PhD Opportunities at University College Dublin Ireland: Computer Modelling and Simulation of Alloy Melting and Solidification in 3D Printing of Metals

University College Dublin

4-year scholarship to cover PhD fees for EU students, stipend, and travel expenses. 2018 start.

The new I-Form Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre, funded by Science Foundation Ireland and based at University College Dublin (UCD), will draw together research expertise from academia and industry to deliver innovation in additive manufacturing (AM) techniques and processes. I-Form research combines novel metrology, modelling, data analytics and control theory to achieve significantly enhanced AM processing efficiency for metals and polymers.

For AM of metallic alloys, we will develop and validate new models for the simulation of powder flow, metal melting, melt flow, metal solidification, and microstructure evolution, as well as constitutive models of resulting mechanical properties. The overall goal is to deliver a process-structure-property through-process model for the first time.

As part of this new research programme, Prof. David Browne is recruiting two PhD students to work on the computational modelling topics below.

1. Develop surface and microstructural computational models of AM processing.

Develop models of surface melting of powders and free surface of molten alloy using Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics formulation. Develop model of nucleation of solid and high resolution microstructural evolution using Phase Field methods. Coupling of length scales to meso-scale models of solidification and CFD. Simulations of surface and microstructural evolution using the new models.

2. Develop meso-scale computational models of evolving columnar and equiaxed dendritic crystals during AM processing.

Develop Front Tracking (FT) models of the formation of columnar zones, and competing equiaxed zones leading to columnar-to-equiaxed transition during solidification of melt pool in AM. Devise a model, based on Cellular Automata (CA), of the nucleation and growth of individual columnar and equiaxed grains during alloy solidification. Extension of both FT and CA models to treat multiple passes in powder bed fusion added manufacturing. Coupling to macro-scale CFD models. Simulation of multi-pass AM processes.

Expertise and Education required

Upper Honours Bachelors or Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering, Materials Engineering, or Metallurgy. The candidate should have excellent communication skills – written and oral – in English, good mathematical and computer skills, and be capable of team-work.

Interested graduates, or current final year students, should send their CV, indicating preferred PhD project, along with a cover letter, to:

Professor David J. Browne
School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering
University College Dublin
Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland,
Tel. +353 1 716 1901                                      preferably via email:

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Republic of Ireland