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PhD Studentship: Arrest of Compression Crack Growth and Failure Investigation of Fibre-Reinforced Composites

Imperial College London - Departments of Aeronautics

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: The studentship is for 3.5 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of approximately £17,609
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 1st November 2021
Closes: 9th December 2021
Reference: Ref AE0001-v2
 

Application deadline: 9th Dec 2021

Start date: January 2022 - October 2022 (flexible)

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. studentship in the Departments of Aeronautics. The successful candidate will have the opportunity of working with a dedicated team involving various academics within the large EPSRC-funded project “NextCOMP” (https://nextcomp.ac.uk/). This project is a collaboration between Imperial College London and University of Bristol which focusses on improving the absolute performance of composites under compressive loading. An extensive group of industrial partners will also contribute to the project.

The PhD project will form part of a work package which focuses on “Designed ply-level systems” to develop novel or bio-inspired microstructural solutions for managing fracture in composites under compression loading. In particular, this research will investigate the fundamental processes by which such cracks initiate, grow and explore potential strategies to arrested them. This PhD is an opportunity to work with the world leading researchers in failure investigation of polymer composites (Prof Greenhalgh) and failure prediction of polymer composites (Prof Pinho). It is anticipated that the position will also provide opportunities for the candidate to be involved in failure investigations of industrial and in-service failures.

The post-holder is anticipated to gain experience in:

  • - failure investigation and fractography of polymer composites and their components;
  • - the development and use of finite element and analytical modelling (when developing the microstructures);
  • - the development and use of a variety of manufacturing methods (including 3D printing, laser cutting, water-jet cutting, laying-up for autoclave curing, etc) when creating prototypes;
  • - mechanical testing, characterisation and analysis (including Acoustic Scan, Acoustic Emission, X-Ray tomography, Optical and Scanning Electron Microscopy).

In addition, the successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to refereed journals and to present their findings at major international conferences. 

Applicants should have a strong background in solid mechanics and fracture mechanics, and a knowledge of fibre reinforced polymer composites would be an advantage. The applicants should also have a proven aptitude for practical work and a genuine passion for research. Applications are invited from candidates who possess (or expect to gain) a first-class honours MEng or higher degree or equivalent in Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Materials or related areas.

Imperial College is consistently ranked as one of top universities in the world and top 3 universities within the UK. In 2019/20 Imperial ranked 9th in the world in the QS and 10th in the world in the THE rankings. It has been ranked as the most innovative university in Europe.

The studentship is for 3.5 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of approximately £17,609.

If you are interested in applying, I will be happy to address any initial informal enquiries you may have (Silvestre Pinho, silvestre.pinho@imperial.ac.uk and Emile Greenhalgh, e.greenhalgh@imperial.ac.uk). To apply, you can follow the standard College on-line application procedure  (https://www.imperial.ac.uk/study/pg/apply/how-to-apply/)

For queries regarding the application process, please contact Ms Lisa Kelly at l.kelly@imperial.ac.uk.

Imperial College is committed to equality and valuing diversity. We are an Athena Silver SWAN Award winner and a Stonewall Diversity Champion.

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