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Production of ceramic matrices and ceramic composites for low observable applications for BAE Systems

University of Birmingham - School of Metallurgy and Materials

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th May 2019
Expires: 12th August 2019

This project is funded by the EPSRC’s I-CASE scheme and BAE Systems and involves the University of Birmingham. It is focused on developing enhanced radar absorbing materials (RAM); current materials are generally only suited to low or intermediate temperature applications, however there is need for RAM materials that can survive high temperatures and extreme environments. Ceramic materials are perfectly suited to be used in these applications due to their inert chemical nature and very high temperature capabilities. Thus the PhD studentship will be focused on developing new materials that both possess specific electromagnetic properties, are mechanically robust and also capable of withstanding high temperatures. Materials produced will be expected to be tested as demonstrators in simulated real world conditions.

The project will suit graduates who are naturally inquisitive, have a good quality first degree in materials science & engineering, chemistry, physics or similar subject and who enjoy working on industrially-related projects that offer training in both science and engineering skills. The successful candidate will undertake their research in a very supportive, high quality training environment within a research team of around 15 individuals and will received an enriched integrated training experience that will allow the student to acquire very useful skills and expertise. The student will gain a wider understanding of applied research that should enhance their future career prospects. The successful applicant will receive funding of a full EPSRC studentship for 4 years, with the sponsor, BAE Systems, providing an additional top up to the project of a minimum of a third of the EPSRC funding. The student must spend at least three months at the company and the latter will pay any travel and subsistence costs.

The scope of this PhD will be to:

  • Review ceramic matrix composites manufacturing capability.
  • Identify potential means of adding electromagnetically active fillers to these ceramics within an industrially-viable manufacturing process.
  • Conduct small-scale experiments to demonstrate the efficacy of the manufacture of these materials.
  • Generate laboratory scale samples of new electromagnetically active high temperature capable materials.
  • Experimentally characterise the electromagnetic properties, structural strength and temperature capability of these novel materials.
  • The focus will be on the underlying science and technology rather than the system design.

This project is funded by the EPSRC’s I-CASE scheme and BAE Systems and involves the University of Birmingham. As a result of the funding source, the opportunity is primarily open to UK nationals though EU students may be eligible for a fees-only award (i.e. no maintenance grant). Home fees and a standard stipend (currently £14,777) will be provided, together with opportunities to interact with BAE Systems and attend national and international conferences.

Closing Date: Applications accepted year round

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