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PhD Studentship: Shedding New Light on Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace Applications

University College London - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Up to £18,000 stipend and full tuition fees for 3 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th January 2019
Closes: 18th March 2019
Reference: 1788153


Additive Manufacturing (AM) is a disruptive manufacturing technology and is already implemented in a number of aerospace applications. Funded via an EPSRC industrial CASE (iCASE) award, the successful applicant will join a dynamic group from UCL Mechanical Engineering based at the UK’s largest science campus, Harwell. Using the lastest synchrotron and neutron sources and unique in situ AM machines, you will image the AM process to address key fundamental and applied challenges facing the AM industry. The PhD project is jointly supervised by Prof. Peter Lee (UCL) and Dr Ben Saunders (Rolls-Royce plc.), and supported by Dr. Alex Leung.

You will use the unique AM process replicators to observe powder, molten pool, and defect dynamics during an AM build using X-ray and neutron real and reciprocal space imaging techniques; (e.g. see Nature Communications, The successful candidate will help apply and further develop a new generation AM process replicator that enables users to image microstructural feature formation during realistic build conditions, including multi-hatch and multi-layer builds, using a combination of optical, thermal, and high-speed X-ray imaging. The results will be used conjunction with traditional X-ray computed tomography and other microscopy techniques. You will also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with the modelling teams at Rolls-Royce and other Universities, providing novel insights in the AM process to inform and validate advanced process simulation models.

Person Specification:

Applicants should ideally have a first class undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in Mechanical or Electrical Engineering, Materials, Physics, Mathematics or a related discipline. You should have a strong interest in additive manufacturing, including materials, mechanical properties and process control. Excellent organizational, interpersonal and communication skills, along with a stated interest in interdisciplinary research, are essential.

Ideally you would have experience in a number of the below, learning the others as part of the PhD:

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Image analysis
  • Programming (for image analysis, open and closed loop control)
  • Modelling of heat, mass and momentum transfer
  • Metallurgy
  • Experimental design
  • Synchrotron or neutron experiments

Closing Date and Start Date:

We will be continuously having informal discussion with interested candidates until this position is filled.

Value of award:

Full tuition fees and stipend of up to £18,000 per annum (for 3 years)


This funding is for UK/EU nationals. Please do not enquire about this studentship if you are ineligible. Please refer to the following website for eligibility criteria:

Application Process:

Eligible applicants should first contact Prof Peter Lee, ( quoting the Job reference. Please enclose a cover letter (including the names and contact details of two referees), one-page research statement and two pages CV.

The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates. After interview, the successful candidate will be given instructions to formally apply online via the UCL website. For further information, see

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