Flashlamp Technology for Composites Manufacture – Four-year EngD position with Heraeus Noblelight, Cambridge, UK

Cranfield University

Start Date: ASAP

Duration of award: 4 years

Supervisors:
Dr Alex Skordos - Cranfield University
Dr Dmitry Ivanov - University of Bristol

Industrial supervisor:
Dr David Williams - Heraeus Noblelight

This EngD project targets the development, optimisation and integration of the technology to address processes such as Automated Fibre Placement, Thermoforming and Filament Winding.

The aerospace industry has identified the extensive utilisation of advanced composites as one of the major routes of greening air transport through reduced fuel consumption and weight savings. The manufacture of aerospace composite structures is associated with high cost due to low production rates, the complexity of the processes involved and the value of capital equipment required. This makes the broad adoption of composite solutions feasible only in wide-body aircraft, with the great majority of smaller aircraft designs using composites only selectively in critical areas.

Heraeus Noblelight has invented a breakthrough heating system based on their Xenon flashlamp technology which is capable of providing pulsed, broadband energy for the processing of composites. This has the potential of lowering manufacturing cost and increasing production rates sufficiently to expand the applicability of composite materials in aircraft and components outside their current feasibility envelope. 

The work will involve the investigation of the physics governing the interaction of pulsed flashlamp light with the composite material during manufacture, the development of predictive models of the processes involved, the design and implementation of process trials and material characterisation experiments, the optimisation of processing conditions  and the evaluation of process outcome using testing.

The project will be based at Heraeus Noblelight on the Cambridge Science Park, where the Research Engineer will join a team of skilled and highly motivated industry experts. In addition to the research activities the Research Engineer will be involved in all stages of product development including wider dissemination, design reviews and end user trials.

The successful candidate will spend 75% of their time working on the industry-led research project at Heraeus Noblelight, with the remaining time allocated to attending specialist taught units at the National Composites Centre in Bristol. The candidate will be registered as an EngD student at Cranfield University.

Entry requirements:
Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science, Physics, Chemistry or Chemical Engineering,. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of composites manufacture as well as polymers.

Funding:
Sponsored by the Industrial Doctorate Centre (IDC) in Composites Manufacture (University of Bristol) and Heraeus Noblelight Limited, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £20,000 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for four years.

The funding is subject to UK/EU citizenship. Due to funding restrictions, all EU nationals are eligible to receive a fees-only award if they do not have “settled status” in the UK.

How to apply:
For further information please contact: Dr Alex Skordos, email: a.a.skordos@cranfield.ac.uk or Dr David Williams, email: david.williams@heraeus.com

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:
School of Aerospace, Transport and Manufacturing
T: 44 (0)1234 8083
E: study@cranfield.ac.uk

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Type / Role:

PhD

Location(s):

South East England