PhD Studentship: Development of Prediction of Structural Adhesive Performance and Durability

University of Warwick - Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG)

Studentship: EPRSC iCASE PhD studentship with Jaguar Land Rover

Funding: For UK students for up to 4 years

Supervisor: Professor Barbara Shollock

Start date: 1 October 2017

Project Overview:

A fantastic opportunity to work with leading researchers in WMG’s Steels Processing Group at the University of Warwick.

This PhD project will identify the parameters necessary to develop a physically-based model of structural adhesive performance in automotive vehicles, and validate an initial model for adhesion failure. The development of the capability to model and predict structural adhesive performance over a vehicle life will increase confidence in adhesive performance, saving weight, cost and time.

Three structural materials (steel, Al, and CFRP) will be studied. The surfaces with and without chemical and physical pre-treatment will be characterised, with emphasis on chemistry and topography. Systematic studies will be used to determine the critical surface criteria for bond strength. The key parameters for optimised bond strength will then be explored and related to bond durability. An optimised adhesive testing process will be developed.

Bonded samples using current Jaguar Land Rover adhesives will be examined post mortem after NSS, stress humidity and thermal cycling. Analytical techniques will be used to identify the degradation mechanisms.

A physically-based model for bond failure for different substrates will be developed and validated with scope for the inclusion degradation mechanisms once identified. Focus will initially be on adhesion failure of the adhesive/substrate interface and will be validated by mechanical testing. Cohesive failure can be studied in samples with optimised interfaces.


This position provides a tax free stipend of £14k plus £3k top up, per annum (for UK nationals) and all fees paid are paid for UK nationals for up to 4 years.


Applicants with a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any of the physical sciences (chemistry, physics, engineering, materials science) are encouraged to contact Professor Barbara Shollock ( for further information on of the project.


To submit an application, please complete our online enquiry form

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Midlands of England