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PhD Studentship -Eddy-current testing of Carbon-fibre Composites

University of Bristol - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £15,009 + Full PhD Tuition Fees funded
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 17th January 2020
Closes: 17th April 2020

The project:

The Ultrasonic and Non-Destructive Testing (UNDT) research group is seeking a high-calibre candidate undertake a PhD research project into electromagnetic inductive (eddy-current) sensing of carbon fibre composites during manufacture.

Applicants with an interest in application-focused problem solving, industrial NDT, electronics & electromagnetics, programming and signal-processing are encouraged to apply.

Inductive sensing (often referred to as eddy-current sensing) is a powerful non-destructive testing (NDT) inspection technique, used regularly in industry for evaluating the quality and integrity of safety-critical structural components - often metals whose electrical conductivity supports the generation of eddy-currents in their surface. Due to the electrical conductivity of the carbon fibres themselves, eddy-current sensing can also be used to assess certain properties of carbon-fibre materials including; fibre orientation and local fibre density, as well as detect manufacturing flaws, such as inclusions, gaps, overlaps and wrinkles.   The monitoring of components both in-line (during the layup process) and post-manufacture is essential for ensuring part safety.

This PhD research project will develop sensors, operating methods and data-analysis techniques to accurately measure and evaluate the properties of these components.

As part of the UNDT group and associated FIND centre for doctoral training, you will have access to a wide range of courses and networking events to help develop as a researcher, as well as significant interaction with supporting industrial partners.

How to apply:

Prior to application please send a CV and cover letter to Dr Robert Hughes ( along with details of your funding status.   If you do not have funding lined-up, suitable sources of funding will be identified after an interview which the applicant will need to apply for based on the project.

Please submit a PhD application using our online application system ( Select PhD Mechanical Engineering on the Programme Choice page. Enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form with the name of the supervisor.

Person specification: 

We are looking for committed and highly-motivated applicants holding (or close to completing) a minimum of a master’s degree (or international equivalent) with an achieved (or projected) 1st or high 2:1 degree in a physics, mathematics, electrical engineering or other appropriate engineering discipline.

You should have strong mathematical and programming skills and be fluent in written and spoken English. If English is not your first language, please provide a recognised English language qualification at Profile E. Further information:

An understanding of the fundamental principles of electromagnetics is desirable, while additional experience in finite element modelling, electronics or data/image analysis would be beneficial.


  • full UK/EU (EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to 1st September 2020) PhD tuition fees
  • EU nationals resident in the EU may also apply but will only qualify for PhD tuition fees.
  • Overseas applicants must be self-funded


To enquire about opportunities, please send a CV and cover letter to Dr Robert Hughes ( stating your interests and aims for the PhD.

For general enquiries, please email

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