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Funded PhD Opportunities in the UK at TWI

Tue, 03 January, 2023

Here are the latest funded PhD opportunities at TWI, Cambridge in the UK

The National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC) is recruiting for seven, exciting, funded PhD opportunities for student interested in industry focused research.

Since opening it's doors to PhD students in 2012, the NSIRC facility at TWI in Cambridge has supported over 180 doctoral students of engineering and structural integrity related subjects, with a PhD completion rate above 90%.

At the NSIRC facility, that forms part of the TWI global headquarters in Cambridge, students are allocated desk space to work with the technology sections at TWI, just like a TWI employee.

Through this experience, students are able to benefit from the knowledge of TWI technical staff as well as their academic supervisors, and train to work in an industrial / business environment.

This experience not only improves the quality of research and student academic support, it also provides training that makes NSIRC students more employable.


Hot research topics available at NSIRC:

1. Hybrid laser-cold spray techniques to modify deformation during impact and improve performance of deposited material

PhD Studentship: NSIRC237A. Funded by TWI CRP | Awarded by the University of Nottingham

Through this PhD topic, the successful applicant will investigate the effect of laser-assistance on cold spray deposition behaviour in high-strength, corrosion-resistant alloys. The project will determine 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...

Read more and apply


2. Emerging technologies of portable cold spray as a means to economically repair light metal components

PhD Studentship: NSIRC262. Funded by TWI CRP | Awarded by Coventry University

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

However, the majority of this work has focused 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...

Read more and apply


3. Electron beam welding and the correlation between beam measurements, sensors and build performance

PhD Studentship: NSIRC187. Funded by Lancaster University, Lloyds Register Foundation and TWI Ltd | Awarded by Lancaster University

A problem for manufacturers seeking to deploy electron beam powder bed additive manufacturing (AM) is that the machine readiness for manufacture can only be assessed by trying to build the product.

This process is wasteful, time consuming and costly, requiring close inspection of parts and an inspection procedure that can fully verify that the component is fit for purpose.

Previous work by NSIRC students at TWI Ltd has led to the development of a tool for electron beam welders (BeamAssure) 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 and Rolls-Royce)...

Read more and apply


4. Local Vacuum Electron Beam welding of large structures for the power sector

PhD Studentship: NSIRC271. Funded by the University of Warwick, Lloyds Register Foundation and TWI Ltd | Awarded by the University of Warwick

Traditional Electron Beam welding uses a vacuum chamber to contain the entire work piece; In contrast local vacuum electron beam (LVEB) welding uses a local vacuum chamber which allows welding of large structures such as pressure vessels (for nuclear industry and other power generation processes), large tubular structures used in wind turbine monopiles, among other applications.

The LVEB welding process provides significant advantages in steel manufacturing.

Thicknesses between 40mm and 165mm, which can be challenging to join using other welding processes, have been routinely EB welded at TWI.

200mm thick sections have also been achieved, both in flat and curved material forms...

Read more and apply


5. Development of a system for automatic defect recognition from ultrasonic data

PhD Studentship: NSIRC274. Funded by TWI CRP | Awarded by Brunel University, lead academic partner of NSIRC

Industry 4.0 and smart fabrication methods are already fuelling demand for more agile inspection systems with an improved capability of detecting flaws during fabrication with approaches that meet the increasingly demanding fabrication targets.

An industry wide lack of rapid scan-data processing presents a barrier to developing in-line and in-situ inspection systems operating during fabrication.

Increasingly automated inspection methods are required, and the aspiration within the industry is to establish inspection solutions capable of simultaneously performing data acquisition and non-destructive evaluation (NDE) of the final product quality.

Research is need to address the issues of inspection time and quality assurance to allow the industry to tackle challenges for in-process detection and NDE of remote welding (i.e. electron beam) and/or additive manufacturing imperfections and to commission new structures promptly, with zero waste and unnecessarily spend of resources.

This PhD will aim to develop an algorithm that replicates the steps a human inspector follows during the ultrasonic data analysis but implements an artificial intelligence (AI)-based assisted defect recognition (ADR) solution instead...

Read more and apply

TWI Ltd Cambridge offices and the NSIRC facilities just outside Cambridge city, UK. Photo: TWI Ltd
TWI Ltd Cambridge offices and the NSIRC facilities just outside Cambridge city, UK. Photo: TWI Ltd

Discover more PhD Studentships available at TWI in Wales, and Bangkok, Thailand.

NSIRC PhD Studentship provide an academic experience that is ideal for students with career ambition for research.

Supported by university academics and TWI technology experts, NSIRC students have the opportunity to enhance their research with input from both sides, giving them a better PhD life and relevant workplace training.

This experience produces graduates with the confidence, skills and knowledge that will make them very employable to a range of global companies and organisations.

Contact us to find out more and begin your PhD journey.