PhD Studentship - Laser Modification of Diamond Structures for Advanced Automotive and Aerospace Applications

Loughborough University

Application details:

Start date: 1st October 2018

Closing date: 9th March 2018


Primary supervisor: Dr Manuela Pacella

Secondary supervisor: Prof John Tyrer

Intro (standard):

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity (REF2014) and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:

Diamond and boron nitride cutting tools are widely used in the machining of automotive and aerospace parts because of their durability and high wear performances. One of the current industrial challenges is that microstructurally different materials are designed to suit a specific application, leading to a time consuming design/manufacturing process. It is therefore important to find alternative technologies which could improve manufacturing efficiency. This project aims at investigating laser technology for increasing efficiency and productivity of manufacturing processes. In fact, laser technology has proved to enable the conversion of ultra-hard grains into their soft phases (graphite/cubic boron nitride) allowing in-situ material modification and cutting tool self-lubrication.

The successful candidate is expected to investigate the effect of different laser sources in micro-structurally different ultra-hard materials, find innovative ways to apply holographic optics to control the energy density profile in processing these materials and ultimately develop a technology which will enable material self-lubrication in the machining of components.

This research will benefit from direct involvement of industrial partners including ultra-hard material and cutting tool manufacturers, helping the candidate to build a strong understanding of the machining involved in automotive and aerospace industries.

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Entry requirements:

Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree (or equivalent) in Manufacturing/Materials Engineering or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: laser processing, material design and machining.

Funding information:

Please note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis to applicants who have applied to this project and/or the following 30 projects that have been prioritised for funding; job advert ref: WS01 – WS30

If awarded, each 3 year studentship will provide a tax-free stipend of £14,786 p.a ( provisional), plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate (currently £4,262 p.a). While we welcome applications from non EU nationals, please be advised that due to funding restrictions it will only be possible to fund the tuition fees at the international rate and no stipend will be available. Successful candidates will be notified by 30th April 2018.

Contact details:

Name: Manuela Pacella

Email address:

Telephone number: 01509564800

How to apply:

All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering

Please quote reference number: WS17

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Midlands of England