Funded MSc by Research Scholarship: Multi-functionality in 3D Printed Structures

Swansea University - Engineering

Start Date: October 2018

Sponsoring Company: AVoptics Ltd

3D printing is a fast-growing area of interest in a number of sectors, including aerospace. Installation maintenance and retrofitting procedures can benefit greatly from the simplicity and speed available through the rapid prototyping of structures – but the most exciting benefits are expected from building multi-functional structures that are not possible through other manufacturing means. AVoptics is investigating the enhancement of 3D printed structures by including optical and electrical channels within the structures themselves. These can enable communications or power routing through the structure and can even sense stresses and environmental variations within a structure (i.e., a vehicle’s health can be monitored remotely in real-time), without the need for exposed, bulky installation hardware. Building on a recent project funded by the MoD, we are currently exploring several methods to achieving this multi-functionality, with the research results likely to be exploited directly by our aerospace customers. A student working with AVoptics would have access to the company’s optical fibre analysis equipment, a 3D printer, general optical and electrical lab equipment and a wealth of in-house expertise.

Project Aims:

  • Tailoring 3D printing processes to accommodate channels of various materials
  • Investigating the robust termination of optical fibre at structure interfaces
  • Investigating the realisation of optical/electrical waveguides within structures, including merging printing technologies and reducing optical loss
  • Ultimately, help AVoptics design and produce demonstrations of enhanced structures relevant to our aerospace customers

Suitable Candidate:

  • A background in material science, aerospace engineering, optical physics / engineering, communications or chemistry
  • General laboratory skills
  • Good communication skills, including a high proficiency in technical reporting
  • Experience with CAD packages or a willingness to learn
  • The ability to work effectively both alone and within a research team environment


Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. 

Please visit our website for more information.

The scholarship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £12,500 p.a.

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