Additive Manufacturing for Energetic Materials – PhD Studentship

Cranfield University - Defence and Security

Start Date: 1st February 2018

Duration of award: 3 years 


Dr. Ranko Vrcelj – Senior Lecturer, Centre for Defence Chemistry
Dr. Phil Gill – Senior Lecturer, Centre for Defence Chemistry

Funding: Sponsored by Defendtex (Australia), via a CRC-P Commonwealth Office Project, this studentship will provide a bursary of up to £16,000 - £19,000 p.a. (tax free) plus fees* for three years

Main Copy:

This PhD involves the development of Additive Manufacturing (AM, commonly called 3D printing) methods for applications in the defence sector. AM has been useful as a rapid prototyping method, but a variety of industries are now looking to develop this disruptive technology and make it industrially effective.

In everyday use, many materials are mixtures of different chemicals and this project aims to manufacture propellant devices that combine both an engineering (e.g. structural stability, geometry) and a chemical perspective (e.g. composition, burn rate) in a single AM device.

Further details of the research include:

  • Exploring the interaction of AM, geometry and chemistry.
  • Develop an effective and robust method for printing a variety of particle sizes or viscous pastes.
  • Develop an understanding of the relationship between the final printed device and the output of the chemical reactions occurring within the device.
  • Investigate parallel AM processes to develop a truly disruptive technology.

The results of the project will have significant impact on the development of agile manufacturing, providing industry with a flexibility previously only dreamt of.

The student will be based at the Cranfield University site within the Defence Academy of the UK and will part of the Centre for Defence Chemistry.

As a part of working in this sponsored project, the student will work in close collaboration with Defendtex, Flinders University, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and DST.

Interviews will take place from 14th December.

Entry requirements:

Applicants should have a first or second class UK honours degree or equivalent in a related discipline, such as engineering, chemistry or physics. The ideal candidate should have some understanding in the area of programming, design, experimental skills and industrial service delivery. The candidate should be self-motivated, have good communication skills for regular interaction with other stakeholders, with an interest for industrial research.

EU candidates require suitable IELTS (or related qualifications) scores to be eligible for this role.

Funding requirements:

To be eligible for this funding, applicants must be a UK or EU national.We require that applicants are under no restrictions regarding how long they can stay in the UK i.e. have no visa restrictions or applicant has “settled status” and has been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to start of studies and has not been residing in the UK wholly or mainly for the purpose of full-time education. (This does not apply to UK or EU nationals). 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. Ranko Vrcelj, E:

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

Centre: Defence Chemistry

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