GKN Aerospace funded PhD Studentship in Composite Modelling: Hybrid multiscale methods to simulate out-of-autoclave composite manufacturing processes Ref: 2646

About the award

Location: Streatham Campus, University of Exeter, EX4 4QJ

Primary Supervisor: Dr Tim Dodwell 

Secondary Supervisor: Prof. Richard Butler (University of Bath)

Project Description:

The route to market for new composite products is often compromised by high costs, long development times and poor quality due to manufacturing defects. The development of predictive capabilities for the manufacturing of large-scale components has widespread applications to the aerospace industry, with the twin objectives of improving product quality and decreasing lead times to market.
This GKN Aerospace PhD Scholarship will develop new hybrid multiscale methods to simulate out-of-autoclave dry fibre forming and infusion processes to predict the formation of manufacturing induced defects such as porosity and wrinkles.

Drawing inspiration from the physical parallels with multiscale methods developed in hydrology, although on different time and length scale, a promising option is the ‘particle-in-a-cell finite element’ approach. This will be a starting point of the PhD.

The PhD will provide a unique mix of composite engineering, mathematical modelling and computing implementation. Candidates with engineering or applied mathematical background would be suited.

The PhD will collaborate with company partners GKN Aerospace, experimental programs at the University of Bath (Prof. Butler) and computational geologists at University of Melbourne (Prof. Mouresi). There is scope in the project for extended interactions with each of these partners.

The successful applicants will receive a full university scholarship over 3.5 years of £17,000 per annum + £2,000 per annum + budget for a computer, all sponsored by industrial partners GKN Aerospace. The applicant will join a leading interdisciplinary group of engineers and mathematicians lead by Dr. Tim Dodwell; with a track record in composite process modelling, multiscale numerical methods, material characterisation and uncertainty quantification.

Contact for informal enquiries:

For more information about the project and informal enquiries, please contact the primary supervisor, Dr Tim Dodwell

Academic Entry Requirements:

You should have or expect to achieve at least a 2:1 Honours degree, or equivalent, in Engineering or Mathematics. Experience in composite materials and/or numerical methods (e.g. finite elements) is desirable.

If English is not your first language you will need to meet the English language requirements and provide proof of proficiency. Click here for more information and a list of acceptable alternative tests.


Application deadline:9th July 2017
Number of awards:1
Value:3.5 year studentship: UK/EU tuition fees and an annual maintenance allowance of £17,000, per year
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Postgraduate Research Officeemps-pgr-ad@exeter.ac.uk

How to apply

To apply, complete the online form. You will be asked to submit some personal details and upload a full CV, covering letter and details of two academic referees. Your covering letter should outline your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake this project.

Interviews will be held at Streatham Campus week commencing 19 July 2017.

Please quote reference 2646 on your application and in any correspondence about this studentship.