conditions on the axle, joining techniques and an appreciation of composite manufacturing methods.  

A parallel task within the project will be to explore the latest defect monitoring and assessment techniques as applied to composite materials and to devise a programme of testing to build a case for railway acceptance.

The Successful applicant will be based at Bombardier Transportation in Derby, UK and will:

  • Work under the supervision of the Head of Mechanical Design and the Director of Structural Integrity at Bombardier Transportation
  • Will have regular contact with an academic supervisor at the University of Nottingham whose research area is in Polymer Composites and Joining Technologies.
  • Will complete ten, one-week long Masters level taught units in the first two years of the programme.

Project start date: Candidates should be available to start on 1st October 2017.

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: Bombardier Transportation, Derby

How to apply: Online applications can be submitted via the web, quoting the project title on the application form

About the IDC and the EngD programme:

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

Candidate requirements: 


Applicants should hold or expect to obtain a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline, such as engineering or physics. Students with a materials background are particularly encouraged to apply. Candidates should be self-motivated and capable of studying under pressure to meet deliverables. They should also have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders. A good basis in Mechanics of Solids and Dynamics would be advantageous along with practical laboratory skills.


Stipend: £20k p.a.

Standard EPSRC studentship eligibility criteria apply:


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

For further information regarding this project please contact Dr Michael Johnson,
(Please note: applications sent to this address will not be accepted)

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Midlands of England