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3.5-year PhD Studentship

University of Nottingham - Centre for Additive Manufacturing

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 11th April 2019
Closes: 10th July 2019
Reference: ENG1271

Applications are invited for a fully funded PhD studentship (3.5 years) within the Centre for Additive Manufacturing at the University of Nottingham.  The successful applicant will work closely with fusion scientists at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) and will be expected to spend time at Culham conducting research.

Centre for Additive Manufacturing -

Culham Centre for Fusion Energy -  

Project title: Thermofluid optimisation of AM high heat flux components for fusion

Additive manufacturing (AM) enables us to make parts with complex internal geometries, from tortuous channels to open cellular structures.  This is often done to achieve lightweighting, but also has strong potential in thermal management and fluid flow applications; examples include the active cooling of automotive components and the continuous chemical flow reactors used in the pharmaceutical industry.

This project will examine the design and use of AM components for a new and exciting application – nuclear fusion. The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) works on current generation magnetic confinement fusion reactor designs at the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), and also looks ahead to future experimental reactors such as ITER, currently being built in France, designs for engineering demonstrator devices (generically referred to as DEMO), and the needs of future commercial fusion power plants. AM has been identified as a technology with significant potential applications in fusion, particularly for the high temperature, high heat-flux components which make up the plasma-facing “first wall” and development of the processing of refractory metals including W and Ta has shown promise to support this. 

This project will complement and benefit from previous materials development work and initial concept designs for fusion high heat flux applications. Using finite element analysis (FEA), topology optimisation (TO), computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and cellular structure generation, new and/or existing designs will be developed and matured, with a particular focus on thermofluid performance and systems integration. There is significant scope for experimental work, i.e. manufacturing the components and testing their performance in conditions approximating the intended fusion application. For component manufacture, the project will make use the various processes available within the Centre for Additive Manufacturing, ranging from stereolithography (SLA) to selective laser melting (SLM).


  •   Due to funding restrictions, the position is only available for UK and EU candidates.
  •   Candidates must possess or expect to obtain, a 2:1 or 1st class degree in Engineering or Physical Sciences related discipline. Applicants with Physics or Mechanical and Materials Engineering backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.
  •   Candidates will be available to start on 1st October 2019. 

How to apply

Please send a copy of your covering letter, CV and academic transcripts to referring to the project title. 

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