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PhD Studentship: Modelling, design and optimisation of three-dimensional metamaterials for extreme conditions

UCL - Mechanical Engineering

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: London
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: From £19,668 Home tuition fees (currently £5,690/year) and maintenance stipend (current award/year)
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 23rd November 2022
Closes: 19th March 2023

Project Title: Modelling, design and optimisation of three-dimensional metamaterials for extreme conditions

Key information

Lead supervisor: Dr Federico Bosi

Project start date: to be decided by mutual agreement, no later than 01 October 2023.

Project duration: 4 years

Studentship funding: Home tuition fees (currently £5,690/year) & maintenance stipend (currently £19,668/year)

PhD project description

In recent years, the development of lattice materials has benefitted from reduced scale and multi-material additive manufacturing. These fabrication techniques have allowed the manipulation of material distribution in space, and the introduction of geometrical features at small scales, to control macroscopic properties and manufacture components with superior mechanical properties that have found applications in high-strength lightweight materials, energy storage, and various other fields. However, the design of lightweight lattices and multi-material structural components through additive manufacturing remains largely reliant upon designers’ experience, simplified analytical tools or single-objective optimisation, which often results in sub-optimal configurations.

The project aims to model, design and optimise three-dimensional micro- and nano-architected metamaterials for engineering applications in extreme environments. It will involve the development of a robust & efficient computational framework that includes finite element analysis and Bayesian machine learning.

The PhD research will be conducted in one, or more, of the following topics:

  1. multifunctional carbon microlattices,
  2. highly morphable metamaterials,
  3. damage tolerance enhancement through engineered metamaterials, &
  4. multi-objective topological optimisation through latticing.

Predictions from the numerical simulations will be validated experimentally using specimens manufactured by additive manufacturing techniques.

The research objectives will be achieved using a combination of advanced modelling, computational analyses (including machine learning), & quasi-static and dynamic thermomechanical experiments.

As a PhD student at UCL, you will benefit from research training (in mechanical engineering, solid & structural mechanics), high-performance computing, and experimental methods. Furthermore, you will be encouraged to publish your work in leading peer-reviewed journals & present your findings at the most important national &  international conferences.

Person specification

  • Applicants must have a UK-equivalent first degree in solid mechanics, structural, mechanical, materials engineering or a related discipline with a high technical/mathematical content.
  • Experience in one, or more, of the following: material and structural modelling; numerical & finite element simulations; machine learning; experimental characterisation.
  • Excellent organisational, interpersonal & communication skills are essential.

Eligibility

Please note that the available funding supports tuition fees at the Home/UK rate (currently £5,690 per year). Students who are eligible to pay fees at the UK rate are welcome to apply (e.g. UK students or EEA or Swiss nationals who are “settled” or “pre-settled” within the UK in accordance with the EU Settlement Scheme).

International students who are eligible to pay tuition fees at the Overseas rate (currently £25,960 per year) are also welcome to apply, however the tuition fees covered by the studentship will be limited to the Home/UK level. International students will be required to find additional funding for the remaining Overseas tuition fees.

Please refer to the Mechanical Engineering MPhil/PhD page for full eligibility criteria.

How to apply

Eligible applicants should first contact Dr Federico Bosi (f.bosi@ucl.ac.uk). Please enclose:

  • A one-page statement outlining suitability for the project
  • A two pages CV (including contact details of two referees)
  • Academic transcripts listing all subjects taken at university and their corresponding grades

After discussing the project with Dr Bosi, eligible applicants should also submit a formal PhD application via the UCL website.

The supervisory team will arrange interviews for short-listed candidates after the application deadline.

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