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  • 5 Great Opportunities for you to be a PhD Candidate with TWI

5 Great Opportunities for you to be a PhD Candidate with TWI

Thu, 03 February, 2022

The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) is recruiting for several industry-led PhD candidate opportunities.

Located in Cambridge, United Kingdom, the successful applicants will join a doctorate degree program unlike any other, working on research that is being called for by global industry.

Research topics for the doctoral program a form by the affiliated university and industrial sponsor. The combination creates research that meets high stands of academia, while also solving a industry need for vital research.

PhD students of NSIRC therefore receive supervision from a academic supervisor provided by their university, as well as an industry supervisor from their sponsor.

Hot PhD Degree Topics with Industrial and Academic Support

1) Repair of high strength corrosion resistant alloys using laser assisted cold spray

PhD Studentship sponsored by TWI Ltd and awarded by the University of Nottingham

The goal of the proposed PhD project is to investigate the effect of laser-assistance on cold spray deposition behaviour in high-strength, corrosion-resistant alloys.

This project will determine how the interplay between laser parameters, cold spray parameters and powder microstructure affect the mechanical properties of the deposit.

It is expected that a more detailed study into the behaviour will enable a significant change in the performance of cold spray deposits and the range of materials that can be processed by such techniques.

This will lead to the development of high integrity repair techniques capable of prolonging the safe life of critical structures.

2) Influence of powder quality on the mechanical properties of HIPed materials for safety critical components

PhD Studentship sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation and TWI Core Research Programme, and awarded by the University of Birmingham

This research project seeks to determine the effect of powder quality and manufacturing method on the microstructure and mechanical properties of HIPed material.

One chosen alloy, in the form of powder manufactured by three different atomisation processes, will be investigated to check powder characteristics and quantify how the powder manufacturing method influences the microstructure and mechanical properties of the resultant HIPed material.

3) Investigation into in-line process monitoring for improved quality assurance in electron beam powder bed additive manufacture (EBPBAM)

PhD Studentship sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation and awarded by Lancaster University

One of the problems for manufacturers seeking to deploy electron beam powder bed additive manufacturing (AM) has been that the machine readiness for manufacture can only be assessed by trying to build the product; this is wasteful, time consuming and costly.

It requires close inspection of parts and an inspection procedure that can fully verify that the component is fit for purpose. Previous work within NSIRC and TWI has led to the development of a tool for electron beam welders (the BeamAssure family) and further work is being carried out on the development of predictive data analytics for quality assurance.

Correlating information collected during processing to produce an assessment of the production readiness of the piece of equipment will require data processing tools and analysis to determine tolerance to variation in measured characteristics.

It is expected that this research will be carried out in close collaboration with EBAM machine producers (such as Freemelt AB and/or Arcam AB) and with their clients in or near production (such as Airbus, GKN, Rolls-Royce, etc).

PhD Studentship are based on topics that are needed by industry to advance global safety practices. Photo: UnSplash
PhD Studentship are based on topics that are needed by industry to advance global safety practices. Photo: UnSplash

4) Portable cold spray for repair of light metal components

PhD Studentship sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation and awarded by Coventry University

This proposed research project will investigate the emerging technology of portable cold spray as a means to economically repair light metal components.

Work to date at TWI has shown that acceptable repairs can be successfully carried out using cold spray.

However, the majority of this work has focussed on developing high pressure cold spray, which must be performed using inert, high pressure gas within a dedicated, robotised, spray booth. As such, many repairs using this approach are not economically viable.

5) Development of a standardised environmental-mechanical test methodology for quantitative evaluation of resistance to HISC of duplex stainless steels

PhD Studentship sponsored by Lloyd's Register Foundation and awarded by Brunel University London Lead Academic Partner for NSIRC since 2012

Duplex stainless steels (DSSs) are widely used in oil and gas subsea applications, such as pipelines, and manifolds and risers in production systems, due to their superior properties.

In these environments, DSS components are often connected to ferritic steel components, which necessitate the application of cathodic protection (CP) as a means of corrosion prevention.

Whilst successful in preventing degradation of the ferritic parts, CP can generate hydrogen at the bare surface of the subsea structures, whereupon, it can be absorbed into the alloy and cause embrittlement.

Cracking of this embrittled material is known as hydrogen-induced stress cracking (HISC) and is recognised as a major cause of catastrophic failures in service, which are of significant fatal and financial losses.

However, there are currently no established/standardised guidelines for evaluating resistance to cracking of DSSs in such environments, in a quantitative manner and against any established acceptance criterion

Find out more here about this great opportunities open to UK, European and International applicants


How Long is a PhD Program in the UK?

With NSIRC and our affiliated universities, each PhD takes at least 4 years to complete from start date to thesis submission.

A lot depends on the PhD student and their research proposal, experiments and a number of other factors that can effect the time frame.

The Structural Integrity program at NSIRC in Cambridge a full time course, with doctoral students required to working the same business hours as their TWI colleagues.


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