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3D printing of Smart Shape Memory Materials for Advanced Sensors and Actuators

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Sunday, October 27, 2019
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Academic Associate in Engineering (Smart Materials)

Job reference: 06686
Location: Clifton Campus
Closing date: 27/10/2019
Salary : Grade G (£27,830 - £32,236 p.a.)
Department: College of Science and Technology

Additional information - fixed term contract for 5 years, 18.5 hours per week and the above salary will be pro-rata

Job Details

Nottingham Trent University has been awarded ‘University of the Year’ (Guardian Newspaper) in 2019, ‘Modern University of the Year’ (Sunday Times) in 2018, and ‘University of the Year’ (Times Higher) in 2017. It is renowned for leading edge research, strong links with industry and its excellent teaching that shape lives and society. Research in the School of Science and Technology is extremely strong in terms of high quality outputs, funding income, and international impact. Our research strengths include Computer Aided Engineering, Medical Devices, Applied Ergonomics, Bio-functional and Multi-functional Materials, Biomedical and Sport Engineering.

The Department of Engineering launched new programmes in Biomedical Engineering, Electronic Engineering and Sport Engineering in 2017 and a new programme in Mechanical Engineering in 2018. We are seeking to appoint an enthusiastic and talented Academic Associate to contribute to teaching in the Department of Engineering. Most of the teaching will be in the format of seminars, laboratory classes and tutorials. The academic associate post is part-time (0.5 FTE) and in addition, you will be required to register for a PhD part-time for the duration of the 5-year post.

This is an exciting opportunity to help shape new developments in both teaching and research. Our plans include parallel investments in a number of other academic posts, a Medical Technology Research Centre, and a new dedicated Engineering building due to open in 2019. The successful candidate will have opportunity to develop research and teaching capability in purpose-built new facilities.

You can apply on-line using links from Please submit a single document to include a full CV, a Teaching Statement, a Research Statement and a Covering Letter addressing your suitability for the role outlined in the associated Job Description and Person Specification. If the 1MB file size restriction makes this difficult or impossible, please email all your supporting documentation to .

Project Description

Smart materials are a class of active materials that respond dynamically to environmental stimuli and external triggers such as humidity, light, heat, electrical, or magnetic fields. Shape memory alloys, shape memory polymers and piezoelectrics are common smart materials, which are used in a growing range of electro-thermo-mechanical sensors and actuators, biomedical devices, robotics and so on. In this project, 3D printing technologies such as fused deposition modelling, stereolithography and selective laser sintering will be used to fabricate smart shape memory material systems and multi-functional structures.

The approach is based on an understanding of electro-thermo-mechanics of shape memory materials and fabrication concept behind the 3D printing technology as well as experiments to explore how additive manufacturing can be used to engineer smart meta-structures with performance-driven functionalities built directly into the material systems. It will be applied to fabricate, either or combinations of, adaptive artificial muscle, dynamic soft robots, smart grippers with self-folding/unfolding features, temperature-sensitive electrical switches, wearable actuators for therapeutic applications, and stretchable and sensitive wearable strain sensors for health-care monitoring. A material-structural model will be developed as a computationally efficient tool for finite element analysis and digital design of 3D printed smart sensors and actuators.

The project will use design tools, in addition to advanced materials characterisation methods including thermo-mechanical tests, dynamic mechanical analysis, conductivity and electrical properties characterisation, and scanning electron microscopy. This project will advance the state-of-the-art 3D printing of smart structures and provide pertinent results that are instrumental in the design of meta sensors and actuators with advanced built-in functionalities.

How good is research at Nottingham Trent University in General Engineering?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 14.40

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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