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PhD Studentship: Microstructural and Surface Integrity in Machining of Specialist Composite Materials for Next Generation Aero-engine Applications

University of Nottingham - Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: The scholarship on offer comprises a tax-free stipend of over £15,000 a year; tuition fees paid and a generous study package
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st September 2021
Closes: 30th November 2021
Reference: ENG1317X1

Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in manufacturing and On-Wing Technology, The University of Nottingham.

Applicants are invited to undertake a 3-year PhD programme in partnership with industry to address key challenges in manufacturing engineering. The successful candidate will be based at the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre (UTC) in Manufacturing and On-Wing Technology at The University of Nottingham. Having state-of-the-art, purpose built facilities, the UTC offers a world-class environment for the realisation of high-impact research projects.

The Rolls-Royce funded Studentship is the result of the expanding machining activities sponsored at the Rolls-Royce UTC dealing with in-depth investigations of the response of difficult-to-cut materials to various machining operations in the scope of robust manufacture of safety critical aero-engine components.

The project will seek an understanding of the microstructural changes during machining of anisotropic, heterogeneous and semi-brittle composite materials for high temperature applications used in the latest generations of civil and military aero-engines. This will involve using performance monitoring techniques during the machining such as dynamometers, high-speed imaging systems, accelerometers and acoustic emissions sensors that are complemented by advanced material characterisation techniques such as Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), 3D optical profilometry and X-Ray Diffraction (XRD).

This project will also involve an analytical/numerical modelling of the material micro-mechanical behaviour during the machining process with the aim of understanding and predicting the surface integrity and mechanisms of material damage (i.e. fibre pull out, delamination, crack formation or local deformations). Internationally recognised Rolls-Royce specialists in the field will be available throughout the project to provide the PhD student with support and guidance if required.

For mutual interest the project can be offered as a "package" - this will include:

  • Appropriate training within Rolls-Royce for a period to be agreed. The training will enable the understanding of the technical issues related to the project, as well as developing a good partnership with the appropriate technical teams.
  • Joint academic and industrial supervision. In this way, the student will develop both academic and industrial skills with multiple career opportunities at the end of the PhD study.

This is an excellent opportunity for an enthusiastic first or upper second class graduate in mechanical/manufacturing/materials science/physics to develop strong knowledge in both manufacturing and material science while building strong relationships with both academic and industrial areas at an international level.

Funding Notes

For PhD students wishing to pursue an academic career, the opportunity to participate in teaching activities will be sought.

The scholarship on offer comprises a tax-free stipend of over £15,000 a year; tuition fees paid and a generous study package.

Interested in this studentships? To find if you are a suitable and eligible candidate contact Prof Dragos Axinte. Do not submit your application via the My Nottingham platform without having contacted our team first.

Informal enquiries may be also addressed to Prof. D. Axinte, Director of Rolls-Royce UTC, tel: 0115 951 4117 or Email: Dragos.Axinte@Nottingham.ac.uk.

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