Fully Funded M2A MSc by Research Scholarship: Multidisciplinary Design Optimisation of a Can Forming Operation

Swansea University - Engineering

Start Date: October 2018.

Sponsoring Company: Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Ltd.

Academic Supervisor: Will Harrison.

Crown Packaging Manufacturing UK Limited is a world leader in metal packaging technology with operations in over 40 countries. To reduce material use and make lighter weight products, Crown use finite element analyses (FEA) to predict metal-forming operations. This allows new processes to be investigated without the need to perform physical tests. Using multidisciplinary design optimisation (MDO) techniques in conjunction with FEA, the effects of many design changes on different responses can be evaluated in relatively short time-scales.

Project Aims:

The aim of this project is to optimise one or more aspects of an existing can forming operation based on multiple criteria. Models created in Abaqus FEA software will be provided and the student will undertake a parameter screening exercise to identify the most important design variable, before applying various optimisation techniques to assess their suitability to the specific metal forming operation. It is anticipated that both direct optimisation and surrogate approaches will be investigated and that design variables for the optimisation will include tooling geometries, material properties, and friction. The result of the project will be an improved understanding of efficient optimisation techniques for high speed metal forming processes.

The Athena SWAN Charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation.


Candidates should hold an Engineering or Physical Sciences degree with a minimum classification level of 2:1 or equivalent relevant experience. The ideal candidate would be highly self-motivated with a knowledge of finite element analysis and, preferably, optimisation methods. Experience of using Abaqus software would be an advantage although not essential. The project may involve short visits to Crown’s research centre in Wantage so a willingness to travel is also desirable.

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