Formulation Studies for Additive Manufacturing of 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
Ms. Sally Gaulter – Senior Research Fellow, 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 is based around the development of novel formulations for use in 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.

Current usage of defence items have well-regulated formulations regarding composition and particle size, however with the advent of AM and the possibilities that come with modern technology, reformulation of existing systems will be required, whether this be a simple change in particle size due to the AM process, or the ability to manufacture nano-particles and their subsequent use in the AM manufacturing process.

 Further details of the research include:

  • Exploration of the requirements of particle sizes in the AM process.
  • Developing new formulations for use within AM.
  • The manufacture and use of nano-particulates in AM processes
  • Testing of the physico-chemical properties of the manufactured items.

The results of the project will be at the forefront of developments in defence science and are aimed to providing a robust and reliable manufacturing method for future usage.

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 industrially 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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