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Analysis and design of multi-scale materials with applications in engineering

   Faculty of Natural Sciences

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  Dr Michael Nieves, Prof Yibin Fu  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

Multiscale materials possess different properties at several scales that work together to give the medium unconventional responses typically not found in conventional materials. Examples include materials that expand transversely when stretched longitudinally, contract when heated and those that can hide or cloak the presence of defects in a medium exposed to vibration. As a result, in the last 20 years, there has been a significant research effort to design materials with a range of exotic properties with practical relevance via analytical, numerical and experimental techniques.

 On the other hand, a majority of the research undertaken in this direction is conducted without considering the structural integrity of the medium when undergoing such special responses. Understanding how multiscale materials fail provides an opportunity to create enhanced materials with greater application. A majority of physically relevant problems in this endeavour lead to the so-called matrix Wiener-Hopf equations, whose general solution is not known. The absence of a universal method for treating such equations therefore severely limits the associated potential benefits.

 In this project, within a team, you will expand the available methods for solving matrix Wiener-Hopf equations and utilise their application in designing novel multiscale materials with applications to materials science, civil engineering and seismic protection. Some potential areas where you will be expected to develop analytical and numerical methods to address practically relevant problems include:

 (i)           Dynamic failure of structured materials

(ii)          Asymptotic analysis of wave phenomena in multiscale composites

(iii)         Wave scattering in structured media

(iv)         Buckling and pattern formation in prestressed lattice materials

 In doing so, you will also be required to develop numerical methods based on new analytical procedures to facilitate the creation of advanced industrial software. As a student at Keele University, you will also be expected to engage in international secondments to academic institutes and industrial project partners to support these activities as part of the following Marie-Skłodowska Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Scheme:


If you are considering applying for the position please send a CV and personal statement to the Project Lead, Dr Michael Nieves [Email Address Removed]

To submit an application please go to https://www.keele.ac.uk/study/postgraduateresearch/studentships/analysisanddesignofmulti-scalematerialswithapplicationsinengineering/ Please quote FNS 2022-01 on your application.

Keele University is renowned for its exciting approach to higher education and research, beautiful campus, strong community spirit and excellent student life. The University has the UK’s largest campus with 617 acres of landscaped parkland, fields, woodlands and lakes. Keele University runs its own day nursery for infants from 3 months to 5 years and is committed to equality and diversity. Information for prospective postgraduate researchers can be found here: http://www.keele.ac.uk/pgresearch/

Funding Notes

This project is a fully funded by Keele University for the duration of 3 years, covering tuition fees and a stipend for living costs. Please see http://www.keele.ac.uk/pgresearch/feesandfinance/
for information on fees and living costs. Stipend at UKRI rates £16062 for 22/23)


Eligibility Criteria: Applications are welcomed from mathematics, engineering or physical sciences graduates with (or anticipating) at least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent.
Applicants are required to have good computing skills and an interest in analytical and numerical methods, continuum mechanics and their application to real-world problems. They should be self-motivated and have the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
The opportunities are open to UK/EU students. Under certain conditions international fees can be waived. The collaborative and presentation aspects of the research require very good English language and communication skills. Overseas applicants would therefore require an English IELTS (or equivalent) of 6.0 overall with no less than 5.5 in any subtest.
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