|£26,000 per annum (TAX free stipend) and tuition fee for 3.5 years
|17th October 2023
|17th January 2024
Funding: £26,000 per annum (TAX free stipend) and tuition fee for 3.5 years
Supervisors: Professor Stefan Dimov (Mechanical Engineering, UoB) and Dr Sundar Marimuthu (MTC)
Eligibility: Funding requirements dictate only UK nationals can apply.
Start Date: ASAP but not later than Oct 2024
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 PhD project 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, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laser micro machining (cutting/drilling/blind-machining) of advanced/brittle materials is extensively used in high-value manufacturing for various applications. Recently, there has been an increased interest in laser machining of brittle materials, e.g. PCD, for various applications in semiconductor and sensors industries. However, the laser processing of such materials is difficult, even with the use of ultrashort pulsed (USP) lasers and high dynamics scan heads, due to significant heat accumulation, that undermines the benefits of USP lasers The current expertise and knowledge on laser machining of brittle materials is predominantly based on the use of USP lasers with relatively low pulse energies, e.g. up to a few tens of microjoules and relatively low beam scanning speeds, typically up to 1-2 m/s, with very little information available in the public domain on USP machining (picosecond (ps)) with high pulse energies and very high scanning speeds. In this context, this PhD project will investigate the fundamental characteristic of polygon scanners (scanning speed of ~300 m/s) and the use of high power USP lasers, e.g. 200 W picosecond lasers, for machining brittle materials with specific applications in semiconductor and medical technology industries, especially for producing sensors and lab-on-the chip devices. It’s expected that polygon scanners will enable exploitation of high-power USP lasers to their full potential, in both productivity and quality.
The project will build on the results of recently completed H2020 and industry funded programmes at MTC and the UoB. In addition, the PhD project is expected to involve and be relevant to some MTC member companies, e.g. IPG, GF+ and BAE Systems. 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 Sundar Marimuthu
PhD candidate specification
The successful applicant will have studied Mechanical, Materials or Manufacturing Engineering, Applied Physics or a closely related discipline. A good knowledge or demonstrated awareness of fundamental aspects of laser-material processing and applied knowledge in laser processing is desirable. Experience in using a range of technologies/techniques for surface characterisation would be an advantage. Candidates should have a BEng or BSc with a master’s degree or a MEng undergraduate degree. The ideal candidate will have a first-class undergraduate degree and/or a distinction at master’s level with first class project work.
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