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PhD Studentship: Compression Failure in Fibre-reinforced Composites: Identifying Mechanisms and the Effect of Architectural Modifications

Imperial College London - Departments of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: £17,609 annual tax-free stipend
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 6th June 2022
Closes: 6th September 2022
Reference: AE0008v2
 

Application deadline: until filled

Start date: Flexible 

PhD Studentship

Applications are invited for a Ph.D. studentship in the Departments of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. The successful candidate will have the opportunity of working with a dedicated team involving various academics within the large EPSRC-funded project “NextCOMP” which is being jointly undertaken by Imperial College and the University of Bristol. This project focusses on the challenge of improving the absolute performance of composites in compression, both to address practical limitations of current materials, and as a demonstration of the value of quantitative hierarchical materials design. The work will develop and embed structure at every length scale from the molecules of the matrix, to the lay-up of final components, using new constituents and new architectures, designed within a new analytical framework. An extensive group of industrial partners will contribute to the project, and help to develop the outputs, building on concept demonstrators designed during the programme.

The PhD project will form part of a work package which will fully characterise and understand, experimentally, the fundamental mechanisms controlling the compression failure of conventional fibre reinforced polymer composites. The project will also investigate how these mechanisms can be manipulated through the techniques developed in other work packages with NextCOMP to more closely realise the full compression capability of the reinforcing fibres. This investigation will be undertaken through the design of new specimen configurations and development of protocols, at different scales, to monitor strain fields and failure mechanisms during in-situ testing using SEM, optical microscopy and X-ray CT equipment. 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 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. Imperial staff and alumni include 15 Nobel laureates, 2 Fields Medalists, 70 Fellows of the Royal Society, 82 Fellows of the Royal Academy of Engineering and 78 Fellows of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

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

If you are interested in applying, I will be happy to address any initial informal enquiries you may have (Prof. P Robinson, p.robinson@imperial.ac.uk).

For queries regarding the application process, please contact Ms Lisa Kelly l.kelly@imperial.ac.uk  or phone on +44 (0)20 7594 5056.

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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