Funded EngD Scholarship: Sensing the Microstructure of Steel at 700C

Swansea University - Engineering

Start date: October 2018

Sponsoring Company: Tata Steel – Swansea Research Centre

For the new generation of light-weight cars, novel high-strength steels are in development. The mass production of these advanced high-strength steels requires accurate sensing and control during the cooling trajectory of the material. Sensing of the microstructure in the temperature range between 650 – 750 °C is particularly relevant to follow the phase transformations occurring in these steel types. The figure at the right shows a microstructure with 4 different co-existing phases in an advanced high-strength steel.

Tata Steel Research and Development and the University of Manchester have developed a sensing technology suitable for monitoring the microstructure during production. The next step is to test the technology with a full scale prototype in a large furnace facility at the Swansea Technology Centre of Tata Steel, followed by installation of the prototype in the continuous annealing line of Tata Steel in Port Talbot. The student is supposed to run the lab and plant trials and interpret the data.

Project Aims:

The aim of the project is to characterise the performance of the full scale prototype sensor in the temperature range between 650 – 750 °C and evaluate its capability for the detection of phase transformations, first in the laboratory, and later in the production plant. Different steel grades will be tested to sense the evolution of their microstructure during heating and cooling paths.

Part of the study is also to carry out an analysis (model and measurement) of thermal influences, like thermal gradients and thermal drift, on the electric and magnetic signals, and on the mechanical housing structure.

The initial series of tests will be carried out in the laboratory of Swansea Technology Centre of Tata Steel, and next, the installation and operation of the sensor will take place at the Tata Steel works in Port Talbot.


Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. This project is suitable for someone with a background in physics, electrical engineering, process engineering or metallurgy with an affinity with instrumentation and industrially focused research.

Please visit our website for more information.

Funding Details

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £20,000 p.a.

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role: