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PhD Studentship - Evaluating fundamental material properties of selective soldering nozzles to enhance wetting and improve nozzle lifetime.

Coventry University

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £15,609 stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 4th October 2021
Closes: 1st November 2021

Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

An exciting opportunity has become available for a graduate/masters candidate, to work on a match-funded PhD project with Coventry University and Pillarhouse International. Pillarhouse is a worldwide leading force in the selective soldering industry, dedicated to the ongoing development of pioneering technologies.

Selective Soldering is a process to solder individual components on a printed circuit board using a solder fountain. The machine typically includes a soldering pot that feeds a nozzle to form the fountain. The fountain moves to solder the components from underneath.

Nozzle materials must wet to solder, however this eventually causes wear of the base metal. The wetting process for solder is reactive in that a thin intermetallic layer is formed as the solder diffuses into the metal. This fundamental interaction is key to understanding the wetting of the nozzle and its subsequent wear. Examining this relationship between nozzle material and solder will be thought provoking and guide the material selection of advanced, durable nozzles for an extended operating lifetime.

This project will be based in the Materials and Manufacturing Research Centre. The student will gain skills in material characterisation techniques (SEM, EDX, EBSD, FIB) and surface wetting (room and high temperature goniometer).

Entry criteria for applicants to PHD 

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)

For further details see:

A first degree in an appropriate discipline such as Materials Science, Chemistry, Physics, Manufacturing Engineering or a related subject.

A Masters Degree in the following would be desirable: Materials Science, Metallurgy, Electrochemistry, Electronics Manufacturing or a related subject.

To find out more about the project please contact Dr. John Graves (

To apply on line please visit:

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a minimum 500-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

CGFM Materials and Manufacturing group statement :

The materials and manufacturing group work on novel design concepts, characterization of materials properties, development of novel analytical and processing techniques and fundamental mechanistic understanding for improvement in lifetime. By understanding in-service material behaviour, we support our industrial partners in producing superior and more cost-effective products with longer lifespans.

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