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Joint MTC-UoB PhD Scholarship on Laser Enabled Hybrid-Manufacturing Technologies for Surface Functionalisation

University of Birmingham - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Birmingham
Funding for: UK Students
Funding amount: £24,021 annual (tax free) stipend, for 3 years
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 2nd September 2021
Closes: 30th November 2021

Start Date: ASAP but not later than 1st March 2022.

This is a PhD Scholarship jointly funded by the MTC and the UoB. The outline description of the PhD research is provided below. It is expected that the PhD student will spend some time at the MTC in order to ensure engagement and drive value for the MTC and the University of Birmingham. The research will be carried out on state-of-the-art laser processing systems both at the MTC and also at the UoB. The research will be focused on addressing the specific requirements of the MTC industry members that will be agreed with them in the 1st year of this PhD project.

For further information and enquiries please contact Prof. Stefan Dimov, s.s.dimov@bham.ac.uk.

Project brief

This PhD project will be focused on developing and implementing hybrid manufacturing solutions that integrate laser surface processing/structuring/texturing (LSPST) with complementary processes, e.g. plasma pre/post-treatments of metallic components, inkjet printing (IJ) or aerosol jet printing (AJP), and laser-induced forward transfer (LIFT) for surface functionalisation/engineering of products. Such hybrid solutions will be investigated in the context of specific application requirements, e.g. for sensing applications, non-fouling/anti-bacterial treatments, maskless digital fabrication of sensors and Lab on the Chip (LoC) products. The research will investigate a combined “bottom-up” and “top-down” surface engineering approach for producing components and replication masters that can address key obstacles in product miniaturization and also in achieving function integration in products. The PhD project will include some elements of process design, modelling and simulation and the development of specific applications for the proposed hybrid manufacturing solutions that are agreed with the MTC.

The project will build on the results of three recently completed H2020 programmes, i.e. Laser4Fun, HIMALAYA and SHARK. In addition, the PhD project is expected to involve and be relevant to some MTC member companies, e.g. GFMS, IPG and SENSOFAR. In addition, the PhD project will benefit from the capital investment at the UoB in a multi-axis laser micro processing system as part of the ESIF SmartFub project.

UoB supervisor: Prof. Stefan Dimov

MTC supervisors: Dr Reza Nekouie Esfahani & Dr. Tian Long See

PhD candidate specification

To apply you must hold a MEng/MSc degree in the areas of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Applied Physics or a closely related discipline. Good knowledge/demonstrated awareness of fundamental aspects of laser-material processing and applied knowledge in laser structuring are desirable. Experience in using a range of technologies/techniques for surface characterisation would be an advantage. Candidates must be among the highest achievers in their undergraduate cohort, and in receipt of, or due to receive a First-Class UK degree or equivalent. Candidates with a standalone Master’s qualification must have achieved a distinction or, where this has yet to have been achieved, be able to provide evidences of high performance that will lead to a distinction. They must also hold a first class UK undergraduate degree or equivalent (integrated Masters that form part of an undergraduate degree, e.g. MEng, are assessed as an undergraduate qualification when determining eligibility).

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