Multi-scale PEEK investigations into a novel Free Form Fabrication (FFF) process, Material Science, Mechanical Engineering, General Engineering – MPhil/PhD (Funded) Ref: 3005

About the award

The University of Exeter’s College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences, in partnership with Bond High Performance 3D Technology, is inviting applications for a fully-funded PhD studentship to commence in April 2018 or as soon as possible thereafter.  For eligible students the studentship will cover UK/EU tuition fees plus an annual tax-free stipend of at least £14,553 for 3.5 years full-time, or pro rata for part-time study.  The student would be based in the Centre for Additive Manufacturing (CALM) Business Technology Centre (BTC) within the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences at the Streatham Campus in Exeter.  Throughout her/his PhD, the successful candidate is expected to spend time at Bond High Performance. 

Bond High Performance is a fast growing, young and entrepreneurial company based in Netherlands developing an Free Form Fabrication  (FFF) printer for printing high performance polymers such as Poly Ether Ether Ketone (PEEK). 


Engineering, Streatham Campus, Exeter

Academic Supervisors:
Professor Oana Ghita University of Exeter
Richard Davies, University of Exeter

Project Description:
Additive manufacturing (AM) technologies are known for their ability to produce complex freeform shapes, individually customised parts with enhanced functionalities or integrated components with significant reduction in material waste. Until recently, the FFF technologies were still seen as lab-scale, prototyping tools, lacking the ability to operate with high temperature performance polymers or the robustness and reliability to deliver as manufacturing systems.  This landscape is due to change as new FFF technologies and materials are being developed. 

The project is looking to investigate polymer behaviour and performance of PEEK polymers as part of a novel, ultra-performance FFF manufacturing system built by Bond High Performance.  The PhD programme will focus on understanding the polymer behaviour from molecular scale to macro-scale performance throughout the new manufacturing process.   Aspects such as crystal structure, size, amorphous and crystalline behaviour, layer-to-layer bonding, degradation effects, mechanical performance and design considerations will form part of the PhD study, 

The successful candidate will have a background in material science and good general engineering skills.  The successful PhD student will be required to interact closely with the company through regular meetings, presentations and technical discussions and to spend time at the company. 

This award provides annual funding to cover UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend.  For students who pay UK/EU tuition fees the award will cover the tuition fees in full, plus at least £14,553 per year tax-free stipend.  Students who pay international tuition fees are eligible to apply, but should note that the award will only provide payment for part of the international tuition fee and no stipend. 
The studentship will be awarded on the basis of merit for 3.5 years of full-time study to commence in April 2018. 

Entry requirements:
Applicants for this studentship must have obtained a First or Upper Second Class UK Honours degree, or the equivalent qualifications gained outside the UK, in an appropriate area of science or technology. 
If English is not your first language you will need to have achieved at least 6.0 in IELTS and no less than 6.0 in any section by the start of the project.  Alternative tests may be acceptable (see


Application deadline:23rd February 2018
Number of awards:1
Value:£14,553 for 3.5 years
Duration of award:per year
Contact: Postgraduate Research

How to apply

In the application process you will be asked to upload several documents.
• Letter of application (outlining your academic interests, prior research experience and reasons for wishing to undertake the project).
• Transcript(s) giving full details of subjects studied and grades/marks obtained (this should be an interim transcript if you are still studying)
• Two references from referees familiar with your academic work. If your referees prefer, they can email the reference direct to quoting the studentship reference number.
• If you are not a national of a majority English-speaking country you will need to submit evidence of your proficiency in English
The closing date for applications is midnight on 20th of February 2018.  If you have any general enquiries about the application process please email or phone +44 (0)1392 722730.  Project-specific queries should be directed to the main supervisor Prof Oana Ghita,