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PhD Studentship - Automated Sentencing for Complex Shaped CFRP Components

University of Bristol - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £20,000 + p.a. tax free, subject to eligibility criteria and contracts
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 15th June 2019
Closes: 31st August 2019

The project:

The Ultrasonics and Non-Destructive Group at the University of Bristol and Rolls Royce are seeking a top class candidate to undertake research leading to the award of an Engineering Doctorate (EngD).

The studentship is offered through the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Future Innovation in NDE (FIND CDT) which is a partnership between a select group of universities and companies offering a 4-year Engineering doctorate designed to launch outstanding graduates into an engineering career.

This project will deliver automated analysis techniques for inspections of the new composite fan blades that will provide game-changing capability for the company.

Carbon fibre material is increasingly being considered for aero-engine components. Such components are being designed to withstand high loads and to have more complex shapes, making inspection for material integrity both more important and more difficult. New analysis techniques are required and are being developed for defects such as porosity. However, such techniques create large data sets that become time consuming and difficult, or impossible, to interpret by a human inspector.

The aims of the project will include:

  1. Investigation of new quantitative data analysis techniques for porosity detection in CFRP.
  2. Development of data fusion methods to allow extraction and presentation of information from multiple data sources.
  3. Automated interpretation of 3D data.

The student will work at the University of Bristol before relocating to Rolls-Royce in Filton (Bristol) for a significant portion of their studies, where they will work within the NDE Research team.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should first send an up-to-date CV to prior to application.

Please make an online application for this project at Please select < Mechanical Engineering> on the Programme Choice page and enter details of the studentship when prompted in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form with the name of the supervisor.

Candidate requirements:

A minimum 2.1 honours degree in Mechanical Engineering Physics or a related discipline.

Basic skills and knowledge required

An enquiring and rigorous approach to research together with a strong intellect and disciplined work habits. Good team-working, observational and communication skills are essential.


The post is supported by a bursary and fees (at the UK/EU student rate) provided by EPSRC, together with a generous top up by the sponsor company, Rolls Royce.

Candidates can check their suitability at


For informal enquiries, please contact or Prof Robert Smith,

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