EngD: Fixture and strategy definition for aerofoil manufacturing - sponsored by Senior Aerospace Weston

University of Sheffield - Senior Aerospace Weston & EPSRC

Start date: 3 September 2018
Duration: 4 years
Stipend: Tax free stipend of £18,000 per year, plus all tuition fees paid at UK/EU rates.
Applications deadline: 30 November 2017 

Please check eligibility requirements before applying.

Project Description

Senior Aerospace (Senior), the parent company of the Weston site, has a requirement for repeatable and reliable fixturing. There is also a need to reduce cost by revising aerofoil fixturing across the component range. Senior manufacture a large range of aerofoils with varying geometry, including single and double ended shrouded blades.

This project has been commissioned to investigate the fixture designs used in a range of aerofoil components. This includes part alignment, machining dynamics, cutting forces and part deflection and distortion. There is also a need to design economic fixturing solutions by extending the useful life of these assets. Where possible if a fixture can be used for multiple component standards this should be considered against process flow and life of the fixture.

The foundation to the fixturing design for flexible components is a good understanding of the tool, work piece, fixture and machine dynamics. The project will develop method for testing and optimising the structural dynamics of the machining setup to allow new fixture designs to be implemented safely. The project will first investigate machining dynamics theory, which will include both modelling and physical testing of the system. In order to show value to the industry sponsor, there will be an emphasis on fixture design and testing, including the properties of damping materials, and the application of state of the art tool path optimisation software.

A further aspect to the work will be the use of advanced metrology in order to ensure a robust and repeatable process. This includes new measurement and part datuming methods and statistical process control.

Entry requirements and eligibility

Due to EPSRC residency requirements, this project is open only to UK and EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for at least 3 years immediately preceding the start of the course (see How to Apply section).

Applicants must have, or expect to get, a good Masters-level degree (e.g. 1st or 2.i MEng degree or MSc with Merit) or an exceptional BEng, in a relevant science or engineering subject such as applied mathematics, statistics, physics, electrical and electronic engineering, systems and control engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, or computer science.

Candidates must also be able show that their English language proficiency is at a level which allows them to successfully complete the EngD. All applicants require an English language qualification, typically a GCSE or an IELTS test (a score of 7 or above is required, with a minimum of 6 in each component).

If in doubt about any aspect of Eligibility, please email idc-machining-science@sheffield.ac.uk for clarification.

How to Apply

For an informal discussion, in the first instance please contact the IDC Centre Team via idc-machining-science@sheffield.ac.uk.

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