Rolls-Royce Sponsored PhD scholarship – Waterjet Controlled-Depth (Milling) Machining of Aerospace Materials with Stratified Structures

University of Nottingham - Engineering

Location: University Park

Applications are invited to undertake a 3 year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology at The University of Nottingham. As an academic institution with one of the best facilities and over 10 years expertise in waterjet machining, the UTC offers a world-class environment for the realisation of high impact research projects in this field.

We are seeking applicants for an anticipated September 2018 start, or earlier (depending on the candidate availability, on a project with Rolls-Royce plc. The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding waterjet machining activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with in-depth investigations of on how to waterjet mill complex geometry aeroengine components made of materials with different mechanical/structural characteristics.

The project will deal with the further development of the existing models that University of Nottingham developed to control the material erosion in waterjet machining to enable surface enhancement/preparation of aeroengine components that are made of “sandwich” materials. Apart, from aspects in analytical modelling, this will involve using a wide range of sophisticated testing and analysis techniques including Scanning electron microscope (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD) for residual stress measurements as well as with development of innovative paths of the waterjet plume so that surface quality complies with Rolls-Royce standards.

This project will involve developing analytical modelling, macro/micro waterjet machining trials, workpiece surface quality analysis (e.g. metallurgy, integrity, residual stresses), followed by investigations on innovative jet path planning to ensure controlled depth (milling) of complex geometries parts made of stratified materials.

For mutual interest the project can be offered as a "package" - this will include:

  • Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce for a period to be agreed. The training will enable the understanding of the technical issues related to the project, as well as developing a good partnership with the appropriate technical teams.
  • Joint academic and industrial supervision. In this way, the student will develop both academic and industrial skills with multiple career opportunities at the end of the PhD study.
  • For PhD students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in teaching activities will be sought.

The bursary covers the tuition fees and provides a tax-free stipend of approximately £16,000 per year for the duration of the project (three years).

This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second class graduate in mechanical/manufacturing/materials science/physics to build strong knowledge in both manufacturing and material science while building strong relationships with both academic and industrial areas at international level.

Graduates finishing their degrees in June 2017 are also encouraged to apply. Due to the nature of funding only UK/EU applicants can be considered for this position.

Please contact the Rolls-Royce UTC director for further information.

Rolls-Royce UTC Director: Prof. Dragos Axinte


Tel: 011595 14117

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Midlands of England