Swansea University's College of Engineering Fully-funded PhD Studentship , UK

Publish Date: Apr 09, 2015

Deadline: Apr 30, 2015

Swansea University's College of Engineering, in association with the National Research Network in Advanced Engineering and Materials (AEM), invites applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship.

This exciting new PhD opportunity combines fundamental materials science, thermo-mechanical characterisation, design via numerical modelling and additive manufacture (or 3D printing) of complex geometrical structures. 

The aim of the project is to design new smart components for high precision structural casings for lenses, where accurate dimensional tolerances over a range of temperatures are paramount. These products require multiple functionalities. They must be lightweight, stiff and robust. Most critically, they also need to have tailored coefficients of thermal expansion (CTE), perhaps negative CTEs (multi-materials) and/or negative Poisson’s ratios using auxetic lattices. Furthermore, these properties may need to be graded throughout the component structure.

This project addresses a real industrial challenge and exploits existing facilities and expertise within the College of Engineering at Swansea such as:

  • new materials characterisation facilities (MACH1 labs)
  • modern Additive Manufacturing capabilities
  • numerical modelling expertise

The successful candidate will be working as part of an industrial-academic collaboration team with Qioptiq (http://www.qioptiq.com), implementing early product design cycles. As a designer and manufacturer of photonic products and solutions, Qioptiq serve a wide range of markets and applications in the areas of medical and life sciences, industrial manufacturing, defence, aerospace, research and development.

This collaboration will involve:

  • Preliminary selection of materials, designs, and thermo-physical data.
  • More advanced design of components incorporating lattice structures, FE simulation of performances and optimisation of design prior to manufacture.
  • Mechanically testing actual manufacturing components by Additive Manufacturing and metallurgical quality evaluation – some of the materials will have to be qualified for use by AM.
  • Conducting post-manufacturing steps & testing of prototype components.

In order to complete this work you will learn how to:

  • Use thermo-physical measurement equipment (laser flash analysis, differential calorimetry, dilatometry, etc.)
  • Use a powder-bed additive manufacturing machine with a combination of different materials (Ti-6Al-4V, INVAR, Aluminium alloys, etc.)
  • Write and/or use Finite Element Stress analysis and CAD software

Your academic supervisors will be Dr Nicholas Lavery and Professor Steve Brown, as well as having an industrial supervisor, Dr Helen Swygart, and a technical lead, Mr Lee Eccles, at the sponsoring company, Qioptiq.

Swansea University’s College of Engineering provides a fantastic study environment for around 3,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students. We offer a lively multidisciplinary approach to research that has seen over £100 million of research income generated since 2008: www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 ranks Engineering at Swansea as 10th in the UK for the combined score in research quality across the Engineering disciplines:www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering/research/ref-2014/

Our brand new Bay Campus (opening 1st September 2015) has a fantastic beachfront location near to Swansea City Centre and Marina. The Bay Campus is part of a £450 million development project at Swansea University. View the latest videos here http: www.swansea.ac.uk/campus-development/

This scholarship is funded by and part of The National Research Network in Advanced Engineering and Materials (AEM) which is a transformative alliance that will enhance fundamental and applied research in Wales

For more information on this project, go to: http://www.swansea.ac.uk/engineering/mach1/


Candidates should have a first class or upper second class honours degree in engineering, mathematics and/or science.

Work conducted by the successful candidate will comprise of an equal part of theory & computation, experimentation and pragmatic engineering. It is essential that the candidate will have covered the following areas at undergraduate level:

•             Heat transfer
•             Thermal-structural properties of materials
•             Computer Aided Design

It is preferable that the candidate would also have a good understanding of:

•             Numerical programing and computational geometry
•             Experimental heat transfer
•             Finite Element Analysis
•             Manufacturing methods
These scholarships are open to UK/EU and international students, but please note that only the UK/EU fee level will be covered. International students will be expected to pay the difference between UK/EU fees and international fees.


The studentship covers the full cost of UK/EU tuition fees, plus a tax free stipend of £14,562 p.a.

There will also be additional funds available for research expenses and conference attendance.

How to Apply

To apply for this studentship, please send a CV and covering letter outlining your suitability for the project to:

Dr Nicholas P Lavery: N.P.Lavery@swansea.ac.uk

Applications close on Thursday 30 April 2015.

This opportunity has expired. It was originally published here:


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United Kingdom