Research Associate on the Manufacturing for Structural Applications of Multifunctional Composites

University of Bristol - Department of Aerospace Engineering

A postdoctoral research associate position is available in the Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) within the School of Civil, Aerospace, and Mechanical Engineering (CAME) at the University of Bristol (UoB).

You will be working on the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Future Composites Manufacturing Research Hub (grant: EP/P006701/1)

You will be based at the University of Bristol’s Bristol Composites Institute (ACCIS) and will contribute to the research being undertaken in one of the Hub’s core projects: ‘Manufacturing for Structural Applications of Multifunctional Composites’. This project is a collaboration between University of Bristol and Imperial College London with two main aims of: 1. Developing manufacturing processes that integrate multifunctional mass/heat/charge transport capabilities within structural configurations, and; 2. Carrying out a systems level review, including cost-benefit analysis, to identify the constraints involved in taking some of the multifunctional composites concepts through, from the current very low TRL space, towards industrial application. To achieve these aims, two methodologies have been identified, that include the study of electrical energy storage capability based on supercapacitors exploiting a hierarchical composite incorporating carbon aerogel, and; the making of microbraids of epoxy soluble thermoplastic threads with very thin metal wires to enable the delivery of a pre-determined balance of mechanical, thermal, electrical and self-sensing attributes to a final composite structure.

Through your experiences and expertise, you will be responsible for the development of the planned microbraid methodology, the systems review aim, and the development of suitable demonstrators so as to achieve pathways to impact of: i. Aerospace partners who require structures to perform multiple functions to reduce parasitic weight; ii. Automotive and wind energy sectors who may also become early adopters, and; iii. Demonstration of multifunctionality in low cost, impact, and flexible solutions, in candidate structures over a range of complex geometries and component sizes. Those demonstrators could be to academic partners, industrial partners, or both; and as such close interaction with collaborative projects and partners within the Hub and University of Bristol is to be expected.

You will have a PhD in Composites Science and Technology or a closely related discipline, and be able to demonstrate certified training for the use of braiding/micro-braiding, filament winding, and through thickness reinforcement equipment. Expertise in multifunctional materials and advanced composites manufacturing is also a requirement for the post holder.

This full-time post is available on an open ended basis with funding for up to 24 months available from 01 March 2018. Interviews are expected to be end of February. Once an offer of employment has been accepted, the successful candidate will be required to undergo a health assessment, as per UoB recruitment policy.

For informal enquiries please contact: Professor Ivana Partridge (Email:; Telephone: +44 (0) 1179545461) or Dr Carwyn Ward (Email:; Telephone: +44 (0) 1173315503).

The University is committed to creating and sustaining a fully inclusive culture.  We welcome applicants from all backgrounds and communities.

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