Rolls-Royce and Seco Tools Sponsored International PhD Scholarship - Machining of New Aerospace Materials

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 on-platform 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. Having state-of-the-art purpose built facilities, the UTC offers a world-class environment for the realisation of high impact research projects. 

We are seeking applicants for an anticipated September 2018 start on a project with Rolls-Royce plc. and Seco Tools (U.K) Ltd; however, early start is also possible. 

The Rolls-Royce and Seco Tools funded Studentship is the result of the expanding machining activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with in-depth investigations of the response of difficult-to-cut materials to various machining operations in the scope of robust manufacture of safety critical aero-engine components.

The project will deal with the influence of different machining operations to understand the correlation between metallurgical aspects and machinability of the new aerospace materials to efficiently support the manufacture of high-integrity aerospace components. This will involve using a wide range of sophisticated testing fully developed within the Rolls-Royce UTC at Univ. of Nottingham and analysis techniques including Scanning electron microscope (SEM), Raman spectroscopy, Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD), X-ray diffraction (XRD) for residual stress measurements as well as with development of analytical and Finite Element (FEM) modelling to address the notoriously low machinability of this group of materials. 

This project will involve develop new concepts of testing for machinability (fully developed in-house), machining trials, workpiece surface quality analysis (e.g. metallurgy, integrity, residual stresses), followed by investigations on innovative methods to evaluate the machinability of advanced aerospace materials. Internationally recognised Rolls-Royce and SECO specialists in the field will be available throughout the project to provide the PhD student with support and guidance if required.

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

  • Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce and SECO 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 £14,553 per year for the duration of the project (three years) – starting from September 2018 or earlier. 

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 2018 are also encouraged to apply. The position is open international students as well.

Please contact the Rolls-Royce UTC director for further information.
UTC Director: Prof. Dragos Axinte
Tel: 011595 14117

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Midlands of England