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PhD Studentship: A Framework for Economic Assessment of Digital Twin Enabled Smart Assembly

University of Bristol - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Bristol
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: Minimum £15,609 p.a. plus an additional £4,308 p.a. from the industrial sponsor
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 24th May 2021
Closes: 17th December 2021

The project:

In this PhD, the student will establish a cost estimation framework in the form of an information system by integrating digital twins, engineering methods including tolerance stack up and dimensional analysis, manufacturing technologies knowledgebase and engineering economics to assess the viability of creating and utilising digital twins to improve assembly. The PhD will start with a review of the relevant technologies such as model-based control, model-based engineering and virtual product development and literature. 

Technical study of a GKN assembly process as a case will then follow to establish the basic framework that can incorporate the necessary Computer Aided Engineering methods. The framework is enhanced by incorporating the details of a second independent case study to make sure that the techniques that are developed can be used in multiple engineering contexts. A method such as Monte Carlo or Discrete Events simulation is then used to test the sensitivity and robustness of the framework and incorporate additional “smart manufacturing” technologies. Finally, the framework is validated using a third case study to identify its affordances in a complicated engineering environment. The scope could span areas such as passenger aircraft and urban autonomous mobility. 

How to apply:

Please make an online application online for this project at http://www.bris.ac.uk/pg-howtoapply. Please select <Mechanical Engineering> on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form. 

Candidate requirements: 

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of a master’s degree (or international equivalent) in a science, mathematics, or engineering discipline. Applicants without a master’s qualification may be considered on an exceptional basis, provided they hold a first-class undergraduate degree. Please note, acceptance will also depend on evidence of readiness to pursue a research degree.   

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:

Profile E

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels

Basic skills and knowledge required.

Knowledge of digital engineering tools (such as CAD and CAE), coding (Python, Julia, etc.) or uncertainty management would be welcome. 

Funding:

Stipend at the UKRI minimum stipend level (£15,609 in 2021/22) plus an additional £4,308 p.a. from the industrial sponsor. The scholarship will also cover the amount of tuition fees associated with UK-based students. Funding is subject to eligibility status and confirmation of award. This is a fully funded 4-year studentship.  

For EPSRC funding, students must meet the EPSRC residency requirements

Contacts:

Informal enquires please contact Prof Aydin Nassehi (aydin.nassehi@bristol.ac.uk)

General enquiries please contact came-pgr-admissions@bristol.ac.uk

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