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PhD Studentship: In Situ Sensing of Multiple Parameters for Multi-Functional Adhesives

University of Birmingham

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 2nd August 2018
Closes: 27th August 2018

Thermosetting resins are used extensively as coatings, adhesives and as a matrix in advanced fibre-reinforced composites. There is increasing interest in engineering added functionality to these classes of materials. For example, this could be in situ sensing of the resin during processing or its performance in service as a function of applied load, temperature and environmental conditions.

The aim of this project is to develop and monitor in situ, the performance of multi-functional adhesives. In situ sensing will be enabled via conventional and custom-made optical fibre sensors. The sensors will monitor parameters such as the rate and extent of cross-linking, the temperature and residual fabrication strain in bonded joints. The term multi-functional is taken to represent adhesive systems that contain specified classes of additivities that can be activated by light (via the optical fibres) to influence relevant materials properties. The adhesive systems that will be investigated in this project are used predominantly in a marine environment where the interest is in composite-to-composite and composite-to-metal bonding.

The supervisors for this project are Professor Gerard Fernando (sensors), Professor Jim Hay (polymer chemistry), Dr Mayorkinos Papaelias (non-destructive testing) and Dr Yu-Lung Chiu (materials characterisation).

The successful candidate must hold a first degree in physics, analytical chemistry, materials engineering or a related discipline (minimum upper second class honours) and have an interest in composites. Experience or an interest in optical fibre sensors and “smart” materials will de advantageous.

Applicants with the required qualifications and experience are invited to submit a detailed curriculum vitae along with the contact details for two academic referees to Professor Gerard Fernando (

Funding Notes

This three year studentship covers full UK/EU PhD tuition fees and a tax-free stipend at the current RCUK rate (£14,777 in 2018/19). Applicants must be UK/EU citizens.

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